Kees van Dongen Modjesko, Soprano Singer 1908

  • Not on view

Van Dongen, a Dutch artist who lived in Paris, was briefly a member of the Dresden-based artist group Brücke in 1908. The group’s founders, including Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, invited him and other artists from across Europe working with bold, expressive color to join their ranks, declaring, “Whoever renders directly and authentically that which impels him to create is one of us.” Van Dongen painted this portrait at the beginning of the year, when Modjesko, an African American singer and drag performer, was headlining at a music hall in Paris.

Gallery label from 2022
Oil on canvas
39 3/8 x 32" (100 x 81.3 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter A. Rübel
Object number
© 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

(1907) 1908, Kees van Dongen, Paris.
1908, MM. Bernheim Jeune & Cie., Paris.
December 4, 1908 - August 15, 1935, Paul Signac (1863-August 15, 1935), Paris, purchased from/through MM. Bernheim Jeune & Cie.
August 15, 1935 - May 22, 1942, Ginette Signac, Paris, inherited from her father Paul Signac and sold by Berthe Signac (née Roblès, 1862-1942) through Hôtel Drouot (Tableaux Modernes, May 22, 1942, lot 133), Paris to unknown buyer.
[1949, Galerie Charpentier (stock no. 180), Paris]
1951, Mme B. Charlet, Paris.
By 1955, Perls Gallery (stock no. 5608, photo no. 1866), New York, purchased from three unknown owners.
September 19, 1955 - September/November 1955, Peter A. and Elizabeth Rübel, Greenwich, CT, purchased from Perls Gallery.
1955, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as gift from Mr. and Mrs. Peter A. Rübel.

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