Paul Klee 1879-1940: A Retrospective Exhibition

Paul Klee 1879-1940: A Retrospective Exhibition

Contributions by Will Grohmann, Felix Klee, and Thomas M. Messer
Published in 1967
148 pages, fully illustrated

Paul Klee 1879–1940: A Retrospective Exhibition of 1967 was the most comprehensive exhibition of Paul Klee's work ever held in the United States. The Guggenheim's Director Thomas Messer curated the exhibition and contributed the introduction explaining the need for such a large exhibition of Klee's work, noting the scholarly research that went into the preparation for the exhibition. Art historian Will Grohmann and Felix Klee, son of Paul Klee, contributed catalogue essays. Accompanying the essays are 187 reproductions in both color and black-and-white. Many notable quotes from Klee’s writing and from unpublished letters and lectures are interspersed among the plate illustrations.


Klee's greatness lies in his unswerving single-mindedness, in the way he kept faith with himself. He spared no effort and unflinchingly made the sacrifices called for at every stage of his artistic evolution. Outward success meant nothing to him; he worked on as always, heedless of the fame he had acquired, intent only on finding ever better solutions to his artistic problems. His singleness of purpose, however, went hand in hand with serenity. He accepted everything with composure, with complete self-possession, with good sense. Never in better humor than when hard at work, never surer of himself than when immersed in the mysteries of creation.

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