Clown with Red Wig
Walt Kuhn ( American, 1877 - 1949 )
Trained in Paris and Munich, Walt Kuhn became an important figure in the development of 20th-century art in the United States. He is celebrated for his unique and poignant depictions of circus and cabaret performers, whom he encountered while working as a theatrical set designer and director in the 1920s. Rather than portray his subjects’ smiling public personas, Kuhn emphasized their complex psychological states in private moments off stage. In the present painting, the artist contrasts the clown’s colorful costume and muscular physique with his introspective and melancholic disposition.