The Kaufmann's Art Collection

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Meisolus
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The Kaufmann's Art Collection

Post by Meisolus »

I follow the Art Institute of Chicago on Instagram, and they recently posted The Rock by Peter Blume

Image

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/56682/the-rock

In the 9th grade, when I was 15, I took a class trip to Chicago and we visited the Art Institute. I remember wandering around and finding this painting. A few of us were fascinated by it, but we didn't know what it all meant. I remember it frightening me a bit, but also being drawn to it. Reading the description I found, to my surprise, it belonged to Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann. They commissioned it and it hung at Fallingwater. In fact, the construction on the left is meant to represent Fallingwater. It was given to the Art Institute by Edgar Kaufmann Jr.

I remember there being some really great art at Fallingwater last time I visited. There were some Japanese prints - Hiroshige's I believe - and also a few paintings that impressed me (perhaps a Georgia O'Keefe? The fact that my memory is failing me on this is killing me.) But this raises some questions - first, where did this painting originally hang? Are there any pictures of it in situ? What else used to be at Fallingwater that isn't anymore?

I know that EK Jr. was quite the collector, but how much of it was his parent's art to begin with? I'd love to know more about their taste.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

(I periodically remind my peers that Edgar the younger spelled his personal suffix with a lower-case j---for the record.)

That painting raises questions: who is the artist, and what if anything has he said about this work ? What else has been said about it ?

https://bigthink.com/Picture-This/how-p ... ty-of-hope

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Blume

We should not forget his earlier painting, "House at Fallingwater" (1938), with its much more specific image of the Kaufmann's house:

http://www.all-art.org/art_20th_century/blume1.html

S

Meisolus
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:47 pm
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Post by Meisolus »

SDR,

Thank you for the link to the art exhibit. I'm excited there's a catalogue for it as I'm fascinated by Blume's Surrealism.

Looking at the Art Institute's website, the painting is apparently 5' x 6'. Where would that fit in Fallingwater? That's practically floor to ceiling in most rooms.

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Assuming that we know that the Kaufmanns owned the painting (do we know that ?), I'd have to guess that it was kept at their Pittsburg residence. I don't recall seeing it in any Fallingwater photo...and as you say, it wouldn't fit on most walls there---if any.

S

Meisolus
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:47 pm
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Post by Meisolus »

The Art Institute's page on the work says it was commissioned by the Kaufmanns and was on display at Fallingwater. The article you cited tells a slightly different story, but we know it belonged to the Kauffmans and was donated by EKj.

I emailed Fallingwater and asked if it used to be there. Hopefully I get a response.

Meisolus
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:47 pm
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Post by Meisolus »

Fallingwater sent me a very prompt reply. They said they had no record of The Rock being on display there. Furthermore, Franklin Toker's Fallingwater Rising says that the painting was displayed at either their Pittsburgh or Palm Springs residence.

I have now reached out to the Art Institute of Chicago for some additional answers. We'll see what I find.

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

https://www.academia.edu/22093442/_The_ ... view-paper

Scroll down for 2011 magazine article . . .

S

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