The Diaries of Paul Klee 1898-1918 edited, with an introduction by Felix Klee
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Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1964. First edition. Hardcover. 424 pages : ilustrations ; 25 cm. $10.00 dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
THE DIARIES OF PAUL KLEE , 1898-1918
Edited, with an Introduction by FELIX KLEE
Paul Klee was endowed with a rich and many-sided personality that was continually spilling over into forms of expression other than his painting and that made him one of the most extraordinary phenomena of modern European art. These abilities have left their record in the four intimate Diaries in which he faithfully recorded the events of his inner and outer life from his nineteenth to his fortieth year. Here, together with recollections of his childhood in Bern, his relations with his family and such friends as Kandinsky, Marc, Macke, and many others, his observations on nature and people, his trips to Italy and Tunisia, and his military service, the reader will find Klee's crucial experience with literature and music, as well as many of his essential ideas about his own artistic technique and the creative process.
The Diaries were not originally intended for publication, but merely for his own reflection, and until his death in 1940 they had not even been seen by his own family. Taken as a whole they are a miraculous reflection of the individual world of one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Seldom has a unity between a man and an artist been so completely realized as in these pages, which show clearly how K lee's genius developed. In these Diaries the encompassing world of Paul Klee is impressively thrown open to a younger generation of artists and admirers.
In addition to the Diaries a genealogical chart of the Klee family and Felix Klee's recollections of his father are also included.
Paul Klee was born on December 18, 1879 in Münchenbuchsee near Bern, Switzerland, the son of Hans Klee, the conductor of the Bern concert orchestra, and of Ida Marie Frick Klee. His childhood and early youth were spent in Bern, and following his graduation from the Literarschule in 1898 he traveled to Munich to study art with Knirr and, at the Academy, with Stuck. In June of 1901 he traveled to Italy, returning to Bern in May of 1902, the year in which he became engaged to the pianist Lily Stumpf. For the next four years he remained in Bern except for occasional visits to Munich, Paris, and Berlin. In September 1906 he married Lily Stumpf and moved to Munich, where his son Felix was born the following year.
His first one-man show was held in 1911 at the Thannhauser Gallery in Munich. It was in this year that he joined the Blaue Reiter, the revolutionary group of painters that included Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and August Macke. In 1914 he helped to found the Neue Münchner Sezession and in the spring of that year he traveled to Tunisia with August Macke. Two years later he was called into the German army in which he served until 1918.
In November of 1920 he was called by Gropius to the newly founded Bauhaus where he taught, first in Weimar, then in Dessau, until 1931. The first American exhibit of his paintings was held in New York in 1924; the first British exhibit in London in 1934. From 1931 until 1933 he was professor at the Düsseldorf Academy. Following his dismissal by the Nazis, he returned to Switzerland where he remained until his death, at the age of sixty, at Muralto-Locarno on June 29, 1940.