Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Margarethe Braumüller-Havemann: from Grabow in county Mecklenburg

Braumüller-Havemann, Margarethe
(Grabow/Mecklenburg 1877 -  died c.1955)
Painter, sculptor and printmaker.  

"Cloth Line"  

This rather well known print by rather unknown Margarethe Havemann  ("Flatterende Windeln") printed and published in 1905 by Seemann for Leipzig art revue "Zeitschrift fur Bildende Kunst" probably made Margarethe, still in het twenties, instantly famous. She was among Germany's pioneering printmakers and although I have no idea about edition numbers it turns up so every now and then in Ebay. 

Listen here*  to an unknown Cloth Line Ballet: one of my favorite Fats Waller (1904-1943) original compositions. He too was inspired by cloth fluttering in the winds: childhood memories ?  

Grabow in Margarethe's time, the village and Havemann residence (left)  

Margarethe was one of 6(*) surviving children of well to do Friedrich (Fritz) Wilhelm Heinrich Havemann, owner of an international seed business in Grabow in county Mecklenburg, a small trading village situated and connected by road, river, canal and train roughly between Hamburg and Berlin, and Therese Marie Lautrup who originated from Flensburg in Denmark.  

Besides this supplement edition print a handful of illustration-like (calendar ?) prints by her hand turn up regularly. One of them shows the old centre of Hamburg, a view well familiar because the "Alsterfleet" impression by Hugo Amberg (one bridge up) appeared not so long ago in this Blog (follow the label below). Working and living in Hamburg the Braumüller and the Amberg couples will probably have been acquainted. 

"Alsterfleet" woodblock by Hugo Amberg
She had studied with painter, printmaker Ernst Neumann (1871-1954) in Münich and was married to painter and printmaker Philipp Georg Braumüller (1870-1927). The couple  moved to and worked in Berlin (1905) and later moved to Hamburg where Margarethe was appointed teacher in the “Kunstgewerbeschule für Mädchen” in Hamburg in 1909. 

She exhibited, like and possibly with her husband between 1900-1908, in the Münich “Glaspalast”, in Berlin (“Große Berliner Kunstausstellung”) and in Bremen in 1906. She worked for the Magazine “Licht und Schatten” and was a close friend of Ida Demel (1870-1942). With her she co-founded the “Bundes Hamburger Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen”. Her subjects were landscape, cityscapes of Hamburg and Berlin. Her work is collected in the graphic collection of the Folkwang-Museum in Essen.

The most interesting print by Margarethe however is this "Herbst" (Fall). Although it is probably also a view of something else. I will show in next posting.
(*) Margarethe, Hedwig, Fritz (died 1907), Otto (died 1914), Robert, Richard and Hans 

She was a sister of Richard Havemann (1875-1943) a famous trainer of wild animals. He started his career as an animal care-taker in Berlin Tiergarten Zoo. There he developed a show with big cats he often raised with a bottle from birth but eventually this show was judged "not appropriate" by the ZOO direction. It is good to hear ethics and thoughts about animal welfare are not exclusively from "our days". 

Havemann then bought the animals, travelled all over Europe and the USA, with his act, witnessed the San Francisco earth quake in 1906, lost many of his animals, returned to Germany and joined Hagenbeck's Circus with his act. Eventually, obviously he did not retire, his luck ran out and he was killed by his act: he was attacked by a bear he’d raised and trained as a cub and died, aged 68, from his injuries.

She was also sister of Hans Havemann (1887-1985) an influential teacher and writer who was the father of dissident and partisan and head of Berlin Humboldt University Physical Chemistry Department Robert Havemann (1910–1982).

Her sister Hedwig (b.1882) was a children's book writer and was married to poet Albert Sergel (1876-1949). They lived and worked in Berlin. Sadly Albert later turned sympathetic towards national socialist ideas.  

I found a book by the Sergels illustrated by Germany's famous children book illustrator Else Wenz-Vietor (1882-1973). She was one of the first women illustrators who could make a living from her work. Sadly her work today is often "related" with the national socialist world. She claimed artistically being inspired by British illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).    

Margarethes husband Georg Braumüller is interesting enough to have his own posting which will follow next.  

Margarethe is possibly related to (a niece of) printmaker Antonie Ritzerow (Grabow 1877 - ?) but that is still under investigation and will be revealed in due time. 

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

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