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bread art (1916-1930)

From a total of an estimated over 1,000 drawings which Wölfli‘s psychiatrist Walter Morgenthaler designated Brotkunst (Bread Art), some 750 pieces have been preserved up till the present.  These are mostly crayon drawings or, exceptionally, collages on individual sheets of drawing paper.  Each work has a written explanation on the reverse which is related to the grand narrative of the “St. Adolf Giant Creation“.  Wölfli exchanged these “portraits“ – as he himself called them – for crayons and tobacco, or else he sold them to employees of the mental hospital or to the visitors who came to admire his creations.  In view of the great demand for them he even had to engage an assistant who was helping him. The money received was collected by the superintendent of Waldau mental hospital for the purchase of materials.

The Schüpfen-Lettre

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