Sunday, 3 January 2016

Martha Nothmann, one and the same ?

Nothmann, Martha
(Hamburg  28-03-1869 – ?)
German painter, possibly printmaker.

Havellandschaft mit Segler
Martha Nothmann
When facts and sources are scarce research means often following a path trying to prove your initial or working hypothesis wrong. Here's an example. Help of readers is much appreciated.    

Hypothesis 1) the painter of the "Havellandschaft" is identical with: Martha Nothmann: Künstlerin tätig in Berlin (gest.1933) Mitglied 1911-1933 VdBK. (Archives of the “Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen” (VdBK)

Hypothesis 2) Martha Nothmann is identical with Martha Nothmann-Bender married to Jewish industrialist  and art collector Berthold Nothmann see below (*).  

Hypothesis 3) A woodblock print signed in German Sutterlin script (possibly) reads: M. Nothmann, 1928 (but with a different handwriting from the paintings signature).

Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1921 mentions: Frau Martha Nothmann, M. (Malerin). Berlin W(ilmersdorf). Luitpolderstrasse 29. (Geboren) Hamburg 28.3.1869. (Member of the) VdK, WVB . The Luitpoldstrasse is near the Viktoria Luise Platz. A posh neighborhood were before WWII many artists lived.   

According to Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1921 Martha Nothmann was a neighbor of painter and graphic artist Dora  Koch-Gotha-Stetter (1881-1968) who besides living in Ahrenshoop in summer (in the artist colony) with her husband Frits Koch-Gotta until WWII also had a studio and ran a private painting school in Luitpoldstrasse no.27 which was destroyed by bombing in 1944. 

Dora Koch Stetter (courtesy of Kunsthandel Koskull -Heubach) 

(*) Nothmann, Berthold (Langendorf Upper Silesia/Poland 27-12-1865 -  febr. 1942 London). The son of plumber Heiman (Haim) Nothmann (1836-1911) and Amalia Riesenfeld (1834-1892) married 26-08-1894 Martha Bender.

Paul Cezanne, owned by Berthold Nothmann. 

Berthold Nothmann was a successful entrepreneur (tube manufacturer) and art collector since 1911. After his retirement in 1931 he moved from Düsseldorf to Berlin-Wannsee (a broad bend in river Havel, see the painting above) devoting completely to collecting art. Max Liebermann also lived here overlooking the Wannsee (Villa Liebermann). 

Wannsee, drawing by Max Liebermann
He was a close friend of Max Liebermann (1847-1935) of whom he owned a self-portrait bought directly from the great painter.

Max Liebermann, owned by Berthold Nothmann
Before his collection was confiscated by the Nazis he succeeded in selling several painting to art dealers. In 1939 he (and his wife !) fled to London where he died in 1942. In his collection were paintings by Paul Cezanne (Provence landscapes), Max Liebermann (selfportrait) and Adolf Menzel. 

Adolph Menzel, owned by Berthold Nothmann
Paul Cezanne, owned by Berthold Nothmann

Berthold had a brother Georg (Jiri) Nothmann (Langendorf 23-07-1873 - ) who with his wife succeeded in fleeing the Nazis in 1939 to the US.

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


  1. Hello Gerbrand,
    Hypothesis 3 - Well, I am reading something like M.NÖTSCHER / M.NÖTSCHNER, note that there is a hook on top of the "o".
    May this help you along a little bit...

    1. Thank you for trying Dorothy. I will look into this more closely. All suggestions and small bitts and pieces help, eventually !