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Summer 1930

The year 1930 proved to be a year of illness for Escher and his sons George and Arthur: he himself suffered from intestal pains and toothache and the sons got pneumonia, an ear infection and whooping cough. In addition, he hardly sold anything and there were no assignments for new work*.
Castrovalva (1930) and Castle in the Air (1928) were on display in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in April, as part of the group exhibition by artists’ association St. Lucas, which was celebrating its 50th jubilee. Escher was a member, but he would go on to cancel his membership some months later. In 1930 there was only one solo exhibition of his work. This took place in the Baarnsch Lyceum’s (now demolished) villa Waldheim in June.

Weisstannen, July 1930. Pages from one of the photo albums of M.C. Escher.
As a base for work trips for Escher, though primarily for relaxation, the family spent a large part of the summer in Switzerland. Mainly in Steckborn. The Escher family spent some time there almost every summer between 1927 and 1938. They stayed with Jetta’s sister Nina and her husband Oskar Schibler. Just like in 1929, they stayed there for several months.

From Steckborn Escher travelled to the Netherlands for appointments as well as to Paris at the beginning of September for an interview with G.J. Hoogewerff about his Emblemata series. There was also time for relaxation at the Schiblers’ place in Steckborn, but the family also went on trips by themselves. At the beginning of July they travelled to Weisstannen, a valley with lush green meadows, a sparkling river that runs right through the centre and waterfalls that flow from the mountains and the cliffs on either side. At the end of August they holidayed together with Maurits and Jetta’s parents in Ragaz, which was located a little further on.

Escher and his sons George and Arthur in Weisstannen, Switzerland, July 1930
Sons George and Arthur, Jetta, Maurits' parents and Jetta's mother (center left), Ragaz, August 1930

[*]Wim Hazeu, M.C. Escher, Een biografie, Meulenhoff, 1998, page 146

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