Modern and Contemporary Art
Bridge VMade in Germany, Europe
Lyonel Feininger, American (active Germany), 1871 - 1956
Oil on canvas© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
31 5/8 x 39 1/2 inches (80.3 x 100.3 cm)
Currently not on view
1951-31-2Purchased with the Bloomfield Moore Fund, 1951
LabelFeininger painted Bridge V as the last image in a series depicting an old stone bridge spanning the Ilm River in Oberweimar, Germany. The earliest painting in the series dates to 1913, the same year that Feininger exhibited with Vasily Kandinsky and the Blue Rider group, a loose association of German expressionist artists. This work—made six years later and soon after the artist joined the faculty of the avant-garde Bauhaus school—reflects a new mode of expression, inspired by Cubism, in which the subject dissolves into transparent layers and planes of muted colors.
On extended loan from the artist to the Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar (Germany), Schlossmuseum, 1923-1930 ; collection of the artist, Germany and New York, 1930 and still in 1944 ; with Curt Valentin, Buchholz Gallery, New York, by 1951; sold to PMA, March 1, 1951 .
1. See Rolf Bothe, "Paul Klee und Lyonel Feininger in den Ausstellungen der Weimarer Kunstsammlungen von 1920 bis 1930," in Aufstieg und Fall der Moderne (exh. cat.), Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar, 1999, p. 278-28, and no. 198, p. 305. The painting was one of 70 works by modern artists ordered to be removed from display at the museum in 1930 by the National Socialist Minister for Culture, Wilhelm Frick.
2. Lent by Feininger to the exhibition "Lyonel Feininger/Marsden Hartley", Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1944 (illus. p. 24). Feininger resettled permanently from Germany to the U.S. in 1937.
3. See copy of telegram dated 1 March 1951 from Henry Clifford (curator) to Curt Valentin (Fiske Kimball Records, PMA Archives, Box 7, f. 7; copy in curatorial file).