Art: Out of the Midden Heap

In the spring of 1940, Kurt Schwitters was trudging through Norway in flight from the Nazi invasion army. He had only one suitcase of possessions, partly filled with scraps of paper. They were the raw material for collages, and he could not bear to leave them behind. In one pocket he carried a small wooden sculpture at which he whittled on his journey, and in the other a pair of white mice, one of them epileptic. He had quit Germany under Gestapo pressure in 1937, and his works had been banned—along with the products...

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