Friday, 23 January 2015

Fanny Remak, Part II, her friends: Käthe Münzer-Neumann

Trying to illuminate the obscured life of Fanny Remak, from my desktop and with the help and force of the Internet, today: Part 2. In Part I tried summing up what could be found and was written about Fanny combined with the results of my initial and simple genealogical research. 
From wealthy and influential Jewish background and education in 19th century Berlin to her end in London. Maybe with the help of her closest friends and colleagues, and maybe with the help of surviving relatives we will be able to find out some more.

In the archives of the “Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen” (VdBK) it was mentioned that she was a close friend of Käthe Münzer-Neumann. So here goes, the biography I composed combined with examples of her work that I was able to scratch together from auction catalogues and websites. Not much; strange, for a once well known and respected artist. On the other hand: I still have not one example of Fanny’s work to show you.

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Münzer-Neumann, Käte
(Breslau 1877 – 1959 Paris)

Painter and caricaturist and close friend of Fanny Remak.


She studied in the “Zeichen und Malschule” (VdBK) in Berlin with Max Uth (1863-1914) and Franz Skarbina (1849-1910), in the Academie Julian in Paris and with Ernst Joseph Laurent (1859-1929) and Edmund Francois Aman-Jean (1858-1936) in 1909. She lived in and travelled to Warsaw 1909-1911, to St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Kopenhagen, Netherlands (Volendam) and Berlin. Since 1933 living and working in Paris.
She was married to Dr. Jakob Neumann (died Paris 15-04-1948) but I have no idea what his occupation was. She (they?) returned to Berlin in 1929.  Immigrated as a Jew to Paris in 1933, unlike her sister Elise she escaped and survived the Holocaust going underground. After the war she find recognition and her work is very much appreciated in France.
Exhibited in the “Großer Berliner Ausstellung”, the Berlin Secession in the VdBK and in the Lyceum-Clubs, in Paris in the yearly Societé des Artistes Francais, in the Societé Nationale des Beaux Arts, the Paris Salon d’Automne, Salon des Indépendants and Salon des Humoristes. Member of the VdBK 1913-1940, exhibited with the VdBK 1930-1932.
She dies in 1959 in Paris, well respected as an artist in France but forgotten in Germany. In 1948 she lived in Paris, Rue Froidevaux 59 in the 14th arrondisement, looking over Cimetiere Montparnasse.  


Rue de Froideveau - Paris 

(Painting by Murray Wagnon)

Münzer, Elise

(Breslau 15-08-1869 – murdered 19 sept. 1942 Treblinka death camp)


Writer, correspondent and newspaper journalist and the elder sister of Käthe Münzer, first woman correspondent to work in the “Berliner Morgenpost” newspaper, deported August 17th 1942 with the first “Großen Altertransport (aged 73) to Theresiënstadt in Poland and murdered september 19th in Treblinka extermination camp. She most probably will have known Fanny too. 
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(this could very well be her sister Elise)


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Mysterie painting: in Berlin ?


This last example (1898) described by the German auctioneer as “Straßenszene in Berlin”. A lovely watercolor (mind the fierce red inside of the umbrella), and it should really be no problem to find out the exact location, obviously a park. The Sphinx with child statue on the head of the bridge should be clue enough one should think. But a century later that proves to be not as simple. The child (Putte in German, or Putti in Italian) obviously is Amor (or Eros, or Cupid) or l’Amour. But where is it ?


The earliest and most famous of such combination I could find was a design by Jacques Sarrazin (1660-1668) executed by Jacques Houzeau and Louis Lerambert for Louis XIVth to adorn his Versailles palace gardens. Copies were later made, one still to be found in nearby Paris Chateau Champ sur  Marne. 



Later, similar combinations (there are many more "single phinx” statues) most  seem to have faces with curly (normal) hair instead of the stylized Egyptian hair dress that is also shown in Käthe's water color. 

German sculptor Max Klein (1847-1908) designed similar ornamental statues for the Bismarck Brücke in Berlin Grünewald of which one is surviving in a park to this day but: without Amor and with curly hair.

It could be:

It could be Käthte's painting is a phantasy, It could be Käthe was in Paris (1898, but she was just 21 ?). It could be, it is most probably, somewhere in Berlin: but where ?        

To be continued ………………….

If you think I am quite mad to go to such length: you are probably right, but please send in any ideas, additions or possible clues after finding and reading this posting and episode. Beware: there're more of Fanny's friends to follow shortly.


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

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