Art, Art History and Design, School of


Date of this Version

Fall 2010


Published in VRA Bulletin 35:3 (Fall 2008) [issued February 2010], pp. 23-43.


This article will describe the collection known as the William Suhr Papers in the Getty Research Institute and its contents, explain who Suhr was and when and where he was active, what his papers have to offer, and why consulting them should be considered by both researchers interested in twentieth-century paintings and painting restoration and by art historians and historians engaged with Germany and the vicissitudes of immigration between the two World Wars. I will also address my involvement with the Suhr Papers within the context of Pieter Bruegel’s Wedding Dance painting in the Detroit Institute of Arts and how the richness of the Suhr papers, in addition to its photo documentation, has led my own investigations and research on the Bruegel painting in most unexpected directions. The Detroit painting will offer focus while exploring the Suhr Papers and what they offer. Little has been published on Mr. Suhr and his work and papers, although a recent article by Joyce Hill Stoner (2005), who interviewed Suhr in 1977, and Edgar Munhall’s remembrance from 1996, offer a helpful, informative beginning.