Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

[Mystery of the Street]

Artist:
Umbo (Otto Umbehr) (German, Düsseldorf 1902–1980 Hanover)
Date:
1928
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
29 x 23.5 cm (11 7/16 x 9 1/4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.49
Rights and Reproduction:
© Galerie Rudolf Kicken, Cologne and Phyllis Umbehr, Frankfurt/M.
Not on view
This photograph does not describe what Otto Umbehr saw when he looked out his window in Berlin, but what he discovered when he turned his overhead view of the street upside-down. His simple inversion (indicated by his signature "Umbo" in the lower right corner) posits an unsettling world in which the insubstantial dominates the substantial, and imagination intercepts cognition.
Inscription: Signed in ink on print, recto, bottom right: "UMBO"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, top center: "Mysterium der Strasse"; bottom right: "JL#48"; inscribed in blue pencil on print, verso, top right: "347/75"
Julien Levy, New York; Mrs. Julien Levy; [Marcuse Pfeifer, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (May 7, 1981)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 52".

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 1," December 4, 1992–May 4, 1993.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 38," June 29, 2004–September 26, 2004.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 47," September 20, 2007–January 6, 2008.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 110.

Phillips, Lisa. The American Century: Art & Culture, 1900–1950. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. p. 299.



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