Mennon and Butterflies
On View: Beaux-Arts Court, East, 3rd Floor
The Swiss Surrealist Kurt Seligmann explored myth and whimsicality in this painting, where swirling, haunting forms constitute both figures within the landscape and the landscape itself. Mennon refers to a type of butterfly, as well as the father of the god Thor in Norse mythology. The vertical forms suggest the constant movement of a butterfly that, like the legendary Thor, covers many lands on its life journey.
Seligmann immigrated to the United States in 1939 to flee the threat of Nazism. He referred to his paintings, inspired by the vast, open terrain he encountered in the American Southwest, as “cyclonic landscapes.”
Oil on canvas
Gift of The Beatrice and Samuel A. Seaver Foundation
© artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Kurt Seligmann (Swiss, 1900-1962). Mennon and Butterflies, 1942. Oil on canvas, 49 x 58 1/2 in. (124.5 x 148.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Beatrice and Samuel A. Seaver Foundation, 2004.30.19. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2004.30.19.jpg)
overall, 2004.30.19.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.