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Music in the Paintbox

Title: Music in the Paintbox: Art and Music in the Düsseldorf Malkasten Society.
Name(s): Casamassina, Toni L., author
Seaton, Douglass, professor directing dissertation
Hoekman, Timothy, university representative
Brewer, Charles E. (Charles Everett), committee member
Von Glahn, Denise, 1950-, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Music, degree granting college
College of Music, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (260 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Within the archives of the Künstlerverein Malkasten (Paintbox Artists' Union) in Düsseldorf, Germany, is a vast corpus of visual art, posters, programs, and books that illuminate the musical life of this artists' club. The materials reveal that the club not only enjoyed music as entertainment but also depended on it for inspiration in their artwork and as a means of social interaction, not only between members but also between members and the greater Rhineland community, as well. The picture of the society that emerges from these sources is intrinsically connected to music and music-making, informing an understanding of how this highly-regarded institution and brotherhood of artists communed and thrived for over one hundred years. Even prior to the Malkasten's foundation in 1848, the artists that eventually made up its membership from the Düsseldorfer Malerschule and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf had used musical iconography prominently in their works. Musical imagery appears pervasively throughout the Malkasten's artistic catalogue, regardless of subject or style. Its nearly ubiquitous presence showcases musical instruments and performers in a variety of contexts, from symbolic allegories to satirical cartoons. These works reflect that music was part of the artists' overall consciousness and demonstrate the ideological first step into creating interdisciplinary artwork, for which the club became well known. The lied was the primary genre used by the Malkasten, and many of its artists participated in either writing song texts, often specifically for club performance, or creating imagery to accompany those texts. A typology of song books in nineteenth-century Düsseldorf allows for an examination of the sources used by the Malkasten, offering a glimpse into what types of lieder the artists sang together. This visual/musical literature reached its peak in the most sophisticated lied source used by the club – the Düsseldorfer Lieder-Album (1851) – which featured newly-composed songs with accompanying full-page color lithographs designed by Malkasten artists. Musical performances were a principal activity of the Malkasten throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including various types of Liederabends, concerts, tableaux vivants, musico-theatrical productions, and pageants. The club hosted these performances and members actively participated in them. While many artists worked to create posters and programs for the events, others wrote librettos or dialogue. Many of the members also performed in the presentations, often as singers in solo or ensemble roles. The imagery, songs, and performances of the Malkasten provide a detailed portrait of the Malkasten and its culture. The artists' love of music, history, poetry, nature, and the Rhineland all intertwine within these sources; the artwork and the texts reflect their witty sense of humor, ardent patriotism, and sincere fondness for one another. In short, the character and activity of the Malkasten as an organization are represented fully in its musical life.
Identifier: FSU_2015fall_Casamassina_fsu_0071E_12925 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: November 9, 2015.
Keywords: Düsseldorf, Ethnography, Iconography, Interdisciplinary artwork, Künstler-Verein Malkasten, Lieder
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Douglass Seaton, Professor Directing Dissertation; Timothy Hoekman, University Representative; Charles E. Brewer, Committee Member; Denise Von Glahn, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
Art -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Casamassina, T. L. (2015). Music in the Paintbox: Art and Music in the Düsseldorf Malkasten Society. Retrieved from