Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Stephan Krotowski, forgotten Berlin poster artist

My research into an almost forgotten but wonderful Berlin painter (who happened to find in a 1930 exhibition catalogue in Berlin) so far had not been very successful. But I feel lucky it has nevertheless lead me recently to: 

 Krotowski, Stephan Samuel 
(Berlin 26-01-1881 – 1948 London). 
Jewish (fashion) illustrator, poster and bookcover (“Buchschmuck”) designer.
Teacher at the Reimann School in Berlin  

He studied in Munich (I'ld like to know with whom ......) returned and worked in Berlin from the early 1910's as a graphic artist, fashion drawer and painter. As an illustrator he worked for “Ulk” magazine published by “Ullstein Verlag” in Berlin and as fashion drawer for “Fashion” magazine and “Lebenskunst” a gentlemens magazine. 

Harry Walden (Berlin 1875-1921 Berlin) was a very popular theater actor and had a short but intensive career as an early film maker and movie star. He also worked all over the world as a business man and later also performed as an actor even in America. He returned to Berlin and started in 1912 a movie production company. He died, addicted to morphine by suicide  

Krotowski also taught fashion-drawing at the Berlin “Schule Reimannand thus was a colleague of Julius Klinger (read below) who, unlike Stephan Krotowski, who stayed relatively unknown,  rose to great fame later in Vienna as an iconic poster and advertising artist. 

Alexander Roda Roda (Moravia 1872-1945 New York) was an alias for Sandor Friedrich Rosenfeld, a very popular Austrian playwright and satirical publicist. He worked for "Simplizissimus magazine and lived in Berlin 1920-1933. 

The "Wintergarten" of Hotel Central in Berlin Friedrichstrasse 1881. 

Krotowski is also notable for his fashion prints for the men's clothing store PKZ (founded by Paul Kehl in 1881), based in Zurich. His family and relatives suffered greatly from Nazi persecution. It is estimated not more then 1% of the 160.000 Jews of Berlin survived the Holocaust. 
Unlike Julius Klinger, Krotowski managed to escape the Nazi regime, probably around 1938, becoming a British citizen in 1948 but sadly died very shortly after. What follows gives a interesting view (within the limits of this humble Blog) on the Arts and Crafts Education world of Berlin 1880-1930 and may explain possibly why he came to London. 
I also found these portraits of celebrities of the time: Opera singer Enrico Carosu (1873-1921), Composer Richard Strauss, (1864-1949), Pianist and director of the Berlin Hochschule für Musik Eugene d'Albert (1864-1932) and conductor Arthur Nikisch (1855-1922 leading the London, Boston and Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra.


Reimann Schule and Albert Reimann
(Posen 1874 – 1976 London)
Jewish sculptor, arts and crafts artist medailleur and art educator.
Private school owner and leader.  

Albert and Clara (possibly 1875-1955, I found a Clara Reimann in a British census) Reimann founded and lead the “Schule Reimann” 1902-1935. I t was a private Arts and Crafts School („Schülerwerkstätten für Kleinplastik“) also training its own teachers. In 1909 a poster design class was added and in 1910 the “Höhere Fachschule für Dekorationskunst“ was incorporated. 
In 1911 Julius Klinger (1876-1942) was appointed teacher in the “Fachwerkstatt für Plakatkunst” in Reimann’s school and was the artistic leader 1912-1915 of the the joined “Höhere Fachschule für Dekorationskunst.

In 1927, 31 teachers taught 1000 students in 33 classes. In 1931 he had the schoolbuildings modernized and a photography section added but because of his Jewish roots and anti Jewish laws and harassement from 1933 onwards was steadily forced to sell and close his school, the last remnants, his artist supply shop was demolished in the “Reichspogromsnacht” (“Kristallnacht”) november 9/10th 1938. 

December 17th Reimann immigrated to London where his son Heinz Reimann, beginning of 1937 had esthablished the Reimann School and Studios (follow the Link) in Regency street its innovative methods and concepts were enthousiastically received and it had a significant  influence on British art and design schools and institutions. The London school closed 1941 because of the "Blitz" and finally was destroyed by bombing in 1944.
Albert Reimann received the “Bundesverdienstkreuz” from Bundespresident Theodor Heutz in 1958.From 1903 the location of the newly build school was at Berlins perimeter in Schöneberg at the corner of Landshuter Straße 38 and Hohenstauffenstraße” in the direct vicinity of the buildings of the Lette Verein


Julius Klinger 
(Dornbach near Vienna 22-05-1876 – murdered 1942 Minsk)
Jewish drawer, illustrator, typographer, writer and graphic artist. 

Studied in the “Technologischen Gerwerbemuseum” in Vienna and later with Koloman Moser (1868-1918). Started his career 1895 working for magazines “Wiener Mode” (meeting Kolo Moser) and “Meggendorfer Blätter”
He moved to Munich in 1896 and worked 1897-1902 at weekly magazine “Jugend”. He moved to Berlin in 1897 and stayed there until 1915, but after WWI he opened a studio in the Schellingstrasse in Vienna. 
Beginning in 1918, Klinger designed a comprehensive and noted campaign promoting the "Tabu" company's cigarette rolling paper, that was advertised all over Vienna in 1918/19. Klinger devised a promotional strategy, spanning from small-sized newspaper advertisements to billboards and painted firewalls, construction site fences and winterized fountain paneling were used as advertising space, too. 
Max Lieberman 
His last poster for Jewish “Ankerbrot-Werke” was created in 1938, just before that company also was seized by the Nazis. As a Jew Klinger was seized, “abgemeldet” 02-06-1942, deported and murdered in Minsk concentration camp probably upon arrival.

Lette Verein:

founded in 1866 by Wilhelm Adolf Lette (1799-1868) a social politician and lawyer and under the protection and financial support of princes-royal Viktoria von Preußen (1840-1901) daughter Queen Victoria of Great Brittain. 

The “Verein” was a member of the “Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine” and was esthablished to create a public school and training facilities for young women to learn a profession, have a career and earn a living (being independant) because acces to the academies was still impossible (until 1919). It started as “Verein zur Förderung der Erwerbsfähigkeit des weiblichen Geschlechts” but after Lette’s death two years later it was renamed “Letteverein” . The school was and still is located in Victoria Luise Platz 6. The entrance building at the right, between the two towered corners.  

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

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