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Lust Murder Box No. 2, 1920-1922

Kurt Schwitters

German, 1887-1948
Inlaid exotic wood box (crafted by Albert Schulze, Hannover)
2-1/8 x 5 x 3-3/4 in. (5.4 x 12.7 x 9.5 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Kate Steinitz
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On view

Lust Murder Box No. 2 is one of a series of wooden boxes Schwitters designed and had constructed by Albert Schulze, a cabinet maker and master of the wood mosaic technique called intarsia. The wood veneer surface of the box resembles a puzzle and its interlocking abstract shapes recall Schwitters’ collage forms of the 1920s. The box was created in response Germany’s notorious sexual predator, Fritz Haarmann. Referred to as “The Vampire of Hanover,” Harrmann was convicted in 1925 of committing 24 murders, but it was believed that he killed more than 50 men. During the trial Harrmann confessed to numerous gruesome activities. While Lust Murder Box No. 2 on display here is empty, Schwitters filled some of the boxes in this series with doll parts in reference to the victims.

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