Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Edward James in front of "On the Threshold of Liberty"

Artist:
René Magritte (Belgian, Lessines 1898–1967 Brussels)
Date:
1937
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
10.8 x 16.7 cm (4 1/4 x 6 9/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.157
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Edward James was an eccentric poet, collector, and patron of both Dalí and Magritte. In 1937, when Magritte visited James in London, he painted a vertical version of his 1929 canvas On the Threshold of Liberty to install in the stairwell; he also photographed his host and patron in front of the painting. The photographic description is so close to the painter's realistic style, and James is so close to the painting, that he seems to stand on the threshold-evidently unaware that the potential liberty before him is threatened by the heavy artillery at his side.
Inscription: Inscribed on print, verso C: " "Edward James // devant "Au Sevil // de la Liberté" "; stamped on print, verso C: "7 232"; inscribed on print, verso LL: "MAGRITTE 4";
Marcel Marien (Belgian Surrealist in Magritte's circle); [Prakapas Gallery]; John C. Waddell, March 5, 1983

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

Fundación "La Caixa", Madrid. "Lost Bodies, Photography and the Surrealists," November 23, 1995–January 14, 1996.

Caixa Forum, Fundacion "La Caixa", Barcelona. "Lost Bodies, Photography and the Surrealists," February 20, 1996–April 14, 1996.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Alfred Hitchcock," November 16, 2000–March 18, 2001.

Centre Georges Pompidou. "Alfred Hitchcock," June 6, 2001–September 30, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Portraits: A Century of Photographs," September 10, 2002–January 13, 2003.

Doug Eklund, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 58," January 10, 2012–May 6, 2012.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938," September 17, 2013–January 13, 2014.

Menil Collection. "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938," February 13, 2014–June 1, 2014.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938," June 25, 2014–October 13, 2014.

Umland, Anne, ed. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013. no. 127, pp. 226–27.



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