‘Solinger Industrie’ (‘Solinger Industry’)
Displayed at the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung 1943, saal 12.
‘Solinger Industrie’ (left) at Great German Art Exhibition 1943, room 12 in the House of German Art.
Original exhibition-sticker on the back, from the Great German Art Exhibition in 1943.
Karl Julius Joest, ‘Solinger Industry’ depicted in the book ‘Düsseldorfer Künstler im Haus der Deutschen Kunst’, 1943.
City of Solingen, the City of Blades
The city of Solingen, which has 160,000 inhabitants, is one of the oldest industry- and trade cities in Germany. Most of the small and medium sized companies are still engaged in the production of daggers, knives, scissors and cutlery. Solingen’s weapons have been considered to be of the finest quality since the time of the Middle Ages. The ‘City of Blades’, which is blessed with abundant iron ore, charcoal, and water power, enjoyed new prestige with the rise of the German Third Reich. Talented designers were asked to work on new uniform variations and dress-edged weapons designed for Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’. By law in 1938 the city of Solingen was protected as a trade name; only knives and edged weapons produced in Solingen were allowed to bear the name ‘Solingen’.*
Dress daggers were introduced to organizations that had never carried swords, and in other organizations daggers became optional to the customary dress sword. Beginning in 1933 with the dress daggers worn by the SA, specially designed ceremonially edged weapons were eventually authorized for all governmental and political personnel. By the end of production in 1942, twenty-five different organizations had one or more designated types. Unwittingly, Hitler accomplished two things by these actions. First, this new demand for dress-edged weapons revived Solingen’s fortunes, which along with all of Germany, had suffered great economic hardships after WWI. Secondly, with the defeat of his Third Reich in May 1945, the dress daggers produced in Solingen from 1933-1942 became desired war trophies brought home by the victorious Allied soldiers. Today these knives are avidly sought by collectors for their history and workmanship, as well as for their beauty and rarity.
* Gesetz zum Schutz des Namens Solingen
Durch das ‘Gesetz zum Schutz des Namens Solingen’ vom 25. Juli 1938 wird der name ‘Solingen’ als einziger Städtename gesetzlich geschützt. Er ‘genießt als Bezeichnung deutscher Wertarbeit das Vertrauen der ganzen Welt. Um dieses Vertrauen und damit den Ruf der Solinger Schneidwaren zu erhalten und mißbräuchliche Verwendung des Namens zu unterbinden, hat die Reichsregierung das folgende Gesetz beschlossen: Mit dem Namen ‘Solingen’, einem sonstigen Hinweis auf Solingen oder einem entsprechenden Warenzeichen dürfen nur solche Schneidwaren bezeichnet werden, die in allen wesentichen Herstellungsstufen innerhalb des Solinger Industriegebietes bearbeitet und fertiggestellt worden sind und nach Rohstoff und Bearbeitung geeignet sind, ihren arteigenen Verwendungszweck zu erfüllen’.
National Socialist artists depicted a world ennobled by hammers and muscles, not a world of high technology. It was the factory rather than the worker that was shown: flaming furnaces, smoking chimneys, howling wharves, the battlefields of the workers where the individuality counted for little. This can be seen excellently in the GDK-work of Joest: ‘Solinger Industry’.
Advertisement from 1925 of ‘Solingen, the Seat of the Swords-, Knives- and Scissors industry’.
|– condition||: II|
|– size||: 173 x 152 cm, unframed 150 x 130|
|– signed||: left, under|
|– type||: oil on canvas|
|– misc.||: frame restored|
Left: Karl Julius Joest, ‘Der weiher am hof’ (‘The pond at the yard’).
Right: Karl Julius Joest, ‘Winterliche Landschaft’ (‘Wintery Landscape’). Size 100 x 60 cm. Send to the Haus der deutschen Kunst, but not displayed.
Left: Karl Julius Joest, ‘Stilleben vor Süditalienischer Landschaft‘ (‘Stillife before Italian Landscape‘). Created around 1930.
Right: Karl Julius Joest, ‘Taormina’ (City in South Italy).
Left: catalogue ‘Austellung Deutsche Kunst’, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, 1928.
Right: catalogue ‘Düsseldorf-Munich Art Exhibition’ Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, 1933.
Karl Julius Joest
Karl Julius Joest (1896-1975), born in Solingen, studied from 1919 to 1928 at the Academy for Art in Düsseldorf. He was a pupil of Max Clarenbach and painted mainly landscapes and people. He took part i.a. in the ‘Ausstellung Deutsche Kunst’, 1928, in the ‘Düsseldorf-Munich Art Exhibition’, 1932, and in the Frühjahrs-Ausstellung Düsseldorf’, 1942; alll held in the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf. In 1931, Joest had won the Kulturpreis (Culture-prize) of the City of Düsseldorf, which included an allowance for studying in Italy. From 1941 to 1943 he was represented at the Great German Art Exhibition with eight works, mostly depicting landscapes and small factories. National Socialist artists depicted a world ennobled by hammers and muscles, not a world of high technology. It was the factory rather than the worker that was shown: flaming furnaces, smoking chimneys, howling wharves, the battlefields of the workers where the individuality counted for little. This can be seen excellently in the following GDK-works of Joest: ‘Solinger Industry’, ‘Schleiferei aus Solinger Wald’, ‘Arbeitspause an der Schleifstelle’ and ‘Aus einer Niederrheinische Werkstatt’.
Beginning in 1954 Joest was a board member of the Art Association of Düsseldorf. In 1960 he held an exhibition in Düsseldorf (Artist Association Malkasten), and in 1961 at the German Klingenmuseum in Solingen. Joest took part in the yearly exhibitions of the Bergischen Kunstausstellungen and was represented at other exhibitions in Düsseldorf , Munich, Hagen, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Hameln and Florenz. Karl Julius Joest died in 1975 in Düsseldorf.