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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Woman and Girl (Frau und Mädchen)

Photo: Paul Macapia

Woman and Girl (Frau und Mädchen)

ca. 1922 - 23

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Germany, 1880 - 1938

In 1905 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a founding member of the German Expressionist group "Die Brücke," influenced by the modern metropolis as well as by Gauguin, Matisse, and African sculpture. After World War I he retreated to a farming community in Switzerland. This work records his embrace of nature and domesticity, portraying his cottage, decorated with wooden sculptures of Adam and Eve that he carved, his common-law wife, and a housemaid.
Oil on canvas
66 1/8 x 46 7/8 in.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard E. Fuller
Provenance: After entering the collection of the Staatliche Gemäldegalerie in Dresden, this painting was confiscated in 1937 by the German National Socialist (Nazi) government. The Nazi government disapproved of the use of abstract and distorted forms and this painting was confiscated as part of an effort to remove such so-called "degenerate" art from German national museums. Between August and October 1937, over sixteen thousand works of modern art were removed from German museums. Many of these works were subsequently destroyed. On Nov. 17, 1938, Ferdinand Möller was one of four German art dealers appointed by Hitler to the Verwertungskommission (disposal commission) to sell the confiscated "degenerate" art on the international art market. The works or the funds from their sale were often exchanged for art by the European Old Masters. Between 1938 and 1941, these dealers sold or traded thousands of works of modern art that might have otherwise been destroyed by the Nazis. After World War II ended Ferdinand Möller kept the painting in his private collection, leaving it to his widow upon his death. Mrs. Maria Möller-Garny sold the painting to the Seattle Art Museum in 1968. Because this painting was removed from a state-funded museum by the government in power, it was a legal seizure at the time. On January 24, 1938, Hitler issued a retroactive decree that museums would not be compensated for the losses of "degenerate" art. The Gemäldegalerie in Dresden museum is aware that the Kirchner is in the SAM collection (SAM correspondence, 1989-2006). Labels on the back of the painting are as follows: 1] "Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen; Düsseldorf Alleestrasse; Ausstellung Kirchner; Katalog Nr. 78." 2] "Nr. 2000; E.L. Kirchner; "Frau und Mädchen"; Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Köln."
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Image Coming Soon


Exhibition HistoryWinterthur, Switzerland, Kunstverein Winterthur, Gemälde-Ausstellung von E.L. Kirchner im Museum, June 22-July 13, 1924. Cat. no. 31

Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Galerie Ludwig Schames, Ausstellung E.L. Kirchner, Nov. 1925. Cat. no. 38

Lucerne, Switzerland, Deutsche Kunst: Meisterwerke des 20 Jahrhunderts, July 4-Oct. 2, 1953. Cat. no. 52

Düsseldorf, Germany, Düsseldorf Kunsthalle, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Sept. 9-Oct. 30, 1960. Cat. no. 78, reproduced

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: A Retrospective Exhibition, Nov. 23, 1968-Jan. 5, 1969. Circuit to: Pasadena, California, Pasadena Art Museum, Jan. 16-Feb. 23, 1969; Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 20-April 27, 1969. Text by Donald E. Gordon, cat. no. 55, p. 86-87, reproduced

Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Art Gallery, The Seattle Art Museum Lends, Mar. 13 - Apr. 11, 1976. No cat. no., reproduced on cover

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Anselm Kiefer and Germanic Tradition, June 4, 1999 - Jan. 2, 2000

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern in Europe: Featuring Selections from the Collection of Gladys & Sam Rubinstein, Nov. 5, 2004 - Apr. 17, 2005
Published ReferencesMcCann, Clark. Citizen Report, The Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington, April, 1997

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.