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Chocolate Gnome

Dieter Roth, Swiss (born Germany), 1930–1998
Garden gnome, chocolate, and glass
Made in
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Europe
Current Location
On View, Gallery 254
glass cylinder: 17 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (45.5 x 18.8 cm)
Credit Line
Partial and promised gift of Betsy Millard, the Earl and Betsy Millard Collection
© Estate of Dieter Roth
Object Number
In this sculptural self-portrait the artist presents himself as a humble garden gnome immersed in chocolate. The witty pairing of Swiss symbols suggests that Dieter Roth is being smothered by the dark confection of his country.
Kurt Kalb, Vienna, Austria [1]

- 1990
Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Germany [2]

1990 - 1991
Nolan Eckman Gallery, New York, NY, USA, purchased from Galerie Daniel Buchholz [3]

1991 -
Betsy and Earl Millard (d. 1996), Saint Louis, MO, purchased from Nolan Eckman Gallery [4]

2003 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, partial and promised gift from Betsy Millard [5]

The main source of this provenance is an email from Katherine Chan of the Nolan Eckman Gallery in New York City, dated March 9, 2004 [SLAM document files]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] The Nolan Eckman Gallery indicated that Kurt Kalb was a previous owner, but the gallery could not provide dates of ownership.

[2] Daniel Buchholz could not remember when or where he purchased the chocolate gnome, but he recalled that he did not buy it from Kurt Kalb, as suggested by the Nolan Eckman Gallery [fax from Daniel Buchholz, dated April 5, 2004, in SLAM document files].

[4] Betsy Millard indicated that she purchased the gnome from the Nolan Eckman Gallery in 1991 on the "Information for Appraisals" worksheet she filled out in May 2004 [SLAM document files].

[5] Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, June 3, 2003.
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