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Landscape in Upper Bavaria

Artist Max Beckmann (German, 1884–1950)
Title Landscape in Upper Bavaria (Landschaft in Oberbayern)
Date 1936
Medium Watercolor over charcoal and pencil on paper
Dimensions Image: 19 1/8 × 23 11/16 in. (48.6 × 60.2 cm)
Sheet: 19 1/8 × 23 11/16 in. (48.6 × 60.2 cm)
Framed: 25 3/8 × 31 1/2 × 1 1/8 in. (64.5 × 80 × 2.9 cm)
Credit Line Bernhard and Cola Heiden Collection, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2000.137

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About this Work

After 1933, Max Beckmann's works in German museums were confiscated by the Nazis, and many were included in the 1937 exhibition of "degenerate" art organized to expose and shame German modernists. During this period Beckmann frequently retreated to his family farm in Bavaria, which often appears in his landscapes. This image was painted in Ohlstadt bei Murnau, Upper Bavaria.
Enduring hard times in Amsterdam during the war years, Beckmann was supported by the patronage of Stephan Lackner, who gave him an annual stipend in return for a selection of work each year. Lackner, a childhood friend of Bernhard Heiden's, met Beckmann at the Heiden's home in Frankfurt; he gave this watercolor to the Heidens after visiting them in Detroit in 1946.

2000, Bequest to the Indiana University Art Museum from Bernhard Heiden, Bloomington, IN

1946–2000, Collection of Bernhard Heiden (1910–2000) and Cola Heiden (1910–1999), Bloomington, IN (gift from Stephan Lackner) [1]

1936–1946, Collection of Stephan Lackner (1910–2000), Paris, later Santa Barbara, CA (presumably purchase from the artist) [2]


[1] Bernhard Heiden (né Levi) and his wife Cola (née de Joncheere) Heiden emigrated to the United States in 1935 to escape persecution under the Third Reich’s antisemitic laws. They settled in Bloomington in 1946, where Bernhard was a member of the music school faculty until his retirement in 1981. (per museum donor files). Although the Heidens inherited much of their art collection from Bernhard’s parents, this watercolor drawing was a gift from Stephan Lackner, who knew Bernhard as the two were still students at the gymnasium in Frankfurt (Bernhard Heiden in conversation with Kathleen Foster, former Indiana University Art Museum curator of Western art after 1800, on November 15, 1999; transcript in museum files).

[2] Lackner bought his first painting from Beckmann in 1933, marking the start of a lifelong friendship. He would purchase numerous works from Beckmann over the next several years. In 1938, Lackner also made a formal agreement with Beckmann to purchase his paintings, thereby supporting him financially during his exile in Amsterdam, 1937–47 (as detailed in a letter from Stephen Lackner to Max Beckmann dated September 3, 1938).

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

March 3–September 17, 2006, "Max Beckmann: The Watercolors and Pastels," Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, March 3–May 28, 2006; Fundación del Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, June 26–September 17, 2006 (cat. no. 81)

September 17–December 10, 2000, "A Legacy of German Expressionism: Gifts from Bernhard and Cola Heiden," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

September 7–February 3, 1985, "Max Beckmann Retrospective," Haus der Kunst, Munich, February 25–April 23, 1984; Nationalgalerie, Berlin, May 18–July 29, 1984; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, September 7–November 4, 1984; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, December 9, 1984–February 3, 1985 (cat. no. 184, with wrong dimensions)

October 16, 1977–May 28, 1978, "Max Beckmann: Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, 1903-1950," Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany, October 16-December 11, 1977; Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany, January 7-February 26, 1978; Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, March 18-May 21, 1978 (cat. no. 154, with wrong dimensions)

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"Landscape in Upper Bavaria | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.