Fred Fredden Goldberg
(Berlin 24-09-1889 – 5-11-1973 San Francisco)
German, American painter and printmaker.
Besides collecting woodblock prints the saving and storing of bits and pieces of information eventually and inevitably will lead to the revelation and unobscuring of obscured and forgotten printmakers.
One of my recent acquisitions is this charming red Robin print. “Rotkelchen” in German although I’m not convinced we are talking of the same species of garden bird (see in the comments, below, for the proper ornithological name). Over the years I've found a few more examples of "Goldberg prints" and I even was able to obtain one or two. Thank you August for this last one !
Although Fred Goldberg's prints are not very special, he's not a Walter Klemm or Martin Erich Philipp and by no means his landscape and flower prints are coming close to prints created by the earliest German women printmakers. But they are quite decorative and better then anything I've ever achieved in this field. And to be honest they are usually affordable and thus within my financial reach.
The seller of the Robin, a well known Austrian printmaker and himself a student of Carl Rotky (1881-1977) knew it was by Fred Goldberg and it was this last and vital piece (the Fred part) of information that had to fall into place. All signatures I've seen were without the Fred part. Besides, Rotky and Goldberg had been contemporaries. So here's what I’ve been able to piece together so far about the life and times of Fred Fredden Goldberg.
Born in Berlin as the son of an accomplished artist father, whom I haven’t been able to trace yet, he studied at the “Königliche Akademie” in Munich, in the “Ecole des beaux Arts” and also in the “Académie Julian” in Paris.
In several different writings Goldberg was described as a “Tiermaler”, a painter of animals, but also as a portrait and landscape painter who had been commissioned to paint the portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II but also as being a theatre director. It is said he visited travelled to California and also worked there in 1904. If this is true, at age 15, I do not know. In in other article his father is mentioned to be the painter of the Kaisers portrait.
|Poster by Fred Fredden Goldberg.|
Apparently Goldberg visited many European countries on foot and to improve his skills in paintings animals he travelled to (German) East Africa for a year. Finally, in the 1950-60’s, he was recorded as “disappeared from the records since the mid 1930’s” while before working and teaching as an artist and professor in Berlin.
|In the Jewish ghetto: Shanghai|
For Jews life in Germany had become increasingly impossible from the mid 1930’s. The world, according to Chaim Weissmann, the Zionist leader seemed to be divided into two parts --"those places where Jews could not live and those where they could not enter".
But a forgotten chapter in history are the many thousands of European, Baltic and Russian Jews that found shelter and lived in exile until after the ending of WWII in Shanghai, in China.
Read here* this condensed and immensely interesting story. Among those who found shelter in Shanghai in 1938 was Fred Goldberg who after the war did not return to Germany but emigrated to California in 1947. America had financially supported the Jewish Shanghai community.
From his Shanghai refuge period these watercolors by his hand have survived. Goldberg lived and painted the rest of his life until his death in 1973 in California.
A fire is said to have destroyed most of his surviving paintings in 1980. I think his woodblock prints were all created in the 1920-30’s and in Berlin.
Any further information on the work and life of Fred Fredden Goldberg is very welcomed and shall be shared in this Blog.
August Trummer (b.1946) send me these 3 auction catalogue pictures if which I would very much like to know and see the original color prints.
All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.