Student (Costume Study for Goll's "Methusalem") (recto) Amalie, Ida, and Set Designs (Studies for Goll's "Methusalem") (verso)

Student (Costume Study for Goll's "Methusalem") (recto) Amalie, Ida, and Set Designs (Studies for Goll's "Methusalem") (verso)

1922

Part of a set. See all set records

George Grosz

(German, 1893-1959)

Pen and brown-black ink (applied with the aid of drafting tools) and watercolor

Sheet: 52.7 x 38 cm (20 3/4 x 14 15/16 in.)

Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1966.50

Fun Fact

George Grosz's interest in mechanization extended to his drawing practice: he used drafting tools, like a straight-edge and compass, to execute works such as this one.

Description

Student belongs to a series of drawings George Grosz made for Iwan Goll’s 1921 play Methusalem: The Eternal Bourgeois. This satirical drama pitted a radical student against Methusalem, a bourgeois capitalist. Grosz’s drawing shows the student’s costume; the actor would have spoken from behind a full-size, mask-like shield made from various machine parts and other commonplace objects. The hinged metal head reveals the inner workings of a corrupt or incompetent mind. In Grosz’s characterization, neither the radical student nor the bourgeois capitalist was more righteous than the other. Grosz was an outlier to Expressionism, rejecting the idea of the artist as mystical prophet in favor of the artist as an ordinary worker, an idea inspired by the socialist rhetoric of the day.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.