Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Watercolor on paper mounted on maroon paper mounted on cardboard
10 5/8 × 14 3/8 in. (27 × 36.5 cm)
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1921/66 Kalte Stadt
[Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Munich, until 1925; sold in January 1925, for RM 350, to Mannheim]; Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim (1925–37; inv. no. 2194; confiscated on August 28, 1937 as "degenerate art" by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and brought to Depot Schloss Schönhausen, Berlin; EK inv. no. 6191; sold on February 20, 1939, for $50, to Karl Buchholz); [Curt Valentin (Buchholz Gallery), New York, 1939–40; sold in 1940 to Osborn]; Robert C. and Elodie Osborn, New York and Salisbury, Conn. (1940–74; sold in 1974 to Thaw); [E. V. Thaw & Co., New York, 1974; sold in 1974 to Berggruen]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1974–87; his gift to MMA)
Munich. Kunstverein. "Mannheimer Galerieankäufe," June 25–July 12,1933, checklist no. 15.
Kunstverein Erlangen. "Mannheimer Schreckenskammer," July 23–August 13,1933.
New York. Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin). "Contemporary European Painters & Sculptors," May 9–27, 1939, no. 7 (as "Frigid City").
New York. Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin) and Willard Gallery. "Paul Klee," October 9–November 2, 1940, no. 24 (as "Frigid City [Erstarrte Stadt]," lent by a private collection, New York).
Munich. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. "Paul Klee: Das Frühwerk 1883–1922," December 12, 1979–March 2, 1980, no. 445 (lent by a private collection, Switzerland).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selection Two: Twentieth-Century Art," June 4–September 2, 1985, no catalogue.
Düsseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Museum der Gegenwart—Kunst in öffentlichen Sammlungen bis 1937," September 11–November 15, 1987, no. 31.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 6–July 31, 1988, unnumbered cat. (p. 141).
Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Paul Klee: Die Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York und im Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," January 22–April 16, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 139).
London. Tate Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," May 17–August 13, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 139).
Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Paul Klee: Selección de sesenta obras. The Berggruen Klee Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1989–January 1990, no. 25.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee and Friends," June 9–November 26, 1995, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee in New York," July 26–December 1, 1996, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee at the Bauhaus," April 18–August 17, 1997, no catalogue.
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Sammlung Berggruen. "Klee aus New York: Hauptwerke der Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 4–October 18, 1998, no. 15.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Cities," June 22–September 5, 1999, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Best," May 24–September 22, 2002, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cityscapes by Klee and Feininger," September 25, 2002–January 26, 2003, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: His Years at the Bauhaus (1921–1931)," November 19, 2004–April 3, 2005, no catalogue.
New York. Neue Galerie. "Klee and America," March 10–May 22, 2006, unnumbered cat. (pl. 11).
Washington. Phillips Collection. "Klee and America," June 16–September 10, 2006, unnumbered cat.
Houston. Menil Collection. "Klee and America," October 6, 2006–January 14, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Das Universum Klee / The Klee Universe," October 31, 2008–February 8, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 250).
L. Scheewe inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 20, Kaufmann–Knilling. Leipzig, 1927, p. 425.
Will Grohmann. Paul Klee. Paris, 1929, pp. xxx–xxxi, no. 17, ill. p. 10, as in the collection of the Mannheim museum.
René Crevel. Paul Klee. Paris, 1930, ill. p. 22, as in the collection of the Mannheim museum.
John A. Thwaites. "Paul Klee and the Object." Parnassus 9 (November 1937), p. 11, calls it "Cold Town".
Franz Roh. "Entartete" Kunst: Kunstbarbarei im Dritten Reich. Hannover, 1962, p. 221.
Andreas Hüneke. "'Weg mit Zwitschermaschine & Paukenorgel!' Paul Klee und die Aktion 'Entartete Kunst'." Paul Klee. Vorträge der wissenschaftlichen Konferenz in Dresden, 19. und 20. Dezember 1984. Berlin, 1986, p. 68, notes that this picture was among five acquired by Buchholz on February 20, 1939.
Anette Kruszynski and Dirk Luckow inMuseum der Gegenwart-Kunst in öffentlichen Sammlungen bis 1937. Ed. Anette Kruszynski, Dirk Luckow, and Freya Mülhaupt. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Düsseldorf, 1987, p. 133, no. 31, ill., state that Buchholz acquired this picture probably as early as 1938.
Sabine Rewald. Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 140–43, 145, 278, 317, ill. (color, overall and detail, and bw), notes that it is one of the earliest among Klee's color-gradation series; paraphrases a March 14, 1940 letter from Lily Klee to Valentin expressing her relief that this picture, confiscated from the Kunsthalle Mannheim, was now owned by "an assistant of The Museum of Modern Art" [Elodie Osborn was the director of circulating exhibitions at the museum from 1935–48; photocopy of letter in archive file; Curt Valentin papers, III.A.14, Museum of Modern Art Archives, NY ].
Philippe Comte. Klee. [Paris], 1989, p. 86.
Robin Stemp. "Artist as Transmitter." Artist (September 1989), p. 16, ill.
Karoline Hille. Spuren der Moderne: Die Mannheimer Kunsthalle von 1918 bis 1933. PhD diss., Freie Universität. Berlin, 1994, pp. 168, 325, fig. 9.
Christoph Zuschlag. "Entartete Kunst": Ausstellungsstrategien im Nazi-Deutschland. Worms, 1995, pp. 60, 71.
Martin Bailey. "Revealed: What Happened to the "Degenerate" Art in Germany's Museums, from G to Z." Art Newspaper 8 (May 1997), reports that a 1941 list of "degenerate" art confiscated from German museums records that Buchholz purchased this picture for $50.
Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 3, 1919–1922. New York, 1999, p. 305, no. 2657, ill., list Galka Scheyer, 1939, in the provenance [Scheyer was offered the work on consignment from Curt Valentin in 1939, but Valentin sold it to Robert and Elodie Osborn, New York, in 1940; see Ref. Rewald 1988; email from the Klee Foundation, Bern, February 13, 2014 in archive file].
Christine Hopfengart. "Klee an den deutschen 'Museen der Gegenwart', 1916–1933." Paul Klee: Kunst und Karriere. Beiträge des Internationalen Symposiums in Bern. Ed. Oskar Bätschmann and Josef Helfenstein. Bern, 2000, pp. 85, 91, notes that Gustav Hartlaub, director of the Kunsthalle Mannheim, purchased this work from Hans Goltz in January 1925 for RM 350.
Osamu Okuda inKlee and America. Ed. Josef Helfenstein and Elizabeth Hutton Turner. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York. Houston, 2006, p. 298, colorpl. 11.
Charles W. Haxthausen inKlee and America. Ed. Josef Helfenstein and Elizabeth Hutton Turner. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York. Houston, 2006, pp. 163, 169–70.
David Carrier. "Klee and America." ArtUS no. 16 (January/February 2007), p. 58.
Roland März inPicasso and His Time. Ed. Hans-Jürgen Papies et al. 6th enl. ed. (1st ed., 1996). Berlin, 2013, ill. p. 302.
Anja Tiedemann. Die "Entartete" Moderne und ihr amerikanischer Markt: Karl Buchholz und Curt Valentin als Händler verfemter Kunst. [Berlin], 2013, p. 365, erroneously states that Valentin sold it to Galka Scheyer in 1939 [see Ref. Helfenstein and Rümelin 1999].