4.8.2020 | By Lena Nievers, Curator and Head of Collection
From 1931 to 1938 artist Wilhelm Thöny (1888 Graz, AT—1949 New York, NY, US) lived in Paris with his partner and later wife Thea. From there they visited Thea's parents in New Jersey in 1933. As a young student, Thöny sublet with the family that was still living in Munich at the time. He had a very warm relationship with his father-in-law Frank S. Herrmann. After his trip to the USA and until his own arrival in New York in 1938, Thöny wrote numerous letters to his father-in-law, in which he reported on his artistic work and everyday life in Paris, the political situation in Europe and interesting encounters. He often included sketches for illustration in these letters. Frank Herrmann collected these 67 sheets in an album—the Scrap Book—which Thea Thöny donated to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg.
The drawings from the Scrap Book are captivating in their humor and the accuracy of the observations. They give the human being behind the artist Wilhelm Thöny a contour and show someone who looks with a lot of wit and self-irony at his life circumstances, who does not close his eyes to the increasingly threatening political situation, and yet keeps tabs on everyday trifles, on social life in the Big city and the tranquility of the southern French countryside, in which the Thönys regularly spend their summer freshness.
We are going to post some of our Head of Collection's favourite drawings on our Facebook channel—just take a look!