Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Wilhelm Koch: Kreuzkirche in Reichenberg (Liberec)

Koch, Wilhelm 
(24-04-1892 – last mentioned 1962)

In before post my research into this print and its maker that showed up in Ebay recently brought me to Dresden artist Hildegard Koch. I've never come across her name before and I learned, to my surprise, she lived next door to to some well known early women printmakers, even exhibiting with them in Dresden. I do not think Hildegard was into printmaking (there's no proof whatsoever) so I conclude I may have never met her otherwise. A lucky encounter. 

I even had in my pictures archive a (better) picture of another copy of this remarkably good  "Kreuzkirche" print but now titled: "Abenddämmering" (twilight)  

The print shows the "Kreuzkirche" in Reichenberg and is titled "Unterhalb der Kreuzkirche". Reichenberg = Liberec, a small industrial town in Bohemia (now Czech republic), north of Prag, home town of another great printmaker: Carl Johne (1887-1959). It took a while connecting Wilhelm to this particular church but finally we did (thanks again Wolfgang).

Johne, working as a teacher Reichenberg "Knabenschule" (school for boys, below) will no doubt have known the maker of this print: Wilhelm Koch. He also for many years held a position as a teacher in a Reichenberg school. 

Koch was a painter, illustrator and graphic artist. I cannot say he was born in Reichenberg, he is also mentioned living in Achