Sunday, 19 August 2018

Elsa von Durant: extra !

First result of my request for information and examples by artist Elsa von Durant. (Danke, Thank you H.)

Two etchings proving she was a graphic artist also published in "Jugend" magazine : "Lesendes Kind" and  "Kinder am Strande"  


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Elsa von Durant: to the Manor born..

To my best knowledge: this condensed short biography is a first attempt.
The artist Eva Tischner-von Durant is not mentioned in any of the Artist Lexicons or adress books. 
All help and further information by readers is appreciated and welcomed. 

Elsa von Durant (1876-1958) was born in Breslau in 1876 as the oldest daughter of Baron Hans von Durant (1837-1907) and Baroness Eugenie von Hahn (1858-1900). To be more precise as: Freiin (Baroness) Elsa Emma Charlotte Henriette Kornelie Adelheid Christiane von Durant de Sénégas. Her 3 nobel brothers and her youngest sister were all born at her  fathers and ancestral Prussian estate and all given six or seven names, at palace Baranowitz in Upper Silesia (then Prussia now Poland). 

It had once been one of the great Prussian estates ("Gut"). Most of these estates today have fallen in ruin and neglect after the world had been on fire, maps were redrawn and populations were reshuffled in the aftermath: the Jews gone, the Germans out, communism in etc....   Although recent photo's show this palace at last has seen the beginnings of renovation.

Her ancestors had come from France, protestant nobility fleeing France after the Edict de Nantes (treaty guaranteeing some freedom of religion) was revoked in 1685. The male members in the generations before (I followed the Prussian von Durants to her great-grand-father) were all high ranking military, marrying happily members of other nobel families, sharing and securing fortunes, estates and palaces, while an aunt (sister of her grandfather) had been in the personal service and entourage of Empress/Tsarina Katharine the Great and in that of her son Emperor/Tsar Paul-I until he was assassinated in 1801, at the imperial court at Saint-Petersburg. 

But today she is a completely forgotten artist, and very undeservedly as this example proves. She is not mentioned in any of the Artist Lexicons nor in Dresslers Kunsthandbuch. She was born in great wealth (her sister Frieda (1883-1966) I found in Prussian millionaires listings, the Germans keen on meticulous book keeping) in a nobel family, gifted able and allowed to study painting in Munich and Paris around 1900 (no doubt in the "Damenakademie" and "Academie Colarossi"), meeting the impressionists, post-impressionist and modernists and fortunate enough to even collect their paintings (more later) and to pursue an artistic career. Elsa's name popped up unasked, in an Ebay queerie this week. And Googling I read about her in a newspaper article from a recent presentation by German art historian Ulrike Götze. Today sharing the first results of my investigation. 

She married ophthalmologist Rudolph Tischner (1879-1961) in 1909 who besides his private "eye-care" praxis in Friesing (near Munich) was also to become the "Nestor of German Parapsychology" including, occultism, telekineses, homeopathy and several other disciplines we today describe as: quackery. She lovingly painted his portrait bent over his, no doubt one of his own many written books. When things were still OK.

She became the mother of their daughter, Elli in 1913 and enjoyed bringing her up sketching lovingly the embraceable and adorable young girl. They lived through WW-I. Somehow "change" set in: Mr. and Mrs Tischner divorced in 1919. 

Single mother and artist Elsa managed to survive the great Depression but not without being forced  to sell her beloved paintings in the 1920's (so much much for divorce settlements in the 1920's) and then saw the National Socialists rise to power. She survived WW-II, her house bombed and destroyed near the end in 1944 losing everything, then her daughter committed suicide (in 1944). She lived alone and forgotten in a wooden garden shed the last 10 of her 80 long years on the planet wondering: what the ..... has happened ?

These are the 3 paintings once in the personal collection of the Baroness Elsa von Durant.

