Beckmann was in the habit of carrying a notebook, pad of paper or exercise book with him to record his everyday observations. Depending on the format – horizontal or vertical – demanded by the motif, the artist turned his sketchbook this way or that without regard for the printed lines. On four sheets dating from 1920 (Inv. No. SG 2981, SG 2982, SG 2983, SG 2989), he sketched scenes of funfairs and variety shows. He depicted the throng and the exaggerated gestures and facial expressions of the artists, boxers and spectators. In his own words, he was a “hunter of individualities” seeking to capture the “great orchestra of humanity”.
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 successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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