Thursday, 14 April 2022

New website

Under construction

(Daily uploading of collection material to the gallery).  


___________________________________

New Book 
2 Volumes - 475 pages
(limited private edition, 20/25 available)  





Return and resurrection of the Linosaurus 


Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Hildegard Schwartz : Lübeck and the Mondschein sonata

 Hildegard Schwartz

(born 1890/91 - 1960 Niendorf) 

Forgotten Schleswig printmaker and illustrator

Finding a new, not mentioned before, forgotten printmaker with a nice find (print) after so many years of researching women German printmakers, is not an every day event. It happens sometimes with the help of friendly readers, fellow collectors with a heart for history and combing the beaches and shores of auctions and washed-up and discarded art: Ebay.


As a printmaker Hildegard Schwartz obviously is not acting in the same league as f.e. Helene Mass or Helene Tüpke-Grande. Besides: the  print is hand coloured (by her ?) which is not exactly every prints collector's cup of tea..... But charming it is 


Some investigation learned Hildegard happened to be a typical local artist, illustrating local publications on local history. The half a dozen prints I was able to find show local landmarks, the surrounding villages and landscapes. She was however pretty accurate in her designs. 



About het life (where was she born ?, who were her parents and her family ?, typical starting questions for the biographer) almost nothing is known. I have a hunch she was of local, possibly Lübeck descent: she studied locally. Hopefully an interested person "on the spot", interested  in local history joins in ....  

She studied in Lübeck, acted in the Gothsmund artist colony and lived in Niendorf (not far away village on the coast (where "her family had a summer house"...........) and where she also is buried.  


Lübeck: "Marienkirche, Markt" and "Rathaus" 




Lübeck before March 29th 1942 was one of the most beautiful well preserved medieval Hanseatic trading cities with a rich history and a wealth of historical buildings situated on the Trave river and estuary. It had Germany's most beautiful  and preserved "Rathaus" or city hall dating back to the 11th and 12th century. It lies east of Hamburg, and south of Kopenhagen. It was for centuries the gateway to the Baltic: to Stockholm, to Danzig and Saint Petersburg. 

400 tonnes of bombes dropped by RAF Bomber Command in a perfect frosty moonlit night turned it into rubble. 


A first (!) retaliation for the destructing of Coventry (and the Baedecker raids) two years earlier in what the Nazis named "Operation Mondschein Sonate"......(they had a euphemistic name for all their atrocities). An eye for an eye....    Historic Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin and dozens of other German cities were to follow, Lübeck was just target practising.....  Tooth for tooth...... Hammurabi's Law.  4000 years of civilisation, or was it marking the end of it ? Had there been another, a civilised way ?


Hildegard saw the still peaceful market presumably around 1930. She lived nearby and possibly was born here. People dressed in winter cloth but the one tree (in the centre) still in leaves: october, november ? Children looking eagerly to the balloons: no cell phones yet. 


Lübeck was rebuild, where and if possible, to its former glory, like Coventry, Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden were eventually rebuild. Mankind is great in repairing and rebuilding. We are the absolute champions in repairing and rebuilding. We have to be. The weakness and eventually "Untergang" of our destructive species is our greed and disability to prevent destruction. To prevent destruction while playing the Mondschein Sonata. All other species on the planet seem to have a build-in warning and survival strategy: not to completely destroy the environment from which it evolved and in which it lives, not destroying the environment of its neighbours. There seems to be something fatally, Pathetically wrong in our design.  


   Detail of "Das Lübeck Spiel", illustration by Hildegard Schwartz

All fresh information on Hildegard Schwartz is very much welcomed: gerbrandcaspers@icloud.com

-----------------

Hildegards short biography will be part of the upcoming (this winter) publication:

Das Haus de Frau (Vol. III)*

1914-1939: BUGRA Leipzig revisited 

An ABC, a Lexicon, a Who is Who containing 400 pages of short biographies of hundreds of German women printmakers born 1850-1900 pioneering and active with woodblock printmaking 1900-1935. Their Dutch, Scandinavian and Baltic sisters, the art galleries, academies, artist associations, many of their male colleagues, the roots to the Paris printmakers, their schools (not being allowed to study in the Academies), their teachers and inspiration etc....  

    * This volume accompanying my collection of prints presented in Volume I and II.

Many (most) of the best loved artists-printmakers of pur times before were still never properly researched. They are collected by their name and fame and at best dates of birth and death. 

"Collecting art without knowing about the artist is like collecting stamps without a catalogue"............

The identities, lives and careers of hundreds of forgotten artists revealed; disappeared and murdered Jewish artists retrieved, links to addresses, schools and colleges, exhibition and gallery records and work inventories etc...   