Paul Gauguin: "l'Invocation" painted in 1903 the year of his death and today in the collections of the National Gallery in Washington (USA)

Paul Cezanne:"Vue de l'Estaque à travers les arbres" (1878), sold in 2002 to a private collector for $ 4.4 M.  

Vincent van Gogh: "l'Arlesienne" (or Madam Ginoux) Vincents neighbour painted in 1890 after a drawing by his friend Gauguin, bought in happier times 1908-1912 of van Gogh’s sister-in-law Johanna van Gogh-Bonger1862-1925 (wife of Theo van Gogh (1857-1891) was bought for less then 13.000 DM and was auctioned in New-York in 2006 for a staggering $ 40 M.


All examples of paintings (artwork) by Elsa von Durant and additional genealogical and family details are welcomed. 

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

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Deja Vu....solved: Ernst Pickardt

Finding the complete text of a 1924 graphics catalogue resulted in solving this mystery signature in this print found recently see posting of May 25th. Thank you Wolfgang. The artist is Berlin Jewish painter an etcher:
Ernst Max Pickardt 
(Berlin 1876 - 1931 Berlin) 

I shall not reveal all biographic details here (that is for the book) but although largely forgotten today he was represented in that catalogue with some 50 etchings mainly of German composers and Poets and Italian views, obviously after an extensive trip. I would very much like to know more about his parents Hermann Pickardt (dates unknown, he had a brother Julius Pickardt also in the beer trade. Julius' name is frequently mentioned, but probably as anti-semitic propaganda, in relation to the "Dividend-beer fraud & scandals" in the 1870-80's (after the Berlin stock market collapsed in 1873) and his mother Dorothea Heimann (dates unknown). She may be however identical with Doris Pickardt-Hermann, daughter of Berlin rabbi and printer Hermann Samuel Hermann (1810-1889) and Jeanette Freund. In that case Ernst has 5 more brothers and 2 sisters. As a biographer I would like to know about all 19th century Berlin Pickardt family members, there weren't that many and they seem all related, James, Wilhelm, Max, Felix etc... 

Dorothea Heimann was Hermanns second wife, married around 1875. His first wife (dates and name unknown) died (aged 28) when their apartment at Oranienstrasse 52 collapsed due to unprofessional building activities in 1871. Their child (daughter) survived the crash. Revealed in 1871 newspapers and minutes of the 1872 criminal investigations to the cause leading to 3 fatalities.  

The Boulevard Montmartre view however is from his trip to Paris in 1928 and clearly a tribute to the impressionists Camille Pissaro and Gustave Caillebotte who kind of "invented" the boulevard view from a balcony from his posh Boulevard Hausmann residence.


Ernst's father Hermann was in the Berlin beer trade and he himself married 1917 the daughter of an heir of two Berlin fortunes (great-grandfathers): the Jewish jeweller to the imperial crown Zadig Freidländer (1801-1861) and Jewish king of textile Valentin Mannheimer (1815-1889): 

Leonie Martha Lehfeld (Berlin 1892-1964 Berlin) is said to have been "Kleinplastikerein" a sculptrice or ceramist creating figurines. Sadly she is not mentioned in any of the artist lexicons. She was the daughter of lawyer Dr. Robert Lehfeld (b. Breslau 1857) and Bertha Friedlander (b. Berlin 1869). The Friendländer-Manheimer Berlin ancestry is clear but I would very much like to know more about this Lehfeld family too.   

All information welcomed.   

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Agnes Salomons Paris (1900-1910)

The other week in a car boot I found 2 old "Souvenir" photos and postcards album. They contained many postcards from European cities from around the turn of the century but also some very clear, sharp and large sized, (22 x 28 cm.) rare "albumen" prints of Paris. There are no automobiles visible, so dated around 1900 (1890-1910. What a wonderful world. It was the Paris of impressionist Camille  Pissarro (1830-1903). 

Pissarro died when Agnes Salomon, as a young Hamburg woman and student,  had just arrived in Paris. When all the American, German and other foreign students, the collectors and artists gathered. To be immersed in art and "modernism". The centre of the World.

