LENOX — Artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp, today, is, as the Museum of Modern Art states on its website for the exhibition "Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction," "considered to be one of the most multitalented modern artists."
But, in 1937, when George L.K. Morris purchased the Swiss-born artist's "Composition in a Circle," (1937), was not held in high regard. She, like many female artists of the time, was overshadowed by her more famous husband, Jean Arp.
The work, a gouache on paper, is part of the Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio's art collection, and is currently on loan to the Museum of Modern Art and can be seen as part of "Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction," which runs Nov. 21 through March 12, 2022. This major exhibit, following venues in London and Berlin, surveys this multidisciplinary artist’s career, which happened at a time when it was radical to be a multimedia artist. Her work ranged from paintings and reliefs to architectural and interior designs and included polychrome marionettes, textiles and beadwork.
Morris, of New York City and Lenox, was friends with the couple and collaborated with them and Caesar Domela on the art magazine, “Plastique” during its short run from 1937 to 1939. In 1937, Morris, in his capacity as chairman of the Advisory Committee at MoMA, acquired a sculpture by Jean Arp for the museum, as well as a Mondrian and Miro. He collected works by these artists who were little known at the time for the museum, and for himself, at the same time.