Joseph Beuys



Not on display
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Graphite and oil paint on paper
Support: 208 x 148 mm
frame: 680 x 525 x 27 mm
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

Online caption

Beuys was never seen in public without his felt trilby hat. It was one of the essential components of the image he carefully cultivated for himself. Symbolically, the hat insulated the artist's energetic brain, but more practically it helped to keep his head warm, as the head injuries he received in his wartime plane crash meant he was particularly susceptible to cold. In common with the beliefs of some tribes, Beuys saw the head as sacred. In his drawings the hat is one of the attributes of the shaman, and its presence also represents the presence of the artist.

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