I've put the originals under the scanner for sharing (they embiggen by mouse click). PS: The originals and the books are available for trade or swapping.       

Arc de Triomph del'Etoille 

Avenue de Champs-Elysees. 

Avenue de Champs-Elysees. 

Boulevard des Italiens 

Boulevard des Capucines


l' Opera 
Avenue de l'Opera (seen from the Opera) 

Palais du Louvre, la Collonade 

Pont et Place Concorde

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Mediterane Küste

Help requested please 

to identify the 1959 printmaker of this colourful abstract 

"Mediterane Küste" 

All suggestions are welcomed.
(other then "Dart Väder")  

Many thanks from tropical Friesland (a horrific 35C). in the Netherlands. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Agnes Salomon II: at last, progress !

Although Agnes Salomon is not represented in my personal print collection she recently is the focus of my research. Agnes is "just one" one of the over 300 mostly obscured and hardly researched women in my collection of short biographies of German woman artist involved in pioneering woodblock printmaking. With the help of the Hamburg Jewish Community I received information that may help us on the way in reconstructing her life. This blog contribution to share the first attempt creating her short biography from scratch. 

The date read in her only publicly known print, "Boulevard de Vaugirard" (before posting) 1902 was given (introduced) in the book where the print was displayed" Wege zu Gabriele Münter und Käthe Kollwitz" (2014). 

The S in the monogram is reversed (deliberately/accidentally ?) (the 2 an accidentally  reversed and inverted 7 ...... ?)

In 1902, just aged 18 Agnes she left for Berlin-Charlottenburg  (possibly to her brother Siegfried who left for Berlin in 1893 ?) Mentioned below "Mal-Schulerin, Malerin": Painting student, painter.   

How she could be also in Paris in 1902 is an interesting question. The Vaugirard print is obviously showing the late fall of 1902(?). Her departure for Paris is not written down in Hamburgs official registration: she would have needed a passport or travelling document: did she travel from Berlin ? Her mother died in November 1902 (her father in 1900). A few years later, returned in Hamburg in 1907, she requested a passport to Spain, while she married a year later in 1908 again in Paris.... Intriguing !  In 1911, married, her (definite) departure for Paris was recorded.  


Genealogy attempt: Agnes Salomon.
(courtesy of Jürgen Sielemann, 
Chairman of the "Hamburger Gesellschafft für judische Genealogie"
c/o Jüdische Gemeinde Hamburg )  

Agnes was the last child of 5 by Jewish "Kaufmann, Geschäftsführer" (merchant,  head of company) in "Weiß- und Hollandische Waren" Samuel Moses Salomon. "Weißwaren" was used to describe wool- and cotton underwear,  pyjama's etc..., (see this shop in Berlin), but also pottery. 

"Holländische Waren" suggest wooden shoes, porcelain windmills and Gouda  cheese but in fact was used to describe "all goods tradable manufactured in neighbouring Netherlands". German "Posamenten" (French: passements) lace, yarn and embroidery; home textiles. "Posamentier" merchant in ......)

Of great importance were the colourful printed cotton fabrics that until this day are manufactured in the Netherlands and in use to  locally create traditional African dresses. Read here the surprising and very interesting history of this trade (Vlisco)

Considering the studies of Agnes in Munich (when ? 1902-1907 ?), possibly Berlin and Paris her father had been probably not the average middle class Jewish potts, pans, knickers and home textile shop-owner, but probably was involved in the import and export business, a commissionaire-trader. In Hamburg I found shop owners with the family name Salomons (poss. family members ? ) active in more or less the same trade and business ("Weiss- Hollandische Waren", cotton, cloths, yarn, lace etc...), but not her father Samuel.   

