Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Vaudeville Act (Quappi)

Artist:
Max Beckmann (German, Leipzig 1884–1950 New York)
Date:
1934 and 1937
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
54 7/8 x 23 1/2 in. (139.4 x 59.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876-1967), 1967
Accession Number:
67.187.51
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
This painting represents three of Beckmann’s great loves: cabaret and vaudeville, jazz, and his wife, Quappi. A trained violinist, she never played the banjo as she does here. Had Beckmann not added her name to the title, it would be difficult to recognize her. He painted the first version of this work in Berlin in 1934 but revised it in Amsterdam in 1937.
the artist (until at least 1946; on consignment 1937–at least 1946 to the Buchholz Gallery, New York); Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York (by 1949–d. 1967; on extended loan to the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn., 1950–56; her bequest to MMA)

New York. Buchholz Gallery, Curt Valentin. "Recent Paintings by Max Beckmann," January 11–February 8, extended to February 12, 1938, no. 6.

Kansas City, Mo. William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Atkins Museum of Fine Arts. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," May? 1938, no catalogue.

Saint Louis, Mo. City Art Museum. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," June 1938, no catalogue.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," opened July 5, 1938, no catalogue.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," August 16–September 18, 1938, no catalogue.

Portland, Ore. Portland Art Museum. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," October? 1938, no catalogue.

Seattle Art Museum. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," November 9–December 4, 1938, no catalogue.

Boston. Institute of Modern Art. "Contemporary German Art," November 2–December 9, 1939, no. 2 (as "Carnival," 1936, lent by the Buchholz Gallery, New York).

New York. Buchholz Gallery, Curt Valentin. "Paintings by Max Beckmann," April 28–May 17, 1941, no. 9 (as "Carnival").

Arts Club of Chicago. "Max Beckmann Exhibition," January 2–27, 1942, no. 17 (as "Carnival," 1934, lent by the Buchholz Gallery, New York).

New York. Seventeenth Regiment Armory. "Art and Antiques Show," September 24–30, 1945, no catalogue [see Ref. Frankfurter 1945].

Hartford, Conn. Wadsworth Atheneum. "Adelaide Milton de Groot Loan Collection," January 10–February 12, 1950, unnum. checklist (as "Carnival").

Hartford, Conn. Wadsworth Atheneum. "Twentieth Century Painting from Three Cities," October 19–December 4, 1955, no. 2 (as "Carnival," 1936, lent by Adelaide M. de Groot. Loan deposit, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford).

Bellevue, Wash. Bellevue Art Museum. "Five Thousand Years of Faces," January 30–July 30, 1983, unnumbered cat. (as "Carnival").

New York. Grace Borgenicht Gallery. "Max Beckmann: Paintings and Works on Paper," February 3–29, 1984, unnumbered cat. (as "Variété [Carnival]," 1934).

Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Fine Art. "Works by Max Beckmann," October 21, 1984–January 13, 1985, unnumbered cat. (fig. 2; as "Carnival," 1934).

Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig. "Max Beckmann: Gemälde 1905–1950," July 21–September 23, 1990, no. 55 (as "Variété [Quappi]").

Frankfurt. Städelsche Kunstinstitut. "Max Beckmann: Gemälde 1905–1950," October 10, 1990–January 13, 1991, no. 55.

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Max Beckmann and Paris: Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Rouault," September 25, 1998–January 3, 1999, no. 33 (as "Varieté [Quappi]").

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Max Beckmann and Paris: Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Rouault," February 6–May 9, 1999, no. 33.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Max Beckmann Prints," July 14, 2000–January 7, 2001, no catalogue.

Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig. "Max Beckmann: Von Angesicht zu Angesicht," September 17, 2011–January 22, 2012, no. 186 (as "Variété [Quappi] / Vaudeville Act").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Max Beckmann in New York," October 19, 2016–February 20, 2017, no. 21.

Max Beckmann. Letters to Curt Valentin. October 25, 1937 and April 5, 1946, published in Ref. Gallwitz and Harter 1996, pp. 24 (letter 668), 119 (letter 768).

Alfred M. Frankfurter in "Critics' Choice at the Armory Show." Art News 44 (October 1–14, 1945), ill. p. 24, calls it "Carnival" in the collection of the Buchholz Gallery.

Benno Reifenberg and Wilhelm Hausenstein. Max Beckmann. Munich, 1949, pp. 60, 74–75, nos. 328 and 372, pl. 50 (first state), list the two states of this picture separately, as "Dame mit Kopftuch und Gitarre," 1934, in the collection of Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York and as "Variété," 1937, in the Museum, Hartford.

C[harles]. C. C[unningham]. "Adelaide Milton de Groot Loan Collection." Wadsworth Atheneum Bulletin no. 13 (January 1950), p. 1, dates it 1936.

Frederick Zimmermann. Beckmann in America: The Address Delivered by Frederick Zimmermann Before the Max Beckmann Gesellschaft at Murnau on July 15, 1962. New York, 1967, pp. 13, 17 n. 8, calls it "Lady with Kerchief and Guitar".

Erhard Göpel and Barbara Göpel, ed. Max Beckmann: Katalog der Gemälde. Vol. 1, Katalog und Dokumentation. Bern, 1976, pp. 295–96, 527, 540, 557, no. 452, ill. p. 583 (first state), call it "Variété (Quappi)"; note that the first version of this picture was painted in Berlin in 1934 and that after its revision in Berlin or Amsterdam in 1937 [see Ref. Rewald 2016], Beckmann recorded it in his work list.

Erhard Göpel and Barbara Göpel, ed. Max Beckmann: Katalog der Gemälde. Vol. 2, Tafeln und Bibliographie. Bern, 1976, pl. 156.

Thomas Schlotterback in Five Thousand Years of Faces. Exh. cat., Bellevue Art Museum. Bellevue, Wash., 1983, unpaginated, dates it 1934; describes the masked figure as the "face of death," interpreting this picture as "a portent of the hidden terrors" of Nazi Germany.

Amelie Himmel in Max Beckmann: Gemälde 1905–1950. Ed. Klaus Gallwitz. Exh. cat., Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig. Stuttgart, 1990, pp. 156–57, no. 55, ill. (color), dates it 1937.

Klaus Gallwitz with Ursula Harter, ed. Max Beckmann Briefe. Vol. 3, 1937–1950. Munich, 1996, pp. 24, 119, 369, 418.

Cornelia Homburg in Max Beckmann and Paris: Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Rouault. Ed. Tobia Bezzola and Cornelia Homburg. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Cologne, 1998, pp. 61, 211, no. 33, ill. p. 144 (color).

Barbara C. Buenger in Max Beckmann. Von Angesicht zu Angesicht. Ed. Susanne Petri and Hans-Werner Schmidt. Exh. cat., Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig. Ostfildern, 2011, pp. 26, 29, 374, no. 186, fig. 5 (color) and ill. p. 191 (color).

Sabine Rewald. Max Beckmann in New York. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2016, pp. 28, 62, 92, 139 n. 56, no. 21, fig. 54 (first state), ill. p. 93 (color), notes that the wallpaper seen in the right background also appears in Beckmann's 1938 Amsterdam self-portrait, providing evidence that this picture was revised in Amsterdam.

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