Saturday, 15 August 2015

What has happened to Charlotte Rollius ? Trying to solve the mystery.

Charlotte Rollins

Charlotte, Confusion, Coincidences or Clues ?

Last week I received a most interesting email from American reader Melanie. She'd found the information shared in this Blog on the illusive printmaker and Emil Orlik student Charlotte Rollius/Rollins (here*)

Melanie inherited (or came to own from the artists family) four oil paintings on wood panels. By Charlotte Rollins (signed Rollins not Rollius). With the email came also bits and pieces of information about the artist Charlotte Rollins. Which I now share here. 

Charlotte Rollins(!), the painter, had arrived in America in 1919 from France with a ship, the ships manifest mentioning her profession as: teacher. Melanie has information she came from Paris (or le Mans (Fr.) and was from a wealthy or well to do (elite) family background. Shortly after arriving in the US in 1919 she  had married a Hugh Rollins(!). They had a daughter Jacqulene Rollins and lived in Ohio. In 1923 Charlotte traveled with her daughter Jacqulene/Jacqueline for three months to France. This Charlotte Rollins was born 1892.

Melanie states: "in december 1923 Emil Orlik was in Ohio on a two months stay for a private portrait sitting".....  

Still life  by Emil Orlik (1870-1932) 


Charlotte Rollius

was a Student of Emil Orlik (1870-1932) and worked closely with him on a work of art (woodblock print).
She is mentioned studying and working in Berlin 1905-1908 and 1910.
In 1912 (and 1913) she is mentioned, as Charlotte Rollius, in newspapers and exhibition catalogues in America concerning a large (traveling ?) exhibition with many great German artists (read the earlier blog-article).

In 1930 Charlotte Rollius is mentioned with the description of a print in a Chicago School Artists Society publication (which is confusing but it may concern a print created before her marriage.....)  

What if:

Charlotte Rollius (the Berlin artist and Orlik's student) immigrated to America in 1919 and married a Hugh Rollins in New York.

What if Charlotte Rollins/Rollius and Emil Orlik (1870-1932) had kept contact with het teacher, maybe meeting in Paris and maybe resulting in Orlik's 1923 American trip (could they have travelled together ?)

In that case Malcolm Salaman' s referral/critic in his book "the Art of the Woodcut" of a woodcut by "Charlotte Rollins" could after all be correct because of her marriage in 1919 to Hugh Rollins.  


Publication of these puzzling pieces in the Internet hopefully will result in solving the biography of Charlotte Rollius/Rollins. Eventually. All your help is very welcomed.


  1. Orlik left Europe on December 1923 for America and returned to Germany in April 1924. The man in Cincinnati who commissioned Orlik to paint his portrait appears to be a Mr. Plaut (based on a letter Orlik wrote to Marie von Gomperz), and Orlik seems to have visited Cincinnati in March 1924. While in the United States, Orlik had exhibitions and/or gave lectures in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Buffalo, and New York City, including the Cincinnati Art Museum and and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    While he may have met "a" Charlotte Rollins in Ohio, I doubt seriously that she traveled with him, and I've certainly not seen her referenced in his letters from this time period. I thought I had read somewhere that "the" Charlotte Rollins who had hand-colored Orlik's still life with pheasant woodblock print was English.

    1. Thank you Darrell, for this rapid extra information. I guess they would, or could, have stayed in contact. If the Charlottes are one and the same person..........
      I've read that bit about Charlotte ROLLIUS being English also but would like to know the source of that information.
      I wish there was a Rollius (not that common a name) genealogy. The answers will come, one day.

  2. Charlotte Rollins being identified as English is probably because Malcolm Salaman referenced her in "The Art of the Woodcut."

    1. I suppose that is the case Darrel, and I very much would like to prove him wrong. Or right. Either way would be perfect.
      Thanks !