29 October 2013
FEININGER, Lyonel (1871-1956). Autograph letter signed ("Lyonel Feininger"), to Hesing, Weimar, Staatl Bauhaus, 1 July 1922.
One page, 4to, onion skin (airmail paper), original woodcut letterhead by the artist in the top left corner ("Ships with Man on Pier" Prasse W216). In German. Provenance: acquired 1956.
"I WRITE AND SPEAK WITH THE UTMOST RELUCTANCE ABOUT ART, ESPECIALLY MY ART"
Feininger tells an American journalist he "cannot give a precise answer to the question of whether you can interview me in Weimar. Just imagine my shock--the word 'interview' makes me jump. America--listen, it's the land of my birth, which I have not seen or set foot on since I became an artist, and which I do not even want to visit as an artist! Oh yes, I know the interviewers! Now you see what I mean by being precise. Now you see who was vague among the two of us. If I can help you with anything else I will give it a try, but I write and speak with the utmost reluctance about art, especially my art --." Born in New York City, Feininger moved to Berlin with his German-born parents in 1888 and enjoyed a brilliant career as a painter and caricaturist, with many critically acclaimed exhibitions of his work in the 1910s and '20s. He designed the cover for the 1919 Bauhaus manifesto and taught at the institute for many years, until the Nazi's rise to power forced him to return to the United States, where he lived and worked until his death.
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