Translating his recorded addresses in Hamburg 1890's records, in hard to read old-German script, may help to estimate his social status. All help is welcomed.   
Kiel around 1850
"Geschäftsführer" Samuel Moses Salomon (Kiel 03-07-1838 - 11-11-1900 Hamburg) married  Lea Isaacson ("Schneiderin" tailor/seamstress,  (Neubukow near Rostock 04-01-1843 -  26-09-1902 Hamburg). They are not buried together  (no idea about the reason) and were married in Hamburg 1874. 
Neubukow (Mecklenburg) around 1900
Samuel M. Salomon was the son of Moses Salomon and Betty Benjamin and Lea was bon in the village of Neubukow where a small Jewish community existed, the daughter of Salomon Isaacson and Lina Wolff (b. 1815), either of them a librarian in Neubokow. 
Their 5 children were all born in Hamburg: Siegfried (1876), Wilhelm (1879), Julius (1881), Friederike (1883) and Agnes (1884). Remarkable: all Christian and not Jewish names. Hopefully this can be explained later.
Brother Wilhelm may have died in WW-1 serving in the Navy and Siegfried (who also left for Berlin) possibly was buried in Hamburg 1908. Of Julius and Friederike I have no other clues.  

As far as I know all works (but this drawing) by Agnes von Bülow-Salomon are signed or monogrammed A.Salomon (A.S). There are too few works known to draw any conclusions but as we know she married in 1908, left for Berlin and started a family (3 daughters) and later moved to Brussels it is possible she abandoned an artistic career to dedicate herself to her husband and family. Not an uncommon scenario. Most successful women artist stayed unmarried or shared lives with a soulmate or female partner. 

Before  following Agnes to Spain I share this this one drawing I found in an auction catalogue. It shows the worlds 20th century most important conductor Wilhelm Fürtwängler (1886-1954) and thanks to Agnes' signing (von Bülow), dating and titling, I am almost certain she saw maestro Fürtwängler in Paris 1931 when his very successful series of performances of Wagners "Tristan and Isolde" in France started. Living in Brussels Paris was just a train ride away. 

Co-incidance:  Emil Orlik also did Fürtwänglers portrait. In 1928.  

In 1907 Agnes received documents/permission to travel to Fuenterrabia in Spain. These few letters in Hamburgs civic registration, discovered last week and a century later, were a great surprise to my research. Not only it proved to locate one (and possibly two) of her scarce known paintings but it also directed me to a place where I found several possible leads and indications to my "when's, how's and why's". 

All (translating and genealogical) help is welcomed. 

All pictures embiggen by mouse-click 

Next: Agnes in Fuenterrabia - Spain.   

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Marie Wippermann & Agnes Salomon in Paris

Agnes Salomon
 (married journalist Joachim von Bülow 1908)
(Hamburg 1884 - 1939 Brussels) 
Painter and printmaker 

Agnes Salomon (poss. "Dame in Weiss", before 1904)

She was the daughter of Hamburg "Kaufmann" (merchant) Samuel Salomon  and Léa Isaacson (1843-1902). Lea is buried in Hamburg Ohlsdorf cemetery. 

A Samuel Salomons is buried here also but in another plot (without dates) 35 years later in 1937. It might be her father although he by then must have reached a respectable high age, not impossibly but maybe another relative rests here (brother/nephew?). Her mother Lea's ancestors possibly can be traced to a Jewish community in Neubukow near Rostsock and I have a hunch Samuel Salomon might be related to a very prosperous Schleswick/Dittmarschen Jewish cigar manufacturer originating from Stavenhagen (also near Rostock) with honorary title "Komerzienrat" bearing the same name several decades earlier. On my request the Hamburg Jewish community offered help with the ancestry/genealogy because my arm-chair research from neighbouring Friesland had come to a halt. Results will be shared in due time. Lea was 41 btw giving birth to Agnes and she died when Agnes was 18, the same year we find her in Paris. Some interesting questions arise: was she the last and/or only child ? How did her father finance her studies in Munich (under Angelo Jank and Christian Landenberger) and Paris ? She married into an aristocratic family, the son of a diplomat and military so surely there must be traces of her fathers prosperity and business in Hamburg allowing her to study abroad.   

