Modern and Contemporary Art
Max Ernst, American (born Germany), 1891 - 1976
Oil on canvas© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
25 1/2 x 21 1/4 inches (64.8 x 54 cm)
Currently not on view
1950-134-86The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950
With Julien Levy Gallery, New York, by 1932? . Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, by 1936 .
1. The painting was exhibited at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, in its Ernst solo exhibition of 1932: see the photograph reproduced in Schaffner and Jacobs, Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery, 1998, fig. 36, p. 97, which shows the painting being hung by Julien and Joella Levy. (According to Marie Difilippantonio, Levy Gallery archivist, there was no catalog for the exhibition, and the exhibition announcement does not list titles.) However, the Arensbergs apparently did not buy the painting directly from Levy; he states in a letter dated August 20, 1951, that their only purchase from him was Duchamp's "La Mariée" in 1937 (PMA, Arensberg Archive, Box 30). The purchase may have been made through Howard Putzel in Los Angeles, as the Levy Gallery sales ledger records the purchase of a painting entitled "Coquille Magique" by [Howard] Putzel in October 1935, among other works by Ernst acquired by Putzel.
2. The acquisition date is indicated by a typed sticker on the stretcher which reads: "Sea Shell by Max Ernst, owned by Walter C. Arensberg / 7065 Hillside, Hollywood, Cal. / 1/22/36 via box A-53 (from Bachman)".
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