WHAT WILL YOU FIND IN THIS OEUVRE CATALOGUE?
The online catalogue of the complete oeuvre of Sophie Taeuber-Arp currently records a total of 981 objects.
All known works by the artist are presented as an overview in chronological order. In this way not only the artistic spectrum of her work across a range of mediums but also the progression of her oeuvre can be seen. (Regarding the latter aspect, please also take note of the remarks on dating).
An advanced search function at the top of the page allows you to search for particular artworks using preconfigured drop-down lists or your own choice of search terms.
When you select a work title, a datasheet containing the basic information about the given object is displayed. This information is structured by title, contributing artist(s), the dating, material, technique and dimensions, and the current location of the artwork. Catalogue raisonné (CR) numbers, signatures, inscriptions and estate stamps are listed if applicable.
Apart from these basic details, as work on the catalogue progresses, each artwork will be accompanied by a short commentary with more detailed information as well as extensive literature and exhibition references. An illustration of each object will be added if possible.
BASIS OF THIS OEUVRE CATALOGUE
The digital catalogue is based on the internal database of the Stiftung Arp e. V., which documents all of Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s known works. This collection of data is being edited for the oeuvre catalogue and incrementally made available online.
All the entries reflect the most recent state of research. They are based on the available information from the art-historical literature and the expertise of the respective compilers.
A substantial portion of the online oeuvre catalogue is based on the “Catalogue de l’œuvre de Sophie Taeuber” by Hugo Weber. This, the first and hitherto only, catalogue raisonné records about 500 of the artist’s works and appeared in 1948 within the publication “Sophie Taeuber-Arp”, edited by Georg Schmidt.
DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THIS OEUVRE CATALOGUE
Our aim is to bring together all known works by Sophie Taeuber-Arp – the entire spectrum of her artistic production – and permanently document them in the form of an annotated, critical online catalogue.
We endeavour to make it as complete as possible; nevertheless, there are certain objects for which more precise information cannot (yet) be given due to a lack of sources. We are always pleased to receive new leads, supplementary information and missing illustration material. Please send us a message at info[at]sophietaeuberarp.org or make use of our contact form. All data transmitted to us by you will, of course, be treated as confidential.
New research findings may give rise to changes to the data. The online oeuvre catalogue is therefore regularly checked, updated, and corrected if applicable. On the page for each artwork, the date of the most recent changes is shown under “Last updated”.
Although the data are checked with care, errors cannot be ruled out entirely. All information is provided without guarantee.
The online oeuvre catalogue contains all the works of Taeuber-Arp known to art-historical researchers: works on paper (drawings, gouaches, watercolours, collages and prints), oil paintings, reliefs, sculptures and models, works of decorative art, photography and collaborative works with other artists.
TITLES OF WORKS
The titles of most of the works were not coined by the artist herself. The majority of them passed into use from the publication “Sophie Taeuber-Arp” (1948). The “Catalogue de l’œuvre” by Hugo Weber, which formed part of that publication, was in French. For that reason, the majority of the titles of works in the online catalogue are recorded in French. The decision to adopt the French titles of works is based on the rationale that they can be traced the furthest back in time or were in use for the longest period of time. However, if older titles that were verifiably used during the artist’s lifetime should come to light, these will be given preference. They are marked with an asterisk, for example “Relief en bois*”. All other entries for titles have been taken from the literature. These are marked by square brackets, for example “[Beaded Bag]”. Variant titles are listed under “Additional titles”, stating the source wherever possible.
The catalogue’s classification system, which Hugo Weber developed posthumously, is based on a subdivision of Taeuber-Arp’s works into thematic groups within the oeuvre. Each such group is chronologically sorted under a collective heading, which normally describes the main attribute that the works have in common (e.g. “Compositions verticales-horizontales”). The descriptive titles of the individual works are probably informed by Taeuber-Arp’s writings about her works: in a handwritten list of loans for the exhibition “Konstruktivsten” (1937), for example, simple titles such as “Kreisbild” (“Circle Picture”) or “Relief” occur. A study and classification of the titles assigned by the artist is desirable and should still be undertaken.