Agnes Salomon (Paris Brd. Vaugirard, 1902)
(Trees suggesting fall or early winter) 

Print stitched with contemporary photo. Entrance to metro next to  small building on the square, right  

Why research an artist that is so little known, forgotten and obscured ? I had Agnes in my archive files with just one print (and some paintings of which the marines surely are not by her but by an unknown "A. von Bulow"). It is however a very early print, showing Paris Boulevard de Vaugirard, adjacent to "Place de Maine" (and the Metro entrance). Opposite, then was the backside of Montparnasse train station demolished in the 1960's to make place for the imposing over Paris Tour Montparnasse. 

It is possibly the earliest woodblock prints by a German woman artist I've ever come across. 
Gabrielle Munter (Herbst in Sèvres, 1907)

In these years later well known Gabrielle Munter (1877-1962) was also fiddling with block printing in Paris (1907-08) when Agnes Salomon created her Bvd. Vaugirard print. 

Albert Marquet: Paris Boulevard Madeleine (also with Metro entrance)
Compare it with  Agnes' printed Boulevard Vaugirard version 
Although not an Art Historian by birth or academic training I've wondered about the similarities in Marie Wippermans prints with painter Albert Marquet (see before posting) who had become seriously popular in Paris in the first years of the 20 century. Marquet was a close friend of Matisse and colleague of Raoul Dufy with whom he travelled and painted together in Normandy in 1906 (below posters). 
Rose Friedrich (Dresden): Stilllife fruits in bowl.

Rose Friedrich (1877-1953) from Dresden was student of Matisse in Paris and so was Marie's close friend painter Ida Gerhardi (1862-1927) also from Lüdenscheid who lived and worked in Paris for 20 years (1891-1913), friend of August Rodin and Kathe Kollwitz. 

Académie Colarossi (Ida Gerhardi standing right)  

Marie Wippermann also choose these decorative and colourful advertising murals for her Seine woodblock print (see before posting).    

Marquet: Trouville 

Dufy: Trouville 

Only recently, after getting in contact with Marie Wippermanns grandson (see before posting, these prints were accidentally sold and never meant to leave the family, but that is another story) I came to see this print of a handsome woman in light coat and feathered hat in a Paris café by Agnes Salomon. She wasn't married then, she was in 1908 in Paris, with aristocrat, journalist and self-taught painter Joachim von Bülow from Breslau but his (military) ancestors also originated from the Rostock area. The couple later moved to Berlin and eventually to Brussels.  

The Café print was in the personal belongings of Marie Wipperman. Who like Agnes, married the same year she returned from Paris in Halver near Lüdenscheid, Germany moving into her house at Marktstrasse 11 in Halver (above a: right, b: middle). 

Exhibition poster by Emanuel Josef Margold (1888-1962)
(Sold for over $ 16.000)
My renewed research efforts (continuing business) resulted in finding the 1902 woodblock print of Boulevard Vaugirard exhibited in the Rudolfinum in Prag in 1907 (68th Jahresausstellung des Kunstvereins Böhmen (Bohemia).

Amedee Joyau (Dunes, Bréville, Normandy)
Hans Neumann ("Aristokrat")
A long row of very interesting and well known international artists took part and I suppose because of the presence of several French and British, were invited to join. 
William Nicholson (Sarah Bernardt )
Allen Seaby (Two Swans) 

Dagmar Hooge (Badende Mädchen)  

Jean Veber (Soiree bourgeois) 

Of which I was able to trace various exhibited prints (selection above). The café portrait by Agnes Salomon possibly was mentioned in a 1904 print catalogue as "Dame im Weiss". Agnes on that occasion was mentioned living in Munich. 

Please send all information on Agnes von Bülow-Salomon and help me to write and complete her short biography. 

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