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GAUGUIN, Paul

Paris 1848 - Atuona, French Polynesia 1903

Ma main

My Hand

plaster

fragment

Dimensions (HxWxD): H. 9 116 in.

signed: Ma main, P. Ga.

Acc. No.: A0008, 31.0409

© Artist:


Provenance

  • Collection Emile Schuffenecker
  • Collection J. Baart de la Faille
  • Amsterdam, Frans Buffa and Zonen [Sons]

Bibliography

  • 2006 Schretlen
    Helen Schretlen with a contribution by Jean Woods, Loving Art. The William & Anna Singer Collection, Singer Laren, Zwolle, p. 170, 219

Comment

  • 2006 Schretlen, p. 170:
    (...) Among the works of art the museum received prior to opening was a bizarre object, a model in plaster of My Hand by Paul Gauguin. The Singers had bought it for their museum at Buffa's in Amsterdam and Joop Siedenburg [art dealer, became in 1921 the owner of the art firm Frans Buffa & Zonen] was to ship it to Hagerstown. Unfortunately, the piece was damaged in transport and the museum asked Buffa to oversee its restoration. Siedenburg regretted the incident, but because 'the costs of repairing could be more than the value of the piece', he urged them to reconsider. Despite Siedenburg's skepticism, it was restored in Amsterdam and sent to the museum again six month later, this time arriving in good order. The plaster cast was part of a larger ensemble that served as decoration for his House of Pleasure, Gauguin's final home on one of the Polynesian islands in the South Sea. Siedenburg himself questioned its authenticity: 'We do not know wether he took the cast himself or not. Anyhow the piece is more a curiosity than a work of art.' The acquisition of the hand is also a surprising choice and is, indeed, a curiosity in the sculpture collection.