Each object has been given a unique identifier, its “STARP-ID” number. The purpose of the STARP-ID is the systematic registration of the individual objects. It allows information to be matched to a particular artwork without ambiguity, and relates back to the internal database of the Stiftung Arp e. V.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp only dated her works occasionally. Particularly between 1939 and 1942 – the final years of her artistic production – more works are found which she herself dated. If a work is dated by the artist herself, this can be checked under the category heading “Signature/inscription”.
The majority of datings were supplied posthumously by Hugo Weber. He established his datings with the aid of previously dated works, photographs, statements made by individuals close to the artist (particularly Hans Arp) or by means of stylistic comparisons.
At this juncture we expressly point out that the resulting dates are approximate only, and that reliable dating of many of Taeuber-Arp’s works remains problematic.
All other entries for datings are taken from the literature or based on the expert opinion of the respective compilers.
Under “Material/technique”, details are given about the support materials and painting mediums. The entries have been compiled by inspecting the works and consulting the art-historical literature.
Uncertainties concerning the materials used are indicated by a question mark (?) in brackets. In some cases – particularly in respect of the colour pencil drawings – technical analyses of the materials will still be necessary in order to determine the precise composition of the materials used.
The dimensions of the works are stated as height x width in centimetres. The measurements relate to the size of the given object or picture, meaning that for works on paper, the dimensions given refer to the size of the entire sheet, not just the image. For sculptures, models and reliefs, the depth is included as the third measurement. The catalogue compilers measure all works to which we can obtain access. In the numerous cases where this is not possible, the stated dimensions are taken essentially from the literature or from information provided by the respective owners.
Apart from graphic works, reliefs in particular were executed in multiple versions. The number of instances of the respective object is listed under “Edition”. For printed graphic works, the size of the edition is stated wherever possible.
CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ (CR) SCHMIDT/WEBER 1948
The one and only printed catalogue raisonné to date – published by Georg Schmidt and Hugo Weber in 1948 – covers around 500 of the artist’s works. The corresponding catalogue raisonné numbers are listed under the short-form reference “CR Schmidt/Weber 1948”. Weber imposed his numbering within the classification system he established based on groups of works. He assigned each work a year number and a serial number (e.g. 1916/1, 1916/2 or 1917/1, 1917/2, etc.).
If you already know the catalogue raisonné number, you can search for the corresponding work directly in the online oeuvre catalogue using the advanced search function.
CR GIEDION-WELCKER 1957; CR TRIER 1968; CR RAU 1981
Some sculptural works executed by Sophie Taeuber-Arp in collaboration with Hans Arp are found in oeuvre catalogues on the works of Hans Arp. These publications are “Hans Arp” by Carola Giedion-Welcker (1957), “Hans Arp. Skulpturen 1957–1966” by Hans Trier (1968) and “Hans Arp. Die Reliefs. Œuvre-Katalog” by Bernd Rau (1981). The corresponding catalogue numbers have been included in the online oeuvre catalogue under the short-form references “CR Giedion-Welcker 1957”, “CR Trier 1968” and “CR Rau 1981” respectively.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp signed her works predominantly in the later years of her life. Under “Signature/inscription”, the artist’s own handwritten inscriptions (normally her signature and the date) are quoted, stating the position on the work and the original wording.
To coincide with the cataloguing of Taeuber-Arp’s works, an “oeuvre stamp” was produced.
Not every work bearing an oeuvre stamp with a corresponding handwritten number was included in the catalogue raisonné published in 1948 (the catalogue raisonné contains only around 500 works by the artist).
In the years that followed, further inventories were made of previously non-inventoried works and some of these were also marked with an oeuvre stamp. Over time, corrections have also been made to the numbers themselves.
In order to document the individual numbers whilst avoiding confusion with the actual catalogue raisonné numbers (CR Schmidt/Weber 1948), the category heading “Stamp” is used wherever possible to record the œuvre stamp and the respective handwritten number.
