Kurt Schwitters was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1887. He studied at the Hanover School for Applied Arts and the Art Academy in Dresden. In 1911 he participated in his first exhibition. In 1919 the first pictures of his Merz were published, as was his poem An Anna Blume. Throughout the 20s, he devoted most of his energy to working on the Merzbau and Merz magazine, and also founded a successful advertising agency in 1924. Upon the Nazi defamation of his work in 1937, he emigrated to Norway, later continuing on to England, where he died in 1948. Five years earlier, an air raid over his home in Hanover had destroyed the original Merzbau.
Born in Philadelphia in 1890, Man Ray
began his professional life as a painter before taking up photography in 1915. In Paris during the 1920s his career as a fashion photographer and portraitist took off, and it was there that he discovered the possibilities of cameraless photography. He continued to paint and take photographs both in the United States and Paris until his death in 1976. He has been the subject of major exhibitions at museums throughout the world, and is one of the best-known photographers of the twentieth century.
Leah Dickerman is Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art.Dorothea Dietrich
is Chair of Academic Studies and Associate Professor of Art History at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington.Brigid Doherty
is Associate Professor of German and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University.Sabine T. Kriebel
is a Lecturer of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University College, Cork, Ireland.Janine Mileaf
is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.Michael R. Taylor
is the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art.Matthew S. Witkovsky
is Assistant Curator of Photographs, National Gallery of Art, Washington.