For this AMD assignment, I decided to delve more into German art, this time learning about the German artist Hans Hofmann. Last semester, I had my first experience analyzing art at the UMMA and dissecting the various pieces offered and what the artists meant to portray. I thought that by analyzing art by German artists, I would perhaps be able to come to a deeper understanding of the various ways that art is reflective of society. That is, German society, history, and culture. Bare in mind, I’m continually developing my ability to analyze art and familiarity with terminology.

To Miz – Pax Vobiscum (1964)

The first piece was created after the death of Hofmann’s first wife, and was meant to convey the mystery, and simultaneously beauty, of life and death. Hofmann was known for his employment of vivid color, winding brush strokes, and Cubist structure. Upon analyzing this piece, I notice his use of color and brush strokes to invoke a sense of nostalgia. The colors sort of remind me of the colors of the clothes that I would wear in kindergarten. Hofmann was also known to pioneer the technics of portraying depth in paintings, in which the contrast in colors, varied brush strokes, and clear lines was meant to add depth, and elevate the view of the painting as a life force in and of itself.

The Conjurer (1959)

This piece was harder for me to interpret, being that it doesn’t necessarily have a subject. I view it more as an exercise of Hofmann’s emphasis on depth, and how an artists should embrace the two-dimensional canvas, not with three-dimensional figures, but by manipulation color, shape, and texture to form spatial relationships. This piece isn’t meant to portray reality, but rather something more abstract. At the same time, however, Hofmann’s idea of depth in painting emphasized that by giving depth, even the most abstract piece mirrors nature and livelihood.

Hofmann had explored a wide variety of art styles in his life, but most memorable to me were his pieces that incorporated structure. This is because in thinking about German society—the structure and organization—I can’t help but to see how his upbringing in Germany may have influenced how he went about his work. At the same time, Hofmann’s style reflects a conglomerate of many other artists, much like how German culture has spread its influence in the world while simultaneously taking in influence from other cultures. During the second World War, numerous artists fled Europe for New York, and a new movement of Abstract Expressionism, which Hofmann had a great influence on, began.

AMD4 – Julie

I decided to do the “Vokabelfeuerwerk” for the AMD this time because I don’t think I have a good knowledge about the vocabulary for this chapter.  I spent more than an hour for the sentences, but didn’t have many in the end.  I was trying to not write simple sentence or at least have few sentences around one idea.  In this way, I can practice more words in one sentence.  Also it took me time to look up the property (masculine/neutral/feminine) for the word.  I still struggle with memorizing all the property of the words and I found out that I forgot what I’ve remembered earlier, which is disappointing.  I focused more on the words from this chapter, but also included some from previous chapters.  Keeping practicing is a good way to remember those words.  I realized that some words I used several times.  Perhaps next time I will just pick up the word first and then try to come up with a sentence.  In this way I can practice more new words.

Will hand in my sentences in the class.  ^_^

AMD 4 – Allie

For this AMD, I decided to use Duolingo again to see if I could learn some more new vocabulary, or review some that we had learned in class. It turns out that I left off last time just before clothing, so it was good to review the clothing vocabulary for the upcoming test. I learned that you can tell someone that your clothes are dirty by saying “Meine Kleidung ist schmutzig”. The next category that I worked on was reviewing conjugations of common present tense verbs. I was able to test out of this subject without going through the lessons, so that made me feel more confident about my conjugation abilites. Next, I moved on to learning vocabulary about nature, which we haven’t gotten to yet in class. I learned that a flower is die Blume, which is very easy to remember if you think of a flower as a bloom. I remembered that we had learned der Baum in class from Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama! I learned new words including der Himmel (sky), die Sonne (sun), and der Stern (star), so now I can talk about the weather a little bit. I can also tell you if der Wind ist kalt oder warm.

Next I learned vocabulary about animals. This was a good reminder that for animals, we don’t use essen, we use fressen. I also learned that the word animal is das Tier, and a pet is das Haustier. Adding the word for house on the front of the word for animal is a clever way to indicate that an animal lives in your house. Some of the animal vocabulary was a review, like Ente, Bär, Hund, and Katze. But some was new, like Pferd (horse), Kuh (cow), Vogel (bird), and Spinne (spider).

It was good to review old vocabulary and learn some new things that we haven’t talked about yet in class! Duolingo tells me I’m about 12% fluent in German!


For my AMD, I chose to start reading the Wikipedia page on Deutsche Kultur ( and see where it took me. I began by reading the section about Deutsche Sprache. Deutsch belongs to the West Germanic Sprachgruppe, along with Englisch and Dutch. Der Artickel sagt that Deutsch is closely related to Englisch, which I find surprising. While there certainly are many cognates between die beiden Sprachen, I’ve found there to be many Deutsche Wörter that have no Englisch form. In addition, the sentence Struktur and verb Konjugation seem sehr anders to me. But I’m no linguist, and have no idea what I’m talking about. So I’ll take the article’s word.

I then clicked on a link to Deutsche naming customs ( at the bottom of the language section. My last name (Goettner, or Göttner) is Deutsche, so this Artikel seemed particularly interessant. I’ve done some research on my last name and found very little on its origin, but I still liked to read about Deutsche names in general. From der Artikel, I read about how most German last names originate from a certain set of categories. The first category is that of given names, where someone would take their name based off that of seinen Vater. These last names include Wulff, Friedrich, or Benz. In the next category are names stemming from job titles. These include Schmidt (smith), Müller (miller), Meyer (farm administrator), and Schulze (constable). I’ve definitely seen variants of these forms throughout die USA, which makes sense considering the large amount of German immigrants that came to das Land over the years. I even have Cousins with the last name Schulz, which certainly comes from Schulze. The final category I read about was descriptive names. These came from physical attributes of their bearers, like Klein (small) or Groß (big). I know both Kleins and Grosses here in the US! Interestingly enough, at the bottom of the section on the origins of Deutsche last names, the article mentions how some foreign names were adapted to German spelling. The article mentioned Französisch Hugenotten as one immigrant group, and used the surname Marquard as an example. I thought this was pretty cool, as Marquardt is the last name of meine Deutsche Professorin!

I then went back to the Deutsche Kultur Wikipedia page, where I found an interesting graphic comparing the values of different Kulturen across die Welt. Deutsche fell in the Protestant Europa region, which included nations like Schweden, Dänemark, Nordwegen, und die Niederlander. These nations lean heavily towards Self Expression and Secular-Rationalist values, though Ost-Deutschland is weighted slightly more towards Survival values than West Deutschland. I think it’s very interesting to compare Deutschland to die USA. Die USA is much more towards Traditional Values on the spectrum, which I can see. As a whole, unser Land is fairly conservative compared to our Western counterparts in Europa. However, the US is also more towards Self Expression and less towards Survival than Germany. This makes sense based on the Kultur readings we’ve had so far- it seems that many Deutschen are more weary and looking out for themselves than Amerikaner, who will go out of their way to be nice and helpful to strangers. Overall I learned a lot about Deutsche Kultur on Wikipedia, and might casually read about the topic in my free time again!