Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Wassily Kandinsky, Russian (Moscow, Russia 1866 - 1944 Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France)
Jocular Sounds
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Scherzklänge
Work Type
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Oil on composition board
34.9 x 48.9 cm (13 3/4 x 19 1/4 in.)
frame: 36.3 x 50.5 cm (14 5/16 x 19 7/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: in red ink at l.l.: K 29
Ida Bienert and son, Dresden, December 1933. [Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Berlin]. Heinz Berggruen, Paris. [Saidenberg Gallery, New York]. Sold to Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1956.

NOTE: VE Barnett suggests the purchaser in 1933 was Ida Bienert, rather than her daughter Ise, as Kandinsky wrote in his ledger.This provenance also incorporates information from H. K. Rothel, Kandinsky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings (1982-1984).
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
Röthel 929
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund and Purchase in memory of Eda K. Loeb
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Publication History

Tendenzen der Zwanziger Jahre : [15. Europäische Kunstausstellung unter den Auspizien des Europarates : in der Neuen Nationalgalerie, der Akademie der Künste und der Grossen Orangerie des Schlosses Charlottenburg zu Berlin, vom 14. August bis zum 16. Okto, exh. cat., Dietrich Reimer Verlag (Berlin, 1977), pp. 1/251, 1/210, cat. no. 1/461, ill. (b/w)

Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 25, repr.

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 379, p. 317, repr.

Anna Rowland, The Bauhaus Sourcebook: Bauhaus Style and Its Worldwide Influence, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. (New York, 1990), p. 156, ill. (color)

Peter Nisbet and Emilie Norris, Busch-Reisinger Museum: History and Holdings, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1991), p. 68, ill.

Doreen Ehrlich, The Bauhaus, Magna Books (London, 1991), p. 170, ill. (color)

Olivia Mattis, Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900, exh. cat., Thames & Hudson (New York, 2005), p. 13, color image

Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 128

Exhibition History

From Werkbund to Bauhaus: Art and Design in Germany 1900-1934, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 05/12/1980 - 04/26/1980

Works from the 20th Century Collection of the Busch-Reisinger, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/15/1980 - 09/01/1980; Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 09/23/1980 - 10/24/1980

Klee and Kandinsky: Works from the Harvard Collection and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 11/21/1980 - 01/17/1981

20th-Century Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 09/07/1981 - 11/11/1981

19th- and 20th-Century Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 02/08/1982

Art of the Weimar Era, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 04/05/1982 - 05/22/1982

Deutsche Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts aus dem Busch-Reisinger Museum, Stadtische Galerie im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, 10/23/1982 - 01/16/1983; Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin 30, 02/10/1983 - 04/17/1983; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 05/08/1983 - 06/26/1983

Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000

Visual Music, 1905-2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, 02/13/2005 - 05/22/2005

32Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/26/2017 - 12/10/2018; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/05/2019 - 07/20/2021

32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 02/13/2015; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/11/2015 - 05/10/2015

The Bauhaus and Harvard, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/08/2019 - 07/28/2019

Subjects and Contexts

The Bauhaus

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at