Joseph Beuys

Three Pots for the Poorhouse - Action Object

About this artwork

This work is the record or embodiment of an 'Action' performed by Joseph Beuys in the dilapidated, former Edinburgh poorhouse on 10 June 1974. Beuys used three new cooking pots, painted black, to represent the human attribute of thinking, feeling and will. He walked slowly around the edges of one of the rooms offering up the pots to each of the walls. The pots were then put on the floor and tied to a pair of blackboards on which Beuys drew diagrams and works relating to the 'Action'.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Three Pots for the Poorhouse - Action Object
  • date created:
    1974
  • materials:
    Two blackboards with chalk, three cast-iron pots, cord
  • measurements:
    117.50 x 119.50 cm (board one size); 120.00 x 119.20 cm (board two size); 13.00 x 28.50 x 21.00 cm (each pot size)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1974
  • accession number:
    GMA 1318
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys