Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection
From 3 July to 7 October 2018, the Met Breuer, the space dedicated to modern art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will host “Obsession, nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection”. A selection of about 50 works from the Scofield Thayer collection – famous for its paintings of artists from the Parisian school and a magnificent series of watercolors, drawings and erotic prints by Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele and Pablo Picasso – will be exhibited together for the first time. The event also celebrates the centenary of the death of Klimt and Schiele.
An aesthete born into a wealthy family, Scofield Thayer (1889-1982) was co-editor and editor from 1919 to 1926 of the avant-garde literary magazine The Dial, a publication that was instrumental in acquainting Americans with the works of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, Arthur Schnitzler, Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust, accompanying their writings with reproductions of modern art.
Thayer put his collection together in a very short time, from 1921 to 1923, collecting works while journeying between London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna. During a stay in Vienna, while a patient of Sigmund Freud, he acquired a large group of watercolors and drawings by Schiele and Klimt, who at that time were quite unknown in America. After returning to the United States he had his first big success in 1924 when part of his collection was exhibited at the Montross Gallery in New York and later at the Worcester Art Museum. After a series of triumphs and accolades, he decided in 1925 to donate his valuable collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso is organized by Sabine Rewald, Jacques and Natasha Gelman. The exhibition will be accompanied by a special catalogue and an essay by James Dempsey, professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute who has a profound knowledge of the Scofield Thayer collection.