Charles Demuth (American, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1883–1935 Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Watercolor and graphite on paper
17 5/8 x 11 5/8 in. (44.8 x 29.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1923
Not on view
The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired its first Demuth in 1923, when it purchased this floral study of zinnias and pinecones from the artist's dealer, Charles Daniel. Writing to Stieglitz, Demuth discusses his mixed emotions at being chosen before such artists as Dove, Hartley, and O'Keeffe (only Marin's work had previously been acquired in 1921): "Why mine should be there and others missing, -- well, the gods alone can tell. But as you say, it may lead to something. Of course, I don't want to seem a pose as not being pleased… - for I am - but also a bit embarrassed…They did take one of my best things, -- which is lucky or whatever." To collector A.E. Gallatin, who donated a second Demuth watercolor, Cyclamen, to the Metropolitan Museum in 1923, Demuth quipped: "Must one now I wonder feel 'old mastery.' I hope not."
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower center): C. Demuth –/ 1918 –
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Charles Demuth," March 7–June 11, 1950, no. 77.
Staten Island Museum. "20th Century American Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 9–28, 1978, brochure no. 13 (as "Flowers").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Charles Demuth," May 9–August 31, 2003, no catalogue.