MoMA
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Street, Berlin. 1913
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Street, Berlin

1913
Not on view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
47 1/2 x 35 7/8" (120.6 x 91.1 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
274.1939

Kirchner created this painting in a period of loneliness and insecurity shortly after the Brücke group disbanded in 1913. It shows two well-dressed prostitutes strolling the streets, surrounded by furtively glancing men. For Kirchner, the prostitute was a symbol of the modern city, where glamour and danger, and intimacy and alienation necessarily coexisted, and everything was for sale. The intense, clashing colors heighten the excitement and anxiety, and the tilted horizon destabilizes the scene.

Gallery label from German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, March 27–July 11, 2011
Provenance information
The artist; Galerie Ludwig Schames, Frankfurt [1]; sold to the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1920 [2]; removed as "degenerate art" by the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1937 [3]; on consignment to Karl Buchholz, Berlin, 1939; to Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York, 1939; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, April 13, 1939 [4].
[1] Annegret Janda and Jörn Grabowski, eds., Kunst in Deutschland 1905-1937: Die verlorene Sammlung der Nationalgalerie im ehemaligen Kronprinzen-Palais, exh. cat. Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 1992, no. 202.
[2] Inventory no. A II 318 (Rosa Strasse mit Auto). On view at the Kronprinzen-Palais of the Nationalgalerie, Berlin until 1933 (ibid.). On loan from the Nationalgalerie, Berlin to the exhibition German Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 12-April 26, 1931 (no. 38).
[3] EK no. 16042: Strasse. Included in the exhibition "Degenerate Art," Hofgarten-Arkaden, Munich, July 19-November 30, 1937 and other venues (Berlin, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Salzburg).
[4] Included in the exhibition Art in Our Time, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 10- September 30, 1939 (no. 126).

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource