Or wrote, and then covered up with other words until the ideas were lost.

The first ever collages appeared in 1912.  “Collage” means pasting or gluing, and in this context, what was really new that Picasso and Georges Braque first did was to regard a piece of paper (newspaper, printed fabric, sheet music)  as a shape, one that stood on its own in a composition.

chair caning

In the above collage from 1912, the chair caning is printed on vinyl-like fabric, and this fabric is used as part of the composition.  Other drawings are incorporated, shapes in themselves, and done in the cubist method, with which Picasso and Braque were also experimenting.  Picasso drew cast shadows on the fabric, further tying it into the picture plane.  Look at the big word “JOU” from the collage above.  Here it is drawn.  Below,  Le Jour (the Day) word from the masthead of the newspaper is used in collage.  Both of these works date from 1912.  A cubist view (remember  cubism attempts to merge all views of the object into one view) of a wine glass accompanies the guitar, mounted on wall paper.


Collage is so familiar to us now, that it is hard to imagine that someone had to “invent” it.  So, in galleries, in Paris, were the first collages displayed, in 1912.   Remember, information did not travel very fast in those days.

dellschau2.jpg.CROP.article920-largeCharles Dellschau  died in 1923.  He created these collaged drawings about air travel and a supposed “club” to which he belonged during the gold rush of the the 1890s, in scrapbook form.

dates for dellThe center bottom of this piece says “Houston, Texas (where he lived), August 6, 1919.

A butcher in Houston, Texas was making collages in 1919 where until sometime in 1912 the idea was unknown?  Leave it to the  uninitiated, those following a personal light, creating private worlds where they could be happy, to do something remarkably early.


History is created by the victors.  Or those who tweet the loudest.


This is dated August, 1909.  So was Dellschau making art?  Scrapbooking, only?  Whatever, he wasn’t tweeting about it.  Picasso never lost an opportunity to tweet, to be sure.  Man, history or art history just cannot be trusted.

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