Gesellschaft (Society)

Max Beckmann, German, 1884 - 1950

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1918

Drypoint on wove paper

Plate: 10 1/4 × 12 5/8 in. (26 × 32 cm)

Sheet: 12 9/16 × 19 7/8 in. (31.9 × 50.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of Susan E. Hardy, Nancy R. Wilsker, Sarah A. Stahl, and John S. Stahl in memory of their parents Barbara J. and David G. Stahl, Class of 1947

2014.73.60

Publisher

J. B. Neumann, Berlin

Geography/Culture

Europe, Germany

Period

20th century

Object Name

Print

Classification

Print

Not on view

Inscription

Signed, lower right, in graphite: Beckmann; inscribed, lower right edge, in graphite: [illeg.]; inscribed, lower right corner, in graphite: R29224

Course History

HUM 1, Dialogues with the Classics, Paul Carranza, Caroline Dever, Andrea Tarnowski, Timothy Pulju, Fall 2015

Exhibition History

Beckmann was a prolific printmaker, producing over 350 during his lifetime, the majority between 1915 and 1923. Here, the figures are crowded together in the shallow space, barely acknowledging each other. The fish (bottom left) and the mask (top right) were frequent themes in Beckmann’s work. The fish may refer to Christ, or to fertility and regeneration. The mask, along with veils and blindfolds, suggests hidden meanings or identities, perhaps used to shield oneself from reality. In 1918, Germany was trying to recover from the trauma and suffering of World War I. Beckmann had seen this first hand—serving briefly at the front in the medical corps. After the war Beckmann often used his art to criticize the alienation and violence pervading German society.

Recent Acquisition: The Stahl Collection of European and American Art, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 1-December 7, 2015.

Provenance

Collected by Barbara Jaffe Stahl (1930-2004) and David Gerald Stahl (1926-2013), Manchester, New Hampshire; bequeathed to their children Susan E. Hardy, Nancy R. Wilsker, Sarah A. Stahl and John S. Stahl, 2013; given to present collection, 2014.

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete.

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