Paul Schultze-Naumburg (10 June 1869 – 19 May 1949) was a German architect, painter, publicist and politician. He joined the NSDAP in 1930 and was an important advocate of Nazi architecture and a leading critic of modern architecture.
Schultze-Naumburg was born in Almrich (now part of Naumburg) in the current federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, and by 1900 was a well-known painter and architect, first emerging as a more-conservative member of the group of artists who established the Jugendstil and the Arts and Crafts workshops in Munich. His series of books the Kulturarbeiten ("Works of Culture"), nine volumes published 1900–1917, were extremely popular and established him as a major tastemaker for the German middle class. By the First World War, he had become a major proponent of traditional architecture, an originator of the "Circa 1800" movement, and an important voice in both the Deutscher Werkbund and the nationalist German architecture and landscape preservation movement. A well-known example of his architecture from this time is the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, built by order of Wilhelm II for his son, crown prince Wilhelm in 1914–1917.
On 5 January 1922 Paul Schultze-Naumburg married in Saaleck Margarete Karolina Berta Dörr (1896–1960). They were childless and divorced nastily on 7 February 1934. A couple of weeks later Margarete married the Reich Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick.
In response to the defeat of the First World War and of his own marginalization in the interwar architectural discourse, Schultze-Naumburg's articles and books began to take on a far harsher and less progressive character, condemning modern art and architecture in racial terms, thereby providing much of the basis for Adolf Hitler's theories in which classical Greece and the Middle Ages were the true sources of Aryan art. Schultze-Naumburg wrote such books as Die Kunst der Deutschen. Ihr Wesen und ihre Werke ("The Art of the Germans. Its Nature and Its Works") and Kunst und Rasse ("Art and Race"), the latter published in 1928, in which he argued that only "racially pure" artists could produce a healthy art which upheld timeless ideals of classical beauty, while racially "mixed" modern artists showed their inferiority and corruption by producing distorted artwork. As evidence of this, he reproduced examples of modern art next to photographs of people with deformities and diseases, graphically reinforcing the idea of modernism as a sickness.
Along with Alexander von Senger, Eugen Honig, Konrad Nonn, and German Bestelmeyer, Schultze-Naumburg was a member of a National Socialist para-governmental propaganda unit called the Kampfbund deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure (KDAI).
In September 1944, he was named as one of the first rank of artists and writers important to Nazi culture in the Gottbegnadeten list.
- Adam, Peter. Art of the Third Reich (1992). New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. ISBN 0-8109-1912-5
- Barron, Stephanie, ed. 'Degenerate Art:' The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany (1991). New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. ISBN 0-8109-3653-4
- Grosshans, Henry. Hitler and the Artists (1983). New York: Holmes & Meyer. ISBN 0-8419-0746-3