Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Kate Traumann-Steinitz: from Berlin to Los Angeles

Kate (Käthe) Steinitz-Traumann
Kate Steinitz

(Germany 1889 - 1975 Los Angeles)

German painter, illustrator and printmaker,
Leonardo da Vinci expert.  

Thanks to Jane's recent article in the Blue Lantern Blog publishing this nice woodblock print that she's found in the Los Angeles Count Museum I've discovered another for me unknown German woman printmaker for my project. This is the only woodblock print I've ever seen by her and it shows a bend in river Spree flowing and meandering through the very heart of Berlin. Maybe a German reader can identify the proper location and the bridge spanning river Spree. 

It's dated 1909 and she was right in the heart of woodblock printmaking Germany. She was a student of Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945) and Aenny Loewenstein (1871-1925) and followed the Malschule für Frauen” (Women’s Painting School) run by the great Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) and the influence of godfather of Modern Printmaking Emil Orlik (1870-1932) was within reach and teaching nearby. Her name and entry however are not recorded in the references of the VdBK, the Berlin Womens Art Association, otherwise a great source of information concerning it's many hundreds of members and "friends". But also missing is Aenny Loewenstein ! Kate has however an entry in the Wikipedia and there's a short biography available here*, take a minute or two to read it. 

She was a close friend of Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) whom she's met when living in Han(n)over and Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931) and worked with both artists. In 1936 however she immigrated from Nazi Germany with husband Ernst and three daughters Ilse, Lotti, and Beate (below) to America where she later became known as a Leonardo da Vinci expert and museum curator.

Rumbling through the Internet I found a booklet that once belonged to Kate's daughter Beate (middle, 1920-1941) that brought me to Tom Seidmann-Freud (1892-1930) Sigmund Freud's niece.

Read the tragic story of this avant-garde and surreal illustrator of childrens books here. The original books are now very sought after by collectors. It is most probable that both women-artists and illustrators will have known each other.

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

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