In addition to this oeuvre stamp, a signature stamp was produced which imitates the signature of the artist “S H Taeuber-Arp”.
The entry states the position of this stamp on the given work.
LOCATIONS AND PROVENANCES
Sophie Taeuber-Arp is represented internationally in numerous public and private collections. It is desirable to substantiate the locations where all of the artist’s works are currently held. However, private owners do not usually wish to be named, and for this reason, only public collections are listed in the online oeuvre catalogue. The entry for “Location” is limited to the name and location of the relevant public institution, or “Private owner”.
When you click on a collection, a preview opens up of all the artworks held in that collection (with links to the online oeuvre catalogue).
If the location cannot be identified with certainty, this is indicated by the wording “Whereabouts unknown”. Here once again, we welcome any new leads! Please send us a message at info[at]sophietaeuberarp.org or make use of our contact form.
The menu item “Collections” in the main menu takes you to the list of all public collections.
Systematic checking and investigation of provenances will be carried out incrementally.
Each catalogue entry will be accompanied – as work on the catalogue progresses – by an artwork commentary in the form of a short text containing additional information. The authors of these are acknowledged directly.
Under “Exhibitions” you will find all the solo and group exhibitions in which the corresponding work has been shown. The exhibition references are cited by title, year and exhibition location, and are arranged in ascending chronological order.
Where details are known, there are links to the artworks shown at each of the exhibitions. When you click on a particular exhibition, an overview page opens up showing the exhibited works (with links to the online oeuvre catalogue).
For touring exhibitions, all the stops of the exhibition are mentioned. In this case, however, the works are not linked to each of the stops separately but are recorded in the overall context of the exhibition, considered as one event.
The menu item “Exhibitions” in the main menu takes you to the list of all exhibitions on Sophie Taeuber-Arp that we have researched to date. This list is being updated continuously to make it as complete as possible.
The literature references are cited in short form and arranged in ascending chronological order. In this way, the reactions to the particular work in question can readily be followed. The short form normally names the author(s) and/or editor(s) and the year of publication. A corresponding page reference and the illustration source in the given work are also included if applicable. Exhibition catalogues are specifically identified as such.
When you click on the short form, a new page opens up with the complete bibliographical details.
The menu item “Bibliography” in the main menu takes you to the list of all bibliographical sources on Sophie Taeuber-Arp that we have researched to date. Each publication is assigned to one of the following categories, within which the entries are listed in alphabetical order: primary texts, catalogues raisonnés and inventories, monographs, exhibition catalogues, essays and unpublished literature. The list as a whole is being updated continuously to make it as complete as possible.
The primary illustrations normally show the work unframed. As work on the catalogue progresses, further pictorial matter showing the reverses of works or other special features such as historical frames will be added.
The majority of illustrations are sourced from the image archive established by the Stiftung Arp e.V. We are grateful that additional pictorial matter has been supplied by museums, public collections and private owners.
Photographic credits are placed directly below the illustrated work, stating the photographer, the copyright or the image source.
Should you notice a copyright infringement, we kindly ask you to inform us.
We make every effort to reproduce the works to the highest possible quality, and to add missing images incrementally.
For detailed information regarding the image rights, please see the Legal Notice.
Printed graphic works by the artist that are situated in a larger context and incorporated into printed works produced in larger editions – for example portfolios, illustrated books or magazines – are each recorded in summary form on a datasheet. The corresponding printed work is presented once with all its basic details. Wherever possible, information is given about the edition size and various known locations. All other single prints are recorded as individual works.
Furthermore, prints that were published posthumously are identified as such. Signatures and dates written in the artist’s own hand are reproduced exactly.
RECOMMENDED FORM OF CITATION
When you reference the online catalogue, we recommend the following form of citation: Sophie Taeuber-Arp – Online Oeuvre Catalogue (https://sophietaeuberarp.org), Sophie Taeuber-Arp Research Project (STARP), accessed on 01.06.2020 (example)