woman in dress holding gun in shooting booth; target over her PR shoulder with a dog-like animal below; ; number four embossed into lower center of window mat

© Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C New York %2F VG Bild-Kunst%2C Bonn

Schiessbude, from "Jahrmarkt", 1921 (pubished 1922)

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In "Jahrmarkt" ("Annual Fair"), Max Beckmann imagines the world as a traveling carnival teeming with an eclectic cast of actors, dancers, and circus entertainers who perform in the theater of life. Beckmann casts himself as a carnival barker in the series’ opening plate, ringing a small bell to announce the show, and cajoling viewers to enter the Circus Beckmann, a curious realm of outsiders and misfits. Many of the protagonists are friends and acquaintances of the artist; he even includes his wife Minna in the series, who famously appears along with Beckmann balancing on a tightrope. As the scenes of the portfolio unfold, a pageant of players takes the stage: a tall man, a sharpshooter, a snake charmer, exotic dancers, musicians, and other circus entertainers perform in succession. In one plate from the series, Beckmann presents a carousal crowded with a diverse lot of humanity, an apt metaphor for the apparent aimlessness of life. The series was inspired in part by Beckmann’s visits to the Prater, a Viennese amusement park, where he observed the performers and visitors and sketched them from life. Justly celebrated for its incisive observations on the human condition, "Jahrmarkt" is a brilliant example of Beckmann’s mature graphic style and seminal publication of German Expressionism.

Details
Title
Schiessbude, from "Jahrmarkt"
Artist Life
1884–1950
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2014.124.4
Provenance
Private collection, USA; Sale, Galerie Kornfeld, Berne, Switzerland, sale 219, part 1, June 20, 1997, no. 12]; private collection, Germany and Washington, D.C.; [C.G. Boerner, New York until 2008, sold to Harrison]; Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, Wayzata, Minn. (2008-2014; given to MIA)
Catalogue Raisonne
Hofmaier 194 IIBa; Glaser 169; Gallwitz 166
Curator Approved

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woman in dress holding gun in shooting booth; target over her PR shoulder with a dog-like animal below; ; number four embossed into lower center of window mat

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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