Still Life with Jug and African Bowl

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Still Life with Jug and African Bowl

Germany, 1912
Paintings
Oil on canvas
55 x 44 x 2 1/2 in. (139.7 x 111.76 x 6.35 cm)
Gift of Richard Smooke, Michael Smooke, and Barry Smooke in honor of their parents, Marion and Nathan Smooke (M.2003.90)
Currently on public view:
Broad Contemporary Art Museum, floor 3

Since gallery displays may change often, please contact us before you visit to make certain this item is on view.

Label

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner decorated his studio in Berlin with motifs copied from African, Indian, Indonesian, and Pacific Islander art....
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner decorated his studio in Berlin with motifs copied from African, Indian, Indonesian, and Pacific Islander art. Kirchner’s fascination with non-European art was fueled by the founding of German colonies in the South Pacific and Africa in the late nineteenth century. The looting of art and artefacts from these colonies fed the collections at new ethnographic museums throughout Germany, where Kirchner and the other Expressionists encountered them removed from their original context. Still Life with Jug and African Bowl includes depictions of sculptures by Kirchner in the style of African woodcarving— similar to the sculpture displayed nearby, Dancer with Necklace.

Like other artists in this gallery, Kirchner was attacked as “degenerate” by the Nazis. Still Life, originally in the collection of Kunsthalle Mannheim, was confiscated in 1937 after the German Propaganda Ministry announced a “cleansing” of all public museums.

Exhibition wall label, 2021.
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Bibliography

  • Benson, Timothy O.  Expressionism in Germany and France: from Van Gogh to Kandinsky.  Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2014.
  • Benson, Timothy O.  L'Expressionnisme en Allemagne et en France : De van Gogh à Kandinsky.  Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2014.