Galka Scheyer and Duchamp

As a young adult, I loved going to the Pasadena Art Museum (part of the Norton Simon since 1974) because of the Galka Scheyer collection of Der Blaue Reiter (1911 to 1914) and later, the Blue Four: Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Alexej Jawlensky. There were other artists in her collection–all superbly selected. But then, she was a painter, art dealer/collector and one of the founders of the Blue Four. Some of the artists I loved – Franz Marc and Kandinsky; one puzzled me: Paul Klee. Franz Marc was killed in World War I; this is a sample of his style with Blue Horse I:,FranzBlue_Horse_I-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Paul Klee’s Noctural Festivity is reasonably typical of Klee’s work.

Some years later, The Pasadena Art Museum held the first retrospective of Marcel Duchamp’s work (1963). It was memorable. Duchamp was there and played chess with a nude Eve Babitz. A large collection of Duchamp’s works were on display. Nude Descending a Staircase, the Fountain, L.H.O.O.Q., the Large Glass. Memorable!

The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) was begun and worked on for some years (1915-1923) and after Duchamp’s death, it was repaired and then still later, the lower panel was reconstructed. If you look at the link above, you can see the Large Glass as I saw it with breakage. I’m not sure which I prefer; Duchamp did not replace the glass during his lifetime though he did place glass on either side of the broken panes. I believe the version I saw with its webs of cracked glass is preferable.


Perhaps his most confusing is BoƮte-en-valise :

What is this? Three ready mades and reproductions of paintings. Duchamp explains: “It was a new form of expression for me. Instead of painting something the idea was to reproduce the paintings that I loved so much in miniature. I didn’t know how to do it. I thought of a book, but I didn’t like that idea. Then I thought of the idea of the box in which all my works would be mounted like a small museum, a portable museum, so to speak, and here it is in this valise.” ( Quite thought provoking.





  1. Michael Day says

    This is wonderful. As a high school art student, I was completely carried away by the surrealist. especially Dali. but I liked all of them. I can’t imagine seeing Duchamp in person.

Speak Your Mind