Sharing my archive of 20 years collecting biographic notes and the result of many years of research.   

The publication date will be announced in this Blog. 

The first edition will be available and printed by subscription only 

(Please wait:  no reservations before). 

------------------------

All pictures for this Blog article borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Roman Black (Blachowski) (1915-1969): Unknown British printmaker

Roman Black 

(Poznan 1915 - 1969 ?)

 too good to stay unknown 

 Polish-British printmaker 


Three Graces (linocut) 





This copy of Roman Blacks 3 graces was found in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne Australia; it was purchased in 1955 from the Estate of the artist. It is the only example of his printmaking I was able to find after stumbling over it accident, researching the various classic 3 Graces engraved and lithographical copies after antiquity sculptures and old-master examples.


It is distantly reminding of the 3 Graces (painting) by his contemporary Austrian painter and graphic artist Otto Rudolph Schatz (1900-1961)




Roman Black was born in 1915 in Poznan (Poland) as Roman Ian Błachowski where he studied geography. He might be related to a prof. Stefan Blachowski (1898-1962), a psychologist and after WW-II rector of Poznan Academy. Roman Blachowski is the author of 20 scientific papers in the field of geography published before 1940. 


Before WW-II he was interested in painting and had his first exhibitions in Poznań. The war found him in Great Britain where he took the pseudonym Roman Black. After the war ended he studied, among others at the Polish School of Painting in London, exhibiting his work in London and Madrid. 


His naturalisation was approved march 10th 1949 (“seaman and artist, living 15 Winchester Road”). He is only otherwise known from a series of colourful linocuts with Spanish landscapes kept or exhibited in Poznan, but I could not retrieve any pictures.  




A 1959 watercolour showing the historical bridge in Mostar in (Bosnia-Herzegovina) was auctioned as a lot of 4 in a 2018 sale (+ “Teatro Roman, Verona” and two others) by Roseberys in London. 





 

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly educational and non commercial use only.













Thursday, 5 March 2020

Rahel Bodlaender, unforgotten.

Hail surviving Blog readers. 

After a sabbatical and Blog-"retraite" I salute new visitors & welcome back all revisiting old friends. 

This is the account, résumé or summing up of my recent investigations into the forgotten life of Berlin flower painter Rahel Bodlaender. I stumbled over her name in another of my research projects: that of Berlin Secessionist and flower painter, portraitist and leader of the VdBK drawing classes  George Mosson (1851-1933), in his life-time an artist of great fame, but today like Rahel almost completely obscured. Unlike his many famous Berlin fellow artists (Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth) George Mosson has never been the subject of any serious research leading to a monograph or cataloque résumé. This posting is the introduction to the next composed around his person and his work. 

All help, corrections and additions are welcomed. 
All my genealogy and other findings shared on request.

Bodlaender, Rahel (Rachel)

 (Ortelsburg in Silesia 25-05-1863 – murdered 17-09-1942 Theresienstadt)


Painter of flower still-life. Not known as graphic artist. Daughter of Wolf Bodlaender and Berta N.N. Her mothers family name is still unknownHer father is probably the teacher (“Lehrer”) Bodlaender who is permitted to start a Jewish elementary school in Ortelsburg (Szczytno) in East Prussia in 1863 for a limited period of 3 years. Rahels sister Grete was born in Ortelsburg a year later. Another sister Lina (Eveline) however was born in Dirschau (Tczew) in 1869 near Gdansk in Pommern, some 100 km Westwards an indication Wolf Bodlaender and his family left Ortelsburg and moved from Ortelsburg to Dirschau ?


In the official death certificate in Theresienstadt of her younger sister Grete the names of the parents, Wolf and Berta are mentioned. On their deportation the three sister lived together in Berlin at Siegmunds Hof Nr. 6. in the Tiergarten district.


Rahel Bodlaender (she signed her work R. Bodlaender) today is known by 4 oil paintings (a kind of Biedermeier interior still-lives) and 4 postcards “after paintings by the artist” published by Wohlgemut & Lissner, the Berlin quality printing and publishing house of all well-known graphic artist in Berlin.
Nothing is known about where, under who or when she studied or which year she (and her sisters Grete and Lina) came to Berlin, nor how they might be related to the other Bodlaender families living in 19th century Berlin. Their specific family name indicates they must be all related to a pinpoint location somewhere around 1800. 


Bodlaender family name.

