Fake or Fortune? Alexander Dorner and the Weimar Reproductions Debate
Between 1929 and 1930 the Der Kreis journal hosted a debate among art historians and museum directors on how art copies were changing the museum landscape. The so-called Hamburger Faksimile-Streit constitutes a crucial moment in the Weimarian theoretical debate on the categories of copy and original, culminating a few years later in Benjamin’s well-known essay on the work of art. After examining the theses of the main participants in the debate, this article focus on the position of curator and museum director Alexander Dorner – the only one advocating for the non-superiority of originals over copies in art museums – and on his relationship with Walter Benjamin’s later theories.
Keywords: Hamburger Faksimile-Streit • Alexander Dorner • Art copies • Museum Studies • Weimar Art Theory