Upper left: O K / 1931
Until at least 1932, the artist [see note 1]. By 1935 until at least 1946, Franz Kochmann (b. 1872), Dresden and Utrecht [see note 2]. By 1956, Willy Hahn, Stuttgart [see note 3]; sold by Willy Hahn to the Lock Galleries, New York [see note 4]; 1961, sold by Lock Galleries to the MFA for $28,000. (Accession Date: November 8, 1961) NOTES:  At the end of 1931, Kokoschka made plans to send the painting to the Moderne Galerie, Vienna, to which he offered it for sale. Correspondence between the artist and the Moderne Galerie (Archives of the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Zl. 37/1932, kindly provided by Thomas Geldmacher) attests that the work was at the gallery by January, 1932, when negotiations for its purchase were underway. However, the gallery declined to buy it. Kokoschka also mentioned his hopes to sell the painting in several published letters; see "Oskar Kokoschka, Briefe, II, 1919-1934," ed. Olda Kokoschka and Heinz Spielmann (Düsseldorf, 1985), letters to Alice Lahmann, late 1931, pp. 240-241 and Friedrich T. Gubler, January 9, 1932, pp. 244-245. By March the painting was apparently on the Paris art market. In a letter to Julius Böhler (March 12, 1932; "Oskar Kokoschka, Briefe," pp. 249-251) Kokoschka wrote that he had the painting at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris. Bernheim-Jeune has been unable to confirm that the painting was ever at the gallery. The painting was exhibited in the summer of that year at the 18th Biennale Exhibition, Venice. The exhibition catalogue states that it belonged to the National Gallery, Dresden. Dr. Birgit Dalbajewa, Galerie Neuer Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (correspondence of May 9, 2005) attests that the painting was never in the possession of the National Gallery, but suggests that it might have been lent from Dresden. Hans Posse, at that time the director of the National Gallery of Dresden, curated the Biennale and negotiated the loans. Moreover, Franz Kochmann, a Dresden resident, owned the painting by 1935; it is possible that he acquired it at about this time, lending it to the Biennale through the National Gallery. See below, n. 2.  Edith Hoffmann, "Kokoschka: Life and Work" (Boston, 1947), p. 330, cat. no. 246, first published the painting as being in the collection of Franz Kochmann, who emigrated from Dresden to Utrecht in 1940. He had lent the painting to the "Ausstellung" (exhibition) held at the Kunsthaus, Zurich, April 18 - May 15, 1935, cat. no. 99, a loan negotiated by Hans Posse of the National Gallery, Dresden. As indicated by documents issued by the Gemeentemuseum and currently housed in the Municipal Archive of the City of the Hague (file no. 108), on April 4, 1940, Mr. Kochmann deposited several works of art -- including this painting -- at the Gemeentemuseum, the Hague. On May 2, 1946, the Gemeentemuseum returned the painting to him. Correspondence from Hans Janssen, curator, Gemeentemuseum (March 15, 2005) confirms this. Copies of the Gemeentemuseum documents, from 1940 and 1946, are in the MFA curatorial file.  Hans Maria Wingler, "Oskar Kokoschka: das Werk des Malers" (Salzburg, 1956), p. 321, cat. no. 262 (as in a private collection, Stuttgart). Hahn was a close friend of the artist as well as an important collector of his work. See Hans Kinkel, "Der Sammler Willy Hahn wird neunzig," Weltkunst 58, no. 14 (July 15, 1986), p. 2013.  According to a letter from Charles K. Lock, Lock Galleries, to Diana Hallowell, MFA (January 12, 1962).
Seth K. Sweetser Fund
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro Litteris, Zurich.