Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Anna Betzler from Frankfurt.

One thing leading to another when investigating is one of the joys "surfing" the Internet. It is a great help placing artists in perspective and context, understanding better their lives and times. 

Betzler-Holtschmidt, Anna 
(Barmen 25-09-1889 – 1936 Frankfurt)
Painter and printmaker. 

Studied in the Dusseldorf painting school Atelier Kunowski" and in Dusseldorf “Kunstakademie” as Anna Holtschmidt.  In 1915 she married: 

Emil Betzler 
Expressionist painter, printmaker and art educator:

Travels to Italy, the Alps and France, presumably together because these two alpine prints are about all the proof I was able to find in the internet concerning the couples printmaking activities. Emil was a friend of Max Beckmann (1884-1950) Germany's best known expressionist painter, sculptor and printmaker who rose to greater fame emigrating to the US in 1947. Beckmann taught in the 1920-30's in Frankfurt "Kunstakademie".  

Perhaps Emil and Anna Betzler are not among the most spectacular or even collectable of printmakers, but seeing how they converted there travel sketches into block prints and knowing something about their times and background is interesting enough. At least to me they are.  

Dresslers KHB 1930: Frankfurt am Main, Escherheim, Klaus Grothstrasse. Member RvbK.

Atelier Kunowski:

a private painting school lead by Lothar von Kunowski and his wife Gertrud von Kunowski-Eberstein active in Düsseldorf since 1909. “Malschule (paintingschool) Gertrud Eberstein” was founded in 1901 in Munich. A year later in 1902, after her marriage with Lothar von Kunowski, it was renamed “Malschule Kunowski”. Works by students were exhibited in Munich, Leipzig and Breslau and a branch was opened in Rome for Munich students. The school was relocated in 1905 to Berlin and in 1909 to Düsseldorf where Gertrud Kunowski lead the “Vorseminar”, a course preparing students for admittance in the Academy. She also lead the portrait painting classes and seminar. Lothar von Kunowsky was awarded a professorship in Düsseldorf “Kunstakademie” in 1925.

Kunowski-Eberstein, Gertrud von 
(Bromberg 24-04-1877 – 1960 Schönau)
Painter and painting school owner.

Self portrait 1897

Discovering Gertrud Kunowski through her student Anna Holtschmidt proved her to be a very interesting artist. She'd studied privately in Breslau from 1893 and with a state grant (“Stipendium”) from 1895 in Munich “Damen-malschule"* meeting her husband Lothar von Kunowski (1866-1936) who was a teacher in the school.

* Painting school for girls and women: women were not allowed to study in the academy until 1919.

Self portraits by Gertrud von Kunowsky.

She founded her own private painting school in 1901(!) which says something about her nature and was joined a year later by her husband who was appointed head of Düsseldorf state art-teachers seminar in 1909. She was a well-known local Jugendstil portrait painter leading the portrait classes in their school. Her work was exhibited in 1919 in Düsseldorf modernist “Galerie Flechtheim”. In the internet I found several self portraits. 

In 1953, when she was 76, she portraits Hermann Buhl (1924-1957) the famous Austrian mountaineer who in that year was the first climber conquering solo 8000 meter Nanga Parbat in Pakistan Himalaya. In the 60 year before numerous attempts had been made, killing 35 climbers.    

Galerie Flechtheim:

Alfred Flectheim by Nils Dardel (1888-1943)
The Modernist art gallery was founded in 1913 by Alfred Flechtheim (Münster 1878-1937 London) at Dusseldorf's posh "Königsallee" 34. He was the heir of his fathers international merchants and grain business and had married the extremely wealthy Bertha Goldschmidt (1881-1941) from one of Dortmund wealthiest Jewish families. Alfred Flechtheim, besides leading his fathers business, was an international art dealer, art collector, publicist and gallery owner. He owned works by Picasso, van Gogh, Derain, Braque and many others. Many paintings bought with his wifes money on their honeymoon trip to Paris. Not the amusement of his father in law Salomon Goldschmidt. 

After WWI the gallery re-opened with an expressionist exhibition (see above) in 1919. Branch galleries opened in Berlin, Lützowufer 13, in 1921, in Cologne and Frankfurt. He fled the Nazi persecution in 1933 through Switzerland and Paris reaching London in 1934. His  art dealers and galleries businesses, the  collections and both their fortunes were either sold, stolen or confiscated by the Nazis. He died impoverished in 1937 in London. His widow Betty committed suicide 15-11-1941 in Berlin the day before her scheduled deportation.


All pictures embiggen by mous-click.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment