The Volkstum Art of Georg Sluyterman von Langeweyde

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Georg Sluyterman von Langeweyde was born on 13 ApriI 1903 in Essen, the ninth son of artiIIery officer and construction engineer Bernhard SIuyterman v. Langeweyde. His mother’s famiIy came from Lower Saxony, his father’s from the Netherlands. The originaI spelling of his name was Sluyterman Van Langeweyde, Germanised to ‘von’ and written by him in the abbreviated form of ‘v’. After the early death of his father in 1908, Sluyterman was brought up in a working-class district in Essen, one of his pastimes being the playing of the guitar and working for a time as a miller in Pomerania as well as for a publicity firm. In 1920 he enrolled at the Essen Arts-and-Crafts School where he attended the courses of Wilhelm Poetter (graphic art and decorative painting) and Hermann Kätelhön (wood-engraving). He completed his training at the Dusseldorf Academy where, as a pupil of Fritz Mackensen and Spatz, then the Meisterschüler of Julius Paul Junghanns, he finally settled as a graphic artist in Düsseldorf. He married in 1926, joining the NSDAP on 1 May 1928, which immediately resulted in him losing several commissions.

Sluyterman was an enthusiastic member of the SA at the same time as his elder brother, Wolf Sluyterman v. Langeweyde, who was then unemployed. His speciality was the designing of party posters, vignettes and caricatures and he drew the heading of the weekly newspaper of the Dusseldorf Gau of the NSDAP, Die Neue Front, being a regular contributor to it. He became known mainly for his engravings on wood and lino, which deal with rustic Iife in Lower Saxony and the landscapes of the Luneburg Heath. Working in the style of the old masters, his works praise the world of work and illustrate numerous historical subjects. Incorporated into his engravings were quotations, proverbs, and phrases from Volkslieder.

In 1935, the Folkwang Museum in Essen bought severaI of his works. He then made three major series of engravings (Des Deutschen Volkes Lied 1935, Es mahnen die Vater 1936, Deutsches Lied 1938) which made him very popular and were often reproduced in the press (Der Schulungsbrief, Junges Volk, etc.). He is most famous for his politicaI engravings, as well as a portrait of Hitler, and he contributed to selections of the series Ewiges Deutschland, designing severaI murals for hostels of the Hitler Youth and of the SA.

He exhibited one litho at the GDK in 1939 and in 1940 settled at Bendestorf; near Hamburg. The following year he volunteered for service on the Eastern Front. Captured by the British towards the end of the war, he was interned for more than a year. In the ‘de-nazification’ period, some of his works were destroyed and he attempted to continue his career in very difficult circumstances. To earn a Iiving he did mainly publicity and commerciaI drawings. He remarried in 1946 and turned towards painting in the fifties, also writing poems, ballads, and songs in the spirit of the songs of Hermann Lons, which he sang while accompanying himself on the guitar (bringing out a record in 1970).  In 1970 he received the Ring of Honour in gold of the Deutsches Kulturwerk Europaischen Geistes. His engravings were published again and distributed mainly from 1975 on by the Uwe Berg publishing house.

Georg Sluyterman von Langeweydeies died on 5 January 1978 in his house at Bendestorf (“Haus Malershöh”). He is buried at the Heidefriedhof in Bendestor. The Landkreis of Harburg posthumously awarded him its Culture Prize and he was also made a honorary citizen of Bendestor. His wife Eva-Maria died shortly after him.

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The tomb of Georg and Eva-Maria von Sluyterman Langeweyde at the Heidefriedhof in Bendestorf

Book: Georg Sluyterman von Langeweyde: Werden, Werk und Wesen eines deutschen Künstlers (pdf)

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Source text and gallery posters: http://www.skrewdriver.net/sluyt.html

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