Following World War I, Schwitters, who was associated with Dada, coined the term "Merz" to describe his enduring ambition to unify art and life. In Plan of Love, a Merzbild, or Merz picture, Schwitters combined seemingly worthless debris—advertisements, newspaper scraps, diagrams—into an ordered composition set within a handmade frame. Close inspection of the collaged materials reveals maps, an advertisement for a doctor of venereal disease, and the German phrase that gives the work its title: "Plan der Liebe," or "Plan of Love."
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): KS/XXIII
the artist (on consignment ca. 1923 to Galerie der Sturm, Berlin); [Galerie Rudolf Springer, Berlin]; [Berggruen & Cie, Paris]; [Sidney Janis, New York, in 1952; sold by February 1953 to Steinberg]; Muriel Kallis Steinberg, Chicago (by 1953–2006; her gift to MMA)
Berlin. Galerie Der Sturm. 1920s.
New York. Sidney Janis Gallery. "Sidney Janis Presents an Exhibition of Collage, Painting, Relief and Sculpture by Schwitters," October 13-November 8, 1952, no. 26.
Arts Club of Chicago. "Sidney Janis Presents an Exhibition of Collage, Painting, Relief and Sculpture by Schwitters," November 25–December 16, 1952, no. 26.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 25).
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Kurt Schwitters," June 10–October 1, 1985, no. 197.
Sprengel Museum Hannover. "Kurt Schwitters," February 4-April 20, 1986, no. 130.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 3.
Houston. Menil Collection. "Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage," October 22, 2010–January 30, 2011, no. 30.
Patrick Waldberg. Max Ernst. Paris, 1958, ill. p. 161.
Hilton Kramer. "Modernist Show Moves Met Firmly into Art of 20th Century." New York Times (May 22, 1981), p. C21.
Karin Orchard and Isabel Schulz, ed. Kurt Schwitters: Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 2, 1923–1936. Ostfildern-Ruit, 2003, pp. 40, 129, no. 1092, ill.
Dorothea Dietrich inDada: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris. Ed. Leah Dickerman. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Washington, D.C., 2005, pp. 164–65, pl. 138.
Sabine Rewald inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 18–19, no. 3, ill. (color).
Artist: Kurt Schwitters (German, Hanover 1887–1948 Kendal)Date: 1947Medium: Cut and pasted printed papers on paper, mounted on paper, in artist made wood frameAccession: 2007.49.86On view in:Not on view