We examine Joseph Beuys moth-eaten Felt Suit

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About

The Gallery of Lost Art was an online exhibition that told the stories of vanished artworks. Whether destroyed, stolen, discarded or erased some of the most significant artworks of the last 100 years have been lost and can no longer be seen. 

Joseph Beuys Felt Suit 1970 is a two-piece suit comprising a jacket and a pair of trousers made from coarse grey felt. Beuys made 100 suits and although they had the appearance of regular clothing – were in fact extremely delicate and fragile sculptural pieces.   The Tate acquired one edition of the work in 1981, placed it in storage and when it was requested for display in 1989 conservators discovered the material had disintegrated due to a moth-infestation. 

Unable to save or restore the suit at the time conservators placed it in permanent storage, however two more editions of the suit were eventually acquired by the gallery and remain part of the Tate collection.