Monday, 30 November 2015

Thea Spangenberg, unknown Bauhaus student & printmaker

Spangenberg, Thea 
(probably Dorothea)  
  (b. ? - d. after 1935)

Painter, graphic artist and script/typographic designer. 
"Heraklen a.d. Brucke".
(Heracleum Sphondylium: "Bärenklau", Hogweed)

Thea Spangenberg is known to me by one colour woodblock (above Hogweed and Bridge) print in my collection and a  woodblock print titled “Rhodos 1935 that I've found in an old auction announcement which is strikingly similar, although simpler, in design to Emma Bormann’s (1887-1974) “Constantinopel” print. 

And there's this gouache titled “Winternacht, Erinnerung an Walpurgis 1909".

Walpurgisnacht: 30 April, so called because it is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Germania. In Germanic folklore Walpurgisnacht is also called “Hexennacht”).     

The Weimar Bauhaus School’s archives has in its records a student Thea Spangenberg in 1919-1920. No further biographical details are known. Several typographical articles/ essays by Thea Spangenberg were published around 1930.

A 1922 woodblock calendar (and typographical proof ?) by Thea Spangenberg (similar to the “Wiener Werkstätte” calender designs) is in the LACMA (Los Angelos County Museum of Art, USA) collections.

Die zeitgemäße Schrift: Heft 14 (1930), “einführung in die Schrift”  (Thea Spangenberg, Düsseldorf); Heft 19, 1931“neue Wege zur Schrift ”. Edited by: Heinze und Blanckert, Berlin/Leipzig.


I suspect a possible family relationship (Greece and Walpurgis) with Berlin Acadamy painters Louis Spangenberg and his brother professor Gustav Adolph Spangenberg.

L. Spangenberg exhibited in the “Grafik und Aquarellen” division in the 1905 “Grossen Kunstausstellung” in Berlin. This, most probably, will be Louis Spangenberg (Hamburg 1824 - 1893 Berlin) an architectural painter living and working in Berlin who in 1857 had followed his brother Gustav Adolph Spangenberg  (Hamburg 1828 - 1891 Berlin) to Berlin and was also a painter and taught as professor in “Berlin Kunstakademie”. Their stepbrother Wilhelm Spangenberg (Hamburg 1819 – 1892 Hameln) was a politician. Of Louis Spangenberg it is known he travelled to England, France, Italy and Greece (*). Their grandmother was Dorothea Magdalena Sibeth (married to Peter Ludolph Spangenberg).

A family tie of these three brothers with a third painter active in Berlin, Paul Spangenberg (Güstrow 1843-1918 Berlin) is suspected. 

A woodcut (xylographic copy) of five witches on their way to the sabbat, titled “Hexenritt” [the Witches Ride] is known. It is dated 1870 and is a copy of an original drawing by Gustav Adolf Spangenberg (1828-91). In 1862 Gustav Spangenberg produced a large painting titled Walpurgisnacht” which is  in the collections of the Hamburger Kunstmuseum which  houses a large part of the paintings collection by these brothers father: Georg August Spangenberg  a doctor in Hamburg who had also lived for years in Rome.

This concludes or sums up about all I was able to collect on printmaker Thea Spangenberg. Maybe this contribution in future will help to bring some more information to light. If you happen to stumble over this Blog article and have any further information about Thea and the Berlin/Hamburg Spangenberg family I suspect she belonged to, please contact me. Any help is much appreciated. 

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

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015


A varied posting with help requested to identify some more prints and printmakers. 

Graz: Grazer Dom and rooftops 

Printmakers Carl Rotky (1891-1977) and Norbertine von Bresslern Roth (1891-1978) both were natives of Graz, but I'm very curious about the signature on this rather nice woodblock print: W. (Wilhelm, Walter ?) Hörgler, Hirgler ? (see also the Monogram in the block: WH

Unknown Printmaker: Girl with a scarf.

Carl Moser (1873-1939) certainly was intrigued by scarfed and bonneted (Brittany) girls, but also by the fabric and patterns of lace, cotton, dresses, cloth etc.  He for ever was experimenting, changing and altering designs, horizons and compositions seaking perfection as I am planning to show in next posting.  

And because of the attention to fabric and patterns this print reminds me also of prints by illusive printmaker Dagmar Hooge (1870- after 1921).

Until a good signed example or copy shows up only the help of a reader who recognizes this print may help to identify.

Friday, 6 November 2015

E. Mussler, unknown 1970's German printmaker

E. Mussler 
(living in Wiesbaden and later Kronberg near Frankfurt) 
unknown German contemporary linocut printmaker. 

Finding this contemporary (1976) meandering poplars linocut in Ebay recently rang a bell. This posting I hope will be inspiring to all who dare at the black arts. 

The printmaker obviously was inspired by one of Claude Monet's many "Poplars at Giverny" painted in the summer and fall of 1891 inspired by the perspective possibilities of meandering roads, rows of majestic poplars and the influences of the light and the weather. All on walking distance from his home and famous gardens.

Well, inspired is maybe not the word: copied, simplified and created a mirrored image ..........    

Unknown printmaker E(lisabet, Emma, Erika, Edith, Else ?) Mussler was from Wiesbaden and later lived in the nearby village of Kronburg (Taunus) near Frankfurt Germany. That's all the information the friendly seller was able to add. The dates scribbled on the prints (I could not resist to purchase the "Konvolut" or bunch) that arrived last week range roughly between 1970 and 1982. 

She obviously was experimenting with much enthusiasm, like Monet, with colors and light too and there's even another Monet painting she "used" to create a print, this time correctly cutting mirrored blocks of the painting first. The joy of creating a very nice image with the knife, press and paint is eminent in each and every print . 

Although these prints are some 40 years old I hope a reader or visitor one day stumbles over this posting and reveals to us the true identity of Frau E. Mussler from Kronburg (Taunus).     

These prints are of course not considered to be "great works of Art" but show how much fun it can be creating them and how pleasing and sattisfying the results of planning, cutting and printing can be.  

Please send information by comment or email ( for sharing.  

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