© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Lyonel Feininger, American (New York, NY 1871 - 1956 New York, NY)
Untitled [Four Figures]
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Black ink and watercolor on cream laid paper
30.3 x 23.3 cm (11 15/16 x 9 3/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r., black ink: Feininger 1935
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: verso, l.l., graphite: TR1248
  • inscription: verso, lower center, graphite: verso, l.c., graphite: Feininger 14 (circled) - Figures I 1932
Lyonel Feininger (1955-56), bequest; to Julia Feininger (1956-by 1970), gift; to William S. Lieberman (by 1970-2005), bequest; to Busch-Reisinger Museum, 2006.

According to Peter Nisbet's 11 Sept. 2008 memo to Frank Connors (in object file, along with other documentation), it is highly likely that Julia Feininger, the artist's widow, gave William Lieberman (1924-2005) the 590 drawings that compose the Lieberman Bequest. Neither the lawyers for Feininger's estate nor his two sons have been able to confirm whether, and at what time, Julia might have given Lieberman the drawings. However, their statements corroborate the friendship between Julia and Lieberman, and the likelihood of her giving him such a gift.

Lieberman would have received the drawings between 1956, when Feininger died, and 1970, when Julia died. Beginning in the 1960s, nearly all of the drawings were, at some point, on loan to MoMA. Some of the loans came from Lieberman, while others came from Julia; of the loans given by Julia, many passed into Lieberman's ownership later, at which point he re-loaned some of them to MoMA.

Lieberman's personal papers, which might contain more specific information about how he acquired the drawings, are not currently accessible. They are in the care of his executor, Anne Strauss of the Metropolitan Museum, who has yet to examine them.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Bequest of William S. Lieberman
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Publication History

Peter Nisbet, Lyonel Feininger Drawings and Watercolors, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums and Hatje Cantz (Cambridge, MA and Ostfildern, Germany, 2011), cover (detail); cat. no. 29 p. 65

Exhibition History

Lyonel Feininger: Drawings and Watercolors from the William S. Lieberman Bequest to the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, 02/26/2011 - 05/15/2011; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munchen, 06/02/2011 - 07/17/2011

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

The Bauhaus

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