In the second half of the 19th century and first decades of the 20th, a dozen to two dozen Bodlaender family members lived in Berlin. Merchants,  doctors,  a vet and a urologist; a lawyer and a colonial ware shop owner, widows and single women school teachers. But  what ties the Bodlaenders together seems to be an area in East Prussia, also known as “Ober-Schlezien”. More specifiquely the area  around the small town of Rosenberg. The woodland district is locally also known as Bodland. In Rosenberg and its surrounding villages (dwellings) the first Jewish settlers are said to have arrived in the second half of the 18thcentury. The area since the 18th century is known for its thriving glass industry attracting many new settlers. Among them many were Jews from the eastern regions of Prussia known as Masuria.

The link to the Bodlaender family name can also be found in the name of the village: 

Bogacica (German: Bodland) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Kluczbork, within Kluczbork County, Opole Voivodeship, in south-western Poland. It lies approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) west of Kluczbork and 37 km (23 mi) north-east of the regional capital Opole.
Bogacka Szklarnia (German: Bodländer Glashütte). In the region several of these glass manufacturing industries started in the late 18th century 
Kluczbork (German: Kreuzburg O.S.)
Rosenberg O.S. (Polish: Olesno)

Following  the genealogical trails of several 19th century (Berlin, and Prussian) Bodlaender families they all seem to lead  to 1750-1800 Moses, Salomon, Samuel (Wolff and Louis) Bodlaender.  
I suppose the Jewish pioneers that settled here from other parts of Poland may have adopted the Bodlaender (meaning simply “from Bodland”) family name to their traditional Jewish patronymic names.  

 

Rahel Bodlaender perished (was left to die) a week after arriving in Theresienstadt  (North of Prag, halfway Dresden) with “Transort 1/60 ” which had departed from Berlin Sept. 7th 1942. She was 79 years old. She died in the most inhumane, horrifying and desolate conditions from “ENTERITIS/Darmkatarrh”, a routine “diagnosis” found in most official death certificates after her death in this hell on earth. The Nazis were as meticulous as they were criminal book keepers. Death by starvation, by fleas, lice and infectious diseases, dysentery, typhus and cholera. In all death certificates the doctors have Jewish names too. I suppose they literally eventually “shared the same faith”. Why spend Arian doctors on old, sick and dying Jewish people that weren’t even regarded as humans ? 



With the same cattle-wagon “Alter Transport 1/60” Rahels two sisters Grete, born 1864, and Lina (Eveline) born 1869, arrived in “Modellstadt” Theresienstadt. Lina died 4 days later with the same diagnosis (73 years old) as did Grete who held on until Jan. 12th 1943, 4 months later, 78 years old.  All together 33.430 people would die here, including 3 more  Bodlaender family members. Literature describes many of the Jewish people living in rural Eastern provincial communities left for Berlin in the second half of the 19th century. To find and build better lives. 

The sisters were known last living in Berlin Siegmunds Hof nr. 6 not far from the entrance of Berlin Zoo at Tiergarten park where “Lehrerin” Lina rented an apartment in a district housing many Jewish people and had its own synagogue. A few 100 meters from where the train conveniently left. 


Today Rachel Bodlaender, but for the postcards and a lonely auction record, is a completely forgotten and obscured artist and I suppose the 3 sisters, once living, loving and working human beings have long since vanished from memories and faded away into the mist of history. 



Rahel, Greye and Lina also have not yet been honoured with a “Stolperstein” Germanies sympathetic commemorating pavement brass plaques remembering the names and places were Jews once lived and from where they were torn away, expelled and deported. I intend to inform the Berlin Stolperstein project manager one of these days.  

As has happened so many times before I felt compelled to try and give this artist at least a small place within the world of her sister artists in my Artist Index or Lexikon. By trying to find and re-unite her with her family and place in history.  


In the Netherlands I found a Dutch Bodlaender family deriving from Dr. Moritz Leo Bodlaender (1899-1968). He was born in Breslau and gave the name Wolf (Berlin 1925-2013) to one of his two sons. Dr. Bodlaender settled in the Netherland in 1935 and naturalised in 1950. Maybe the solution of my quest lies more near home then I could have ever foreseen when I started it.

Rahel is not mentioned in any of the Artist Lexicons but I found her in Dresslers Adress book 1921 and 1930. Living at Straßburgerstrasse 9. In 1931 she is mentioned  “Blumenmalerin” living at the same address and a member of the RvbK (“Reichsverband bildende Künstler”) 

----------------

Please help me to find Rahel, Grete, Eveline, and their parents Wolf & Berta Bodlaender's connections and roots that must be within the Jewish community in the "Kreis Rosenberg" (Olesno) area  around 1800. 

Email: gerbrandcaspers@icloud.com


All pictures embiggen by mouse-click


All pictures borrowed freely from the internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 


Sunday, 12 May 2019

Emile René Menard: intimiste

With this vintage postcard I thought to have found a nice copy of a perhaps lost painting. Since the day I found it I presumed it to be "Pomona" the goddess of fruitful abundance and protectress of gardens, harvest and fruits. I was probably blinded by the divine buttocks and jumping to conclusions I completely missed the point: there aren't any fruits ! 



