Celebrating Joseph Beuys

Submitted by Heather Saunders on

The Ingalls Library highlighted rare items from its collection outside the initial screening of Beuys (directed by Andres Veiel) earlier this week at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The CMA’s next and final screening of the film will be Friday, March 23 at 7 pm

The following were among the highlights:


Beuys, Joseph

Schottische Symphonie (aus Celtic)

Munich: Schellmann, 1973

M35.B48 1973 Rare


In the double LP Scottish Symphony / Requiem of Art are two pieces of music that Beuys used in his collaboration with the Celtic (Kinloch Rannoch) Scottish Symphony.  The piece was performed in 1970 in Edinburgh.

The first piece, “Scottish Symphony,” consists of sounds and short melodic passages recorded while tuning the piano with all the background noise included. These two different acoustic levels form an abstract sound composition, as Beuys used them more often - mostly with the help of his own voice - in his work.  References are made to the speech and sound eurythmy of Rudolf Steiner, with whom he associated the idea of ​​breaking up rigid language structures in order to restore the original expressiveness of the human voice.

The second piece on the LP, “Requiem of Art, op. 50, fluxorum organum II,” is a composition by Henning Christiansen. It lasts 36 minutes and combines in six movements of abstract sounds, organ music, and various background sounds, including an airplane and hammer blows on a metal surface.

Produced in an edition of 500 copies; the Library’s copy is number 299.

Beuys, Joseph

So kann die Parteiendiktatur uberwunden warden!

[Koln, Germany]: Art intermedia Edition, 1971

N6888.B463 B482 1971 Rare


So kann die Parteiendiktatur überwunden werden was issued by Joseph Beuys’ Organisation für direkte Demokratie durch Volksabstimmung (Organisation for Direct Democracy by Plebiscite). The plastic bag, filled with pamphlets, and in some cases a sheet of felt, was a means to spread the organization’s political ideas. According to the diagrams printed on the bag, real direct democracy in the form of referenda-based society sits in opposition to the majority party state. In 1977, a Dutch version of the edition was published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent.


Edition: 10 000 planned, with felt object only about 500 manufactured; signed and numbered on the sheet of information material.


The Ingalls Library copy lacks the contents of the bag. It is signed by the artist in the upper left hand corner of the verso of the bag.


Item descriptions by Marsha Morrow, Collection Development and Management Services Assistant. Photos by Amy Crist, Associate Book and Paper Conservator.