Joseph Beuys Acer platanoides 1945

Artwork details

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Acer platanoides
Date 1945
Medium Leaf on paper
Dimensions Support: 474 x 317 mm
Acquisition ARTIST ROOMS
Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Not on display

Online caption

The natural sciences were one of Beuys's great interests from an early age. As a child he collected and catalogued biological specimens and made a small laboratory in his house. His study was aided by a copy of Carl Linnaeus's book of classification for the natural world, 'Systema Naturae', which Beuys was able to save from a Nazi book burning at his school library. This is the earliest work by Beuys in the ARTIST ROOMS collection, made when the artist was twenty-four years old. The leaf is from a Norway maple tree, a species native to central and eastern Europe.

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