© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Joseph Beuys, German (Krefeld, Germany 1921 - 1986 Düsseldorf, Germany)
Published by Galerie René Block, Berlin
Felt Suit
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Filzanzug
Work Type
sculpture, multiple
Physical Descriptions
Wool felt with ink stamp
177 x 100 cm (69 11/16 x 39 3/8 in.)
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
63 / 100 plus 10 h.c.
Standard Reference Number
Schellmann 26, p. 64-65
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, The Willy and Charlotte Reber Collection, Patrons of the Busch-Reisinger Museum Fund
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Label Text: 32Q: 1100 60’s Experiment , written 2015
In 1971 the German art and theory magazine Interfunktionen (1995.243) published a series of images documenting a 1970 performance by Joseph Beuys and the California artist Terry Fox at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where Beuys was a professor of sculpture. The hour-long event for a small audience consisted of loosely connected but very different actions by the two artists. Fox used gasoline (a reference to napalm, a petroleum mixture used as a weapon by the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War) to outline a cross on the floor. He set the gasoline alight, then washed himself with soap and water, recording and amplifying the sound of his actions on tape. Beuys performed a requiem for a mouse. He spun the dead rodent on a tape recorder reel and cradled it, ate an exotic fruit, and spat its seeds into a silver bowl, all while wearing an oversized felt suit. The suit jacket has a tag with production information on it that can be seen when it is displayed lying flat in the vitrine. This detail draws attention to its status as an editioned object and thus also a commodity.

Exhibition History

Icons: Magnets of Meaning, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 04/18/1997 - 09/14/1997

Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000

Pattern Language: Clothing as Communicator, Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, 09/09/2005 - 11/13/2005; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, 01/20/2006 - 04/09/2006; University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, 06/15/2006 - 08/15/2006

Multiple Strategies: Beuys, Maciunas, Fluxus, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/24/2007 - 06/10/2007

HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 08 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/23/2008 - 11/16/2008

32Q: 1100 60’s Experiment, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/23/2015 - 10/07/2015

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu