Old Collections and a Seasonal Gift


Old Collections

2021 has been a very gratifying year, in which works by Moissey Kogan have emerged from several old collections. In many cases, the present owners have lodged their collections with the Moissey Kogan Catalogue Raisonné Project, for which we are extremely grateful. Collectors’ submissions represent very important contributions to research and, ultimately, to the catalogue raisonné. Most significantly, they assist us in setting the record straight on Kogan‘s much abused oeuvre. Thank you; you know who you are. Any submissions of artwork to the Project do, of course, remain strictly confidential, unless we are given explicit permission to publish images and information about them by the owners. We will never do so without asking first.

Here is a blogpost from earlier this year about one such collection, which was exhibited at the Museum de Wieger in the Netherlands, as part of the show, Van Armando tot Zadkine. Collectie Lex en Leonie van de Haterd.

Old collections link an artist’s work right back to the studio, to exhibitions held during an artist’s lifetime, and/or to the holdings of an artist’s original dealers. Often, they also allow us insight into the milieu around the artist, offering a greater understanding of the artist’s world and of their circle of friends, acquaintances and early collectors. If you own work by Kogan and would like to submit it to the Project, please do so via our Submit an Artwork page.

Moissey Kogan at Auction in 2021

Works from old collections have also gone to auction this year. Equally exciting, they, too, often allow us to locate the whereabouts of other original works by Kogan, and to gain a greater understanding of the nature of such authentic pieces and their associated history. You may well have been aware of the two terracotta vases by Kogan, recently auctioned at Grisebach GmbH in Berlin. Important early works, they each represent the second only known casts of these pieces. A further cast of one these vases, held by the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne, is illustrated here as our featured image. A second cast of the other vase sold in Berlin is held by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (see image below).

The rarity of these vases (we do not know how many Kogan cast from the moulds he prepared for these works), together with the fact that they belonged to Adalbert Colsman, brother of Gertrud Osthaus, both of whom were friends and patrons of Kogan, meant that they achieved high prices at auction. It goes without saying that authenticity and provenance really count.

Two drawings from the same collection are currently at auction as part of Grisebach‘s Third Floor Online sale, which runs until 9 January 2022. Links to the catalogue entries can be found here and here. In the Expert Opinion Reports our director, Helen Shiner, was commissioned to write in support of these works (available from Grisebach), she was able to date these works and sketch the circumstances in which Kogan produced them, linking them in both cases back to the Osthaus-Colsmann circle, as well as to Kogan‘s iconographical interests.

A Seasonal Gift

A seasonal gift to the Moissey Kogan Catalogue Raisonné Project Archive, and a timely one at that, has come to us in the form of a publication that was produced annually by the Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft Hamburg, detailing the new acquisitions made by the Gesellschaft for the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg for the year 1929-30.

Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft Hamburg, Report on new acquisitions for the year 1929-30

Pleasingly, it features a very clear image of the vase by Kogan, mentioned above, that the Society acquired that year for the Museum, as well as some fascinating information about the manufacture of the vase, provided by Max Sauerlandt, director of the Museum and another key patron of Kogan‘s.

Moissey Kogan, Terracotta vase, Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft Hamburg, Report on new acquisitions for the year 1929-30

Sauerlandt records that Kogan produced this vase in three parts, which he then fused together. Each part took the form of a relief featuring a grouping of two or three nude women. Prior to firing, Kogan incised the outline of the figures freehand using a burin. Sauerlandt states that the artist made only two vases in this fashion, a cast of the other vase being held, he says, at the museum in Cologne.

We are extremely grateful to Lutz Bastian-Wirtz for this wonderful gift. Thank you very much!


Warmest greetings of the Season to you all!


If you would like to know more about donating to, or sponsoring, the Moissey Kogan Catalogue Raisonné Project, please see our Support the Project page.


Featured image: Moissey Kogan, Vase, terracotta, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne; photo: © Rheinisches Bildarchiv (RBA 116 284)