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Announcement
April 14, 2011

Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage

Princeton University
Merzbau

Schwitters was trained as a painter, and despite his experiments with other media, he never ceased painting. Indeed, painting informs almost all of his work, as witnessed by the passages of gouache, chalk, oils, paste and watercolor in his collages and assemblages—additions that transform the materials they cover. Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage includes approximately eighty works of art spanning his career from 1918 to 1947, including a reconstruction of Schwitters’s first Merzbau, destroyed by Allied bombs in 1943.

Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage was organized by the Menil Collection in Houston. It is curated by Isabel Schulz, co-editor of the Kurt Schwitters catalogue raisonné and curator of the Kurt Schwitters Archive at the Sprengel Museum Hannover and Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection. A fully illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Schulz and noted scholars Leah Dickerman and Gwendolen Webster accompanies the exhibition. At Princeton, the exhibition will be supplemented with archival material from Princeton University’s Marquand and Firestone Libraries, including Dada periodicals and broadsides from the 1920s, an issue of Schwitters’ journal Merz, a first edition of his book of poems Anna Blume, Dichtungen (1919), and exhibition catalogues that document the reception of his work in the United States. A recording of Schwitters performing his phonetic poem, Ursonate (1922–32), will also be highlighted.

For more information on this exhibition and its underwriters, please visit artmuseum.princeton.edu/news/Schwitters.

About the Museum
Founded in 1882, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the nation’s leading art museums. Its collections feature approximately 72,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary, and concentrating geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, Asia and the Americas, with particular strengths in Chinese painting and calligraphy, the art of the ancient Americas and pictorial photography. The Museum is committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions while serving as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world. Intimate in scale yet expansive in scope, the Museum offers a respite from the rush of daily life, a revitalizing experience of extraordinary works of art and an opportunity to delve deeply into the study of art and culture.

The Princeton University Art Museum is located at the heart of the Princeton campus, a short walk from Princeton’s Nassau Street. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free highlight tours of the collections are given every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. For information, please call (609) 258-3788 or visit the Museum’s Web site at artmuseum.princeton.edu.

Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage was organized by The Menil Collection in cooperation with the Sprengel Museum Hannover and the Kurt and Ernst Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover. The exhibition was curated by Isabel Schulz

The exhibition in Princeton has been made possible by the generous support of the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Exhibitions Fund; the Apparatus Fund; the Judith and Anthony B. Evnin, Class of 1962, Exhibition Fund; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Frances and Elias Wolf, Class of 1920, Fund; the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Program Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art; an anonymous foundation; and the Partners of the Princeton University Art Museum. Additional support has been made possible by the Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum.

The exhibition in Houston was realized through the generous support of: Laura and John Arnold; Houston Endowment Inc.; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Catherine Morgan; Mrs. Nancy Brown Negley; Karen and Harry Pinson; Louisa Stude Sarofim; Leslie and Shannon Sasser; the Taub Foundation in memory of Ben Taub, Henry J. N. Taub, and Carol J. Taub; Lionstone Group; Allison Sarofim; Marion Barthelme and Jeff Fort; Sissy and Denny Kempner, Northern Trust; Ann and Mathew Wolf; Nina and Michael Zilkha; the City of Houston; and by proceeds from the inaugural evening of MEN OF MENIL. Exhibition underwriter Continental Airlines is the preferred airline of the Menil Collection.

The Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung was founded by the Schwitters family with the support of NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, the Savings Bank Foundation of Lower Saxony, the Niedersächsische Lottostiftung, the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States, the State Minister at the Federal Chancellery for Media and Cultural Affairs, the Ministry for Science and Culture of the Land of Lower Saxony, and the City of Hannover.

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