Olympic Art Competition 1936 Berlin
The Art Competition

General Preparations

The insertion of an art competition into the programme of the Olympic Games-a special wish of their reviver, Baron Pierre de Coubertin—has placed upon the Organizing Committees of the different festivals the mission of emphasizing to an increasing degree the intellectual and cultural aspects in addition to the physical and sporting in making their preparations. A considerable period of time was required, however, before the artists of the world could be convinced of the necessity and the object of such a mission, or before they recognized the close connections between art and sport clearly enough to find in sport a suitable inspiration for their creations and artistic forms.

Following the Stockholm Olympic Games of 1912, at which the first art competition was held, the organizers of each Festival endeavoured to fulfil their obligations in this field in a satisfactory manner, and the Organizing Committee for the Eleventh Olympic Games, Berlin, 1936 was confronted with the task of continuing this development and of arranging an art competition and exhibition which would be in keeping with the significance of the Games. The preliminary questions pertaining to this project were considered immediately after the close of the Los Angeles Games, and preparatory work of a general nature was begun. It was necessary first of all to find capable and influential personages for the Olympic Art Committee, and the former Reich Inspector of Art was called upon to head the Committee, the other members being selected with his assistance from the different art circles in Germany. The National Socialist Revolution necessitated many changes in this entire field, however, and indicated the lines of development to be followed in the final formation of the Olympic Art Committee.

At the wish of the Reich Minister of Propaganda, a representative of this Ministry was appointed Chairman of the Art Committee. Herr Weidemann held this post temporarily from November, 1933 till March, 1934, after which he was replaced by Government Councillor Kurt Biebrach, who accepted the post in August, 1934. For purposes of efficiency an attempt was made from the very beginning to limit the membership in the main and sub-committees as much as possible. The principal committee was composed of representatives of the different departments, members of the various individual groups in the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts, outstanding German artists, representatives from the museums and delegates from the Organizing Committee. The technical supervision of the Art Department, and in this connection also of the Olympic Art Competition and Exhibition, was placed in the hands of Frau Lobeck, and the members of the active committees for the different fields of art were selected upon the recommendation of the respective branches of the Reich Chamber of Culture. The principal committee, which in the course of time underwent several changes, was finally composed of the following personages:

      Government Councillor Kurt Biebrach, Chairman, Reich Ministry of Propaganda
      Dr. Theodor Lewald, President of the Organizing Committee
      Professor Adolf Ziegler, President of the Reich Chamber of Plastic and Graphic Arts
      State Councillor Hanns Johst, President of the Reich Literary Chamber
      General Music Director Peter Raabe, President of the Reich Chamber of Music
      Dr. Carl Diem, Secretary-General of the Organizing Committee
      Dr. Eberhard Hanfstaengl, Director of the National Gallery
      Ministerial Councillor Robert Hiecke, Reich and Prussian Ministry for Science and Education
      Frau Edith Lobeck, Representative of the Organizing Committee
      Werner March, Architect
      Hans Schweitzer, Reich Commissioner for Artistic Arrangements
      Professor Theodor Wiegand, President of the German Archaeological Institute

Since the members of the active committees would also be called upon to serve as German judges on the international jury, they had to be selected with this end in view. The members generously contributed their time and ability to this none too simple task in spite of the numerous other matters demanding their attention.

The first task was the compilation of the general regulations for the Olympic Art Competition, these in their original form having undergone several fundamental and textual revisions, At the special wish of the German representatives in Section II (painting), this department was divided into two subsections, painting and graphic arts, while Group D (commercial art), consisting of placards, diplomas, stamps and signets, was added to Group C (graphic arts) comprising wood-cuts, copperplate engravings, etchings and lithographs. Section III (sculpture) was also given a new sub-section through the removal of reliefs from Group B and medals from Group C. Since this extension involved the awarding of an increased number of victors’ medals, the approval of the International Olympic Committee had to be obtained. This was granted in connection with the Congress of the International Olympic Committee at Oslo in February, 1935, when the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee approved the regulations without making any changes.

Source document: Official Report 1936, Vol. 2, page 1106 ff

Catalog of the Olympic Art Competition 1936 Berlin

       The prizes were awarded as follows:

       Architectural Designs:

1936 1st Hermann Kutschera AUT Skiing Stadium
2nd Werner March GER Reich Stadium
3rd Herbert Kastinger + AUT Vienna Racing Courses
Hermann Stiegholzer

       Skiing Stadium, Hermann Kutschera 

       Designs for Town Planning:
1936 1st Werner March  and GER Reich Stadium
Walter March
2nd Charles Downing Lay USA Marine Park in Brooklyn
3rd Theodor Nußbaum GER Köln Town Plan and Sport Establishments


1936 1st no prize was awarded
2nd Luciano Mercante  ITA Medals
3rd Jozue Dupon BEL Rding Plaques


1936 1st Emil Sutor  GER Hurdle Runners
2nd Jósef Klukowski POL Football
3rd no prize was awarded

Hurdle Runners, Emil Sutor


1936 1st Farpi Vignoli ITA The Sulky Driver
2nd Arno Breker GER Decathlonist
3rd Stig Blomberg SWE Wrestling Children

         Sulky Driver,  Farpi Vignoli

       Applied Graphics:

1936 1st Alex Walter Diggelmann SUI Poster "Arosa I"
2nd Alfred Hierl GER International Avus Race
3rd Stanislaw Ostoja-Chrostowski POL Yachting Club Charter

     Poster "Arosa I", Alex Walter Diggelmann

       Drawings and Water-Colors:

1936 1st no prize was awarded
2nd Romano Dazzi ITA Four Fresco Patterns
3rd Shujaku Suzuki JPN Classic horse race in Japan

          Four Fresco Petterns, Romano Dazzi


1936 1st no prize was awarded
2nd Rudolf Herman Eisenmenger AUT Runner in the Finish
3rd Tsuguharu Fujita JPN Ice Hockey

   Runner, Rudolf Herman Eisenmenger

       Epic Works:
1936 1st Urho Karhumäki  FIN Into Free Water
2nd Wilhelm Ehmer GER Around the Peak of the World
3rd Jan Parandowski POL The Olympic Discus


1936 1st Felix Dhünen-Sondinger GER The Runner
2nd Bruno Fattori ITA Azzurri Faces
3rd Hans Helmut Stoiber AUT The Discus

       Compositions for Orchestra of All Kinds:

1936 1st Werner Egk  GER Festive Music for the
2nd Lino Liviabella ITA The Victor
3rd Jaroslav Kricka TCH Mountain Melodies

       Compositions of Songs for Soloist or Choir,
       With or Without Instrumental Accompaniment:

1936 1st Paul Höffer GER Olympic Oath
2nd Kurt Thomas GER Cantata for the 1936 Olympiad
3rd Harald Genzmer GER The Runner

       Merit for Aeronautics:

1936 1st Hermann Schreiber SUI Gliding Flight over the Alps

       Merit for Alpinism:

1936 1st Hettie Dyhrenfurth  and SUI Himalaya Expedition of
Günter Oskar Dyhrenfurth 1930 and 1931

Olympic Games Art Competition :
1912  Stockholm 1920 Antwerp 1924 Paris 1928 Amsterdam
1932 Los Angeles 1936 Berlin 1948 London  

Olympic Art Competition  1912 - 1948