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The Pawn Boys
  • © Nancy Reddin Kienholz
    • Edward Kienholz und Nancy Reddin Kienholz

  • TitleThe Pawn Boys
  • Date1983
  • CategoryInstallation
  • Material50 Ziegelsteine mit je einem Foto, gerahmt
  • Amount50+2
  • Inventory NumberBG-O 3496/84
  • CreditlineSchenkung Edward Kienholz und Nancy Reddin Kienholz, 1984
  • On DisplayNo

From 1973 onwards, US American artists Edward and Nancy
Reddin Kienholz spent six months of each year in Berlin. On
their regular forays through Berlin’s flea markets they found a lot
of 52 photographs showing young soldiers during the Second
World War. The casual sale of these lovingly framed portraits
deeply moved the artist couple. As Americans they were
sufficiently unencumbered to recognize a forgotten generation
behind the uniforms and insignia of the National Socialist era.
The photographs, numbered in sequence and mounted onto
bricks, were turned into memorial stones to the Pawn Boys,
boys used as cannon-fodder in the war and robbed of
remembrance in history. Initially, the intention was that each
stone would be sold separately for its simple material value of
1.93 dollars, so that the portraits would thus find their way back
into apartments and houses. After completion, however, the
artists finally decided to keep the work together and gifted it to
the Berlinische Galerie as a serial memorial.