Little Walter’s Toys, August Macke
August Macke
Little Walter’s Toys
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August Macke

Little Walter’s Toys, 1912

50.5 x 60.4 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 1192
Acquired in 1959
Not on display


About the Work

This is a very private work, so it is hardly surprising that it remained in the possession of the Macke family for many years - until 1959. In addition to a potted plant, the artist has painted the toys of his two-year-old son Walter: soft toys, balls and a Russian matryoshka doll. The work acquires a remarkable, child-friendly clarity through the bright light shining down from top left, the striking top view and the bold use of the intrinsic value of the colours. The red-and-green contrast enlivens the composition, whose expressivity is further heightened by the black contours and the white patches on the bodies of the soft toys.

Work Data

Basic Information

Little Walter’s Toys
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Captions Added Later
Stempel Verso: August Macke Nachlass

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
CC BY-SA 4.0 Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1959

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions


  • 41E still life of miscellaneous objects
  • 43C78 (playing with) toys
  • 48C8551 puppet
  • 43C7146 ball games (children's games)

Research and Discussion


Object History
Nachlass August Macke, 1914
Galerie Großhennig, Düsseldorf, seit mindestens 1957
verkauft im Oktober 1959 an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

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Conservation and Restoration

Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .

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