Thursday, 14 April 2022
Tuesday, 29 September 2020
(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 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.
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.
All fresh information on Hildegard Schwartz is very much welcomed: email@example.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
(Poznan 1915 - 1969 ?)
too good to stay unknown
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.
Thursday, 5 March 2020
After a sabbatical and Blog-"retraite" I salute new visitors & welcome back all revisiting old friends.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All pictures embiggen by mouse-click
Sunday, 12 May 2019
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.
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|
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.