Adolf Ziegler

Biographical information

Full nameAdolf Walter Ludwig•Ziegler
Used nameAdolf•Ziegler
Born16 October 1892 in Bremen, Bremen (GER)
Died11 September 1959 in Varnhalt, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg (GER)
NOC Germany


Adolf Ziegler began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Weimar. Until World War I, he was then a student at the drawing school of Angelo Jank at the Munich Academy. After serving four years in the war, he returned to complete his studies. From 1924-33 he was a freelance artist. Due to a lack of success, he went to Chile, his first wife’s homeland, for one year in 1931.

Ziegler had already joined Hitler’s NSDAP in 1929 through the influence of his father-in-law and later became the dictator’s favorite painter. For political reasons, he was appointed professor of painting technique at the Munich Academy in 1933, where he became director of the painting and drawing school the following year later. In 1936-43, he was president of the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts and Reich Senator for Culture. He was responsible for purging museums of “degenerate art” and carried out major confiscation operations in Hamburg museums in 1937. He also gave a diatribe at the opening of the “Degenerate Art” exhibition.

In 1943, Ziegler was removed from all offices and imprisoned for several weeks in the Dachau concentration camp for discussing the initiation of peace negotiations with Great Britain given the war situation. He was released, however, on Hitler’s orders, but no more reports about him were allowed. After World War II, Ziegler lived in Soltau and then with his sister in Baden-Baden. He was later denazified as a “Mitläufer” (follower).

Ziegler’s early modern works have not survived. Beginning in the 1920s, he painted mainly static, pseudo-classical nudes depicting ideal Aryan figures. A typical example was the triptych The Four Elements from 1937, which was purchased by the NSDAP and hung in the “Führerbau” (the Führer’s building) in München.


Games Sport (Discipline) / Event NOC / Team Phase Unit Role As
1936 Summer Olympics Art Competitions GER Adolf Ziegler
Architecture, Designs For Town Planning, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Architecture, Architectural Designs, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Applied Arts, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Paintings, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Graphic Arts, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Drawings And Water Colors, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Sculpturing, Medals, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Sculpturing, Reliefs, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Sculpturing, Statues, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge