Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Anny Böhmer-Hengstenberg, an unexpected discovery.

Anny (Annemia Hilma) Böhmer-Hengstenberg

(Duisburg 1891-1957)

German painter, book cover designer, paper-mosaik artist and
 woodblock printmaker.

My ongoing and never ending research on pioneering German Women Printmakers born before 1900 resulted in receiving from a reader in Krefeld Germany some wonderful supplements and new examples of this obscured artist and printmaker. Although occasionally her prints, usually topographic prints of historic Moers, a medieval city near Duisburg, show up in Ebay nothing much was known about the life of this artist. 

The old "Klompenwenkel" (wooden shoe shop) in the Neustrasse in old Moers drawing Gustav Olms (1864 - 1930) and pre WW2 photograph

The destructions during WW2 in all of Germany's cities were immens and the heavily bombed Ruhrgebiet was no exception destroying council- and school-archives and records disabling greatly todays biographical research. The friendly use of the Internet, again, proofs to be a great help to fill in gaps and omissions.

Besides the 11 woodblock prints that to this day came to my knowledge, I learned to my surprise that Anny was a pioneering paper mosaic artist. Skills and ideas she probably learned at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Krefeld but there's no proof because this schools' archives were also destroyed. 

It looks like she watercolored sheets of paper, to tear them up in order to mosaically piece and and glue them together again. 

Blobs of color in the form of scraps of paper, much like "pointillism" in a carefully arranged mosaic pattern creating paintings to an astonishing result. The small and rare collection of "paintings without painting" drawing the attention of a local museum and negotiations are underway for taking up in its collections soon. 

 The Old Bridge in Bad Kreuznach on river Nahe, a tribuary of the Rhine 120 km south of Duisburg. 

Anny was the daughter of industrial merchant Eduard Hengstenberg (d.1923) and Anna Küppers (b.1866). Her younger brother was the leading and important philosopher Hans Eduard Hengstenberg (1904-1998) born in Homberg (near Moers) now a suburb of greater Duisburg. 

Anny lived and worked in the small city of Bornheim near Moers and Duisburg and was married to Erich Heinrich Wilhelm Böhmer, possibly a member of the shoe manufacturing Böhmer familie that owned factories in nearby Xanten and Cleve before and after WW1.

As always I look forward to any supplemental (biographical) information and data. A great "thank you" for enthousiast collector en reader Klaus who has send me the pictures of his collection for sharing and added some important clues about the Hengstenberg and Böhmer families in Moers. 

All pictures are mouse-clickable to embiggen.


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