Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Before the Town

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1915
Medium:
Watercolor on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
9 3/4 × 12 3/8 in. (24.8 × 31.4 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.7
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (upper right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower right): 1915 85 vor der Stadt
the artist, Munich (1915–19; sold in November 1919 to Walden); [Galerie der Sturm (Herwarth Walden), from 1919]; Ludwig and Rosy Fischer, Frankfurt (until his d. 1922); Rosy Fischer, Frankfurt (1922–d. 1925); their son, Max Fischer, Berlin and New York (1925–probably until 1938; on consignment in September 1931 to Ferdinand Möller, Berlin; probably sold in 1938, through Buchholz Gallery, New York, to private collector); private collection, New York (probably 1938–until 1953; by descent to private collector's niece; her gift in 1953 to Connelly); Robert Connelly, New York (1953–81; sale, Sotheby's, New York, May 22, 1981, no. 845, sold to Berggruen); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1981–84; his gift to MMA)

Berlin. Galerie Der Sturm. "Paul Klee, Johannes Molzahn, Kurt Schwitters. 70. Ausstellung," January 1919, no. 13.

Dresden. Galerie Ernst Arnold. "II. Expressionistische Ausstellung. Sonderausstellung Der Sturm, Expressionisten, Futuristen, Kubisten," April 1919, no. 162.

New York. Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin). "Paul Klee," March 23–April 23, 1938, no. 6.

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Exposition Paul Klee," February 4–March 1, 1948, no. 219 (as "Coté 85").

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. "Paul Klee," March 1948, no. 219 (as "Coté 85").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 6–July 31, 1988, unnumbered cat. (p. 74).

Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Paul Klee: Die Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York und im Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," January 22–April 16, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 71).

London. Tate Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," May 17–August 13, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 71).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Landscapes," November 20, 1997–February 8, 1998, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Cities," June 22–September 5, 1999, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cityscapes by Klee and Feininger," September 25, 2002–January 26, 2003, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Abstract," September 5–December 7, 2003, no catalogue.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Das Universum Klee / The Klee Universe," October 31, 2008–February 8, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 249).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: Path to Abstraction," April 9–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.

Sabine Rewald. Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 74–75, 272, 317, ill. (color and bw).

John Russell. "Playful Images Rich in Riddles by Paul Klee at the Met." New York Times (May 6, 1988), p. C30.

Cordula Frowein in Expressionismus und Exil: Die Sammlung Ludwig und Rosy Fischer, Frankfurt am Main. Ed. Georg Heuberger. Exh. cat., Jüdisches Museum, Frankfurt. Munich, 1990, pp. 118, 164, no. 230, states that it was on commission to Ferdinand Möller in 1931, but was exhibited and sold at the Buchholz Gallery, New York in 1938; notes that Max Fischer probably only brought a few works of art to New York in 1938.

Jenny Anger. "Modernism and the Gendering of Paul Klee." PhD diss., Brown University, 1997, vol. 1, p. 109 n. 245, calls it "Before the City".

Sabine Rewald in Klee aus New York: Hauptwerke der Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Berlin, 1998, p. 38, fig. 4, indicates that Valentin sold this work.

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 2, 1913–1918. New York, 2000, p. 269, no. 1418, ill. and ill. p. 249 (color).



Related Objects

Ass (Esel)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1925 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 64.554.2(5) On view in:Not on view

Hoffmannesque Scene (Hofmanneske Szene)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1921 Medium: Lithograph in gold, maroon, brown and black Accession: 1984.1203.190(6) On view in:Not on view

The Saint of the Inner Light (Die Helige vom inner Licht)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1921 Medium: Lithograph with brown background Accession: 1984.1203.190(5) On view in:Not on view

Bird Comedy (Vogelkomödie)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1918 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 53.646.2(12) On view in:Not on view

The Bauhaus Portfolio: New European Graphics III

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1921 Medium: Lithograph (portfolio cover) Accession: 1984.1203.191 On view in:Not on view