In the Studio (Erna and Guest)

Accession Number

In the Studio (Erna and Guest)

Ernst Kirchner

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
ink on paper

20 1/4 in x 14 3/4 in (51.44 cm x 37.47 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection

Label copy
Ernst Kirchner
Germany, 1880–1938
In the Restaurant
Ink on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.98
Ernst Kirchner
Germany, 1880–1938
In the Studio (Erna and Guest)
Ink on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.81
Expressionist artists were inspired by the urban environment and its street life, mass transportation, restaurants, cinemas, circuses, cabarets, cafés, and theaters. Ernst Kirchner’s In the Restaurant demonstrates the rapid yet fluid linear sketching style the artist developed to capture the “real life” of urban Dresden. Later this linear sketching was reduced to fewer and thinner lines, as seen
in In the Studio.
For many Expressionists and their collectors, interior domestic spaces became Gesamtkunstwerke (total works) of art-dominated environments. Kirchner’s Berlin studio had every surface covered with painted drapes, statues (depicted on the right of In the Studio), paintings, and artist-designed furniture, all inspired by the art of Oceania. In this sense, In the Studio echoes the restaurant scene: both the city and the studio became constructed environments that completely embraced and surrounded the human figure.

Subject matter
Erna Schilling (center), a dancer as well as Kirchner's mistress in Berlin, as well as an unidentified guest at a central table surface spread with cups, saucers, carafe, coffee pot, and plate. The figure to the right is an Oceanic or African wooden statue that Kirchner kept in his Berlin art studio, and identifies the image's location as such.

Physical Description
Three figures with canted tabletop set with teapot, carafe, and dishes. A nude figure stands on the right side of the image, representing the ethnographic statue that the artist admired and kept in his studio. Artist's sketch from life; Kirchner developed a rapid, stroke-oriented (as opposed to detail-oriented) sketch style.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
life drawing

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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studios (work spaces)

5 Related Resources

All Artists in the Degenerate Art Show
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Café Culture
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Expressionism - die Brücke
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Food Cultures
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Who Are We? 
(Part of: I.B. Units of Inquiry)

& Author Notes

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