Pomona was also the name of a "Reform" shop, selling bio-organic fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, brown cane sugar, nuts, "Protifar" (protein supplement) and the original Swiss Bircher Müesli of my youth in the Dutch city of Amersfoort in the 1950-60's. It was run by a friendly elderly (in my memory) Jewish (I think they were ) couple with the family name of Tobias. They were somehow related to my stepfather. It's too late to ask. 
Follow the label to an earlier article with Bircher Müesli and printmaker Margarete Donath. 

The goddess Pomona is usually associated and depicted with fruits, usually an apple or apples and she has been the subject of paintings and sculptures since ancient times. This example by an unknown artist telling the myth of Pomona being seduced (all mythical women were seducable and seduced by the gods) by Vetrumnis. 

Sculptor Aristide Maillol (if you happen to be in Paris visiting his charming museum is an absolute must) was also was intrigued by the goddess Pomona: he created several versions: in the nude and draped, with arms lowered and with arms stretched. Copies are kept and displayed in collections and museums all over the world: in Paris, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Moscow etc.. and this version, with arms outstretched, is in Prague. I'll inform you about Maillol's  gorgeous model in a minute.



My Pomona however does not seem to be involved with fruits or apples although the artist did relate her posture to holding or inspecting some branches above her head. Maybe it was to emphasize "certain parts" of her beautiful body, I mean, when wearing high heels would be not an obvious or logic choice, standing in a field, being naked and obviously being invited to model in a pastoral landscape. 



The solution to the question "what is it ?", came to me recently: it is a copy of another version of (a detail of) a lithographic print by Emile René Menard (1862-1930) a French academic painter. Another version (in red chalk) is kept in the London British Museum. The detail, above right(now with fruits !) is from the original print below:   



His lithographic drawing "Automne" was published in the first album of the illustre editions of Estampe Moderne in 1897. 

The main figure is reaching and inspecting the fruit (oranges ?) and the title "Automne" is   referring to ripe fruit and harvest. Possibly Menard choose the title to avoid naming and explaining the relation with an annoyingly bored looking second figure.
My personal opinion is that it would have been wiser to dismiss the competing for attention  damsel on the left. It takes the attention from the gravitational centre of the original composition (the buttocks !).  I suppose Menard has wrongly added the bored "cousin" to balance his composition. He shouldn't have, as my photoshopped version proves: much, much better, I'ld say: near perfect.  



PS: I'ld love to find an affordable copy of the original print for my collection and to exhibit this story in the book. Offers welcomed. 

The best  description I found describing Menard he was an "intimist", a painter of intimate situations...... He'd studied under William Bougereau and was friends with Gustave Courbet and Lucien Simon. In this painting, composition-wise, he was smart not to disturb the centre of gravity (where the eyes come to rest) which im(not so)ho, is the classic updone red hair of the model.


Emile René Menard 
In his time Menard was famous and appreciated and commercially very successful for his "Italian" panoramic landscapes often with dramatic skies and often depicting a bathing women (a good reason to be undressed after all and suggestive of a mythical (non erotic) background. It is known he travelled to the Mediterranean regularly. 


Arisitide Maillol 
I suppose Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) must have been acquainted with Menards work while I think Menard would not have known about Maillol's model and muse Dina Vierny (1919-2009) who with her bequest, became the founder of Maillols museum. So what follows is probably co-incidental, chance, fiction and purely hypothetical. But also too good not to mention and share. 

      
This photo proofs the natural beauty of Maillols model Dina who was just 15 when Maillol "discovered her" and why she became his favorite model for so many of his sculptural master pieces.  


And then I found this 1937 photograph by photographer Pierre Jamet (1910-2000) of Dina in a posture (arms raised) that could have inspired Menard for his "Automne", or my Pomona, had he not been dead for 7 years in 1937. Maillol however had still 7 years of creativity ahead of him in which he would create many master-pieces with Dina.  


  


Maillol did several versions of a sculpture "Nue debout coiffant" (standing nude doing her hair). I have no idea if the old man was present sketching during this summery hozing of Dina (in Villeneuve sûr Auvers, not far from Paris) but I can imagine he was and created this drawing.      


With the possibilities of the modern internet Dina's classic beauty immortalised by Maillol can be admired 360C., almost in 3D, combining the hundreds  of good pictures from all over the world taken from every angle.  But these will do here. 


Dina also modelled for Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse and I think it could be Dina in here also, doing her hair. 


----------------

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.