Arnold Topp was an important artist of Herwarth Walden’s gallery Der Sturm in Berlin and friends with its circle of avant-garde artists. His works were first exhibited there in 1915 and he enjoyed some success before WWI. In the Weimar Republic, Topp’s artistic success picked up again, he co-founded the Arbeitsrat fuer Kunst (Worker’s Council for Art) and his works were exhibited at Der Sturm and internationally. But with the rise of the National Socialists, he was declared a “degenerate” artist and his works were exhibited in the exhibition of Entartete Kunst in 1937.
Still today the whereabouts of many of his works are unknown, and a significant number where destroyed by the Nazis. As Topp was always working as a teacher, he was able to sustain a living, but was moved to a post further east, to a small town which today is in Poland. He probably died in the last weeks of WWII and his fate was unknown for decades, his art rarely exhibited until the 1980s. Today, his works are collected widely again and held by museums internationally.