The following is an excerpt from the memoirs of Ben Norris, Chairman of the Art Department at the University of Hawaii from 1946-1955, a close friend of Max Ernst and the first owner of the present work:
In the summer of 1952 Max and Dorothea [Tanning] became our first famous Summer Session visitors. I certainly did not call them by their first names when they arrived at the Airport. But before they left, we were on such friendly terms that I now use their personal names while writing of the pleasures and satisfactions of that summer...
I had arranged for a show of Max's paintings at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. When the date of their scheduled traveling came up, a maritime shipping strike was still going on. No boats were sailing. So Max and Dorothea had to come on the still-novel Pan American Clipper, which flew once a week from the West Coast. They were able to pack up a bunch of miniatures that could be then mounted on the wall for a museum show. The Honolulu Academy of Arts rose to the occasion, giving two whole galleries to the Ernst show, rising to the occasion with a playful and insightful installation.
At this time in his career Max was producing these miniature paintings, tiny rectangles made through a process of decalomania... They were thoroughly surrealist images, amazing revelations, standing independently among the equally surrealist verbiage of his poems.