Gerald Murphy. Wasp and Pear. 1929
Gerald Murphy

Wasp and Pear

1929
On view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
36 3/4 x 38 5/8" (93.3 x 97.9 cm)
Credit
Gift of Archibald MacLeish
Object number
1130.1964
Department
Painting and Sculpture

In 1922, upon discovering the Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris in the window of a Paris gallery, Murphy told his wife, "If this is painting, then this is what I want to do." Soon after, he ended his career as a landscape architect and turned to painting. In Wasp and Pear, Murphy combined an abstract background with an anatomically detailed but highly stylized wasp, pear, leaf, and honeycomb. Murphy credited "the large technically drawn and colored charts of fruits, vegetables . . . [and] insects" in a classroom where he had studied during his military training as his inspiration. He painted only fourteen known works, seven of which remain.

Gallery label from 2012

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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