This article presents an introduction to four texts that the German feminist-materialist art historian Lu Märten (1879–1970) published between 1903 and 1928. It outlines some of the major concepts of and contexts for this unduly neglected thinker. Her writings covered a wide terrain that spanned studies on the labor conditions of female artists, polemics against “proletarian art,” and a monist, rather than dialectical, view on film, art, and what she called the “full life-work of a human.” At the core of her multiple endeavors was the demand for remaking the history of art as a history of form that is more capacious than art's institutionalized Western field. Situating Märten's work in historical debates (e.g., on Marxist aesthetics in the 1930s), the introduction also points to the new legibility that her nonaligned materialism gains with the material turn in the humanities.

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