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Object Timeline

-0001

1968

  • Work on this object began.

1982

  • We acquired this object.

2015

2021

  • You found it!

Drawing, Study 153, "Cradle Song," by Johannes Brahms, April 18, 1968

This is a Drawing. It is dated April 18, 1968 and we acquired it in 1982. Its medium is color pencil, graphite on cream wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This study is a translation of Brahms' "Cradle Song," 17 measures, in the Key of C, a simple arrangement for the piano and voice.
Since it was the artist's intention to translate accurately musical compositions as they are heard when performed into equivalent visual designs, he superimposed the two lines of music (the bass and treble clefs) onto a single staff (indicated by the large staff lines in the center of the drawing). This allows the viewer to see in the picture what he would hear in performance: as in performance the notes of all the parts are heard simultaneously, so in the drawing they are seen simultaneously.
The treble clef notes (which carry the melody line) are lake-red; the bass clef notes are violet and light-violet. The measures are marked by the blue squares at the top of the drawing. The width of each note indicates its time value (see Study 146#2).

It is credited Gift of the Estate of John De Cesare.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 35.3 × 42.7 cm (13 7/8 × 16 13/16 in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite, lower margin: S153-M17-Scale 3"=1'0"-T 3/4-P 3/2-Cradle Song- Johannes Brahms- 4-18-1968

Cite this object as

Drawing, Study 153, "Cradle Song," by Johannes Brahms, April 18, 1968; USA; color pencil, graphite on cream wove paper; H x W: 35.3 × 42.7 cm (13 7/8 × 16 13/16 in.); Gift of the Estate of John De Cesare; 1982-25-103

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18799655/ |title=Drawing, Study 153, "Cradle Song," by Johannes Brahms, April 18, 1968 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 January 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>