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A sculpture of the head and shoulders of a girl.

The sculpture shows a head and shoulder portrait of a girl. The head is tilted slightly to the left and down and is crowned with short curled hair. The head rises on a long slender neck from a base of uneven width. The surface is pink in tone and mottled with areas of lighter and dark tones.

Gallery Text

Head of a Girl belongs to the expressionist body of work that Lehmbruck began to create in Paris around 1911, after meeting the sculptors Constantin Brancusi and Alexander Archipenko. Rejecting the conventional approach to the figure that he had perfected during his training at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Lehmbruck developed a new style in which the human form was elongated, attenuated, and greatly simplified. He quickly gained fame through his participation in significant exhibitions of modern art, such as the 1912 Berlin Secession and the Armory Show in New York in 1913. Lehmbruck experimented with partial casts of full figures in a variety of materials. Head of a Girl is based on his sculpture Contemplative Woman (1913/14). Casts of this work exist in terracotta, cast stone, and tinted plaster.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Wilhelm Lehmbruck, German (Duisburg, Germany 1881 - 1919 Berlin, Germany)
Head of a Girl
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Mädchenkopf; Frauenkopf; Mädchenkopf auf schlankem Hals--Kopf der Grossen Sinnenden
Work Type
c. 1913
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1440, Modern and Contemporary Art, Secessionism: Munich, Vienna, Berlin
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Physical Descriptions

Pink-tinted plaster, painted
44.6 x 36 x 19.5 cm (17 9/16 x 14 3/16 x 7 11/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Dr. Wurz Collection, Stuttgart. [Graphisches Kabinett, Munich]. [Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Berlin], sold; to Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1934.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Museum Purchase
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Dietrich Schubert, Wilhelm Lehmbruck: Catalogue raisonné der Skulpturen, 1898-1919, Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft Worms (Worms, 2001), cat. no. 67 II C 2, b/w illus. p. 271, fig. 326
  • 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. 178

Exhibition History

  • 19th- and 20th-Century Paintings and Sculpture from the Museum's Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/11/1980 - 08/31/1980
  • 32Q: 1440 Secessionism: Munich, Vienna, Berlin (Expressionism), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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