The Fighter of the Spirit, cast c.1953–54 (modeled 1928)



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Ernst Barlach intended The Fighter of the Spirit (Der Geistkämpfer), commissioned by the University Church of Kiel in northern Germany, to be a memorial to humanistic and intellectual ideals in the aftermath of World War I (1914–18). The Nazis, angered by its anti-war message, removed it in 1937 and sawed the angel in parts—intending to melt it down. Instead, it was saved. In 1953, following World War II, it was repaired and installed outside the Church of St. Nicholas in Kiel (the University Church was destroyed during the war), but not before copies were made. Mia acquired one in 1959 and today it stands at the 24th Street entrance to the museum, the saw marks still visible. This smaller version was also cast after the original.

The Fighter of the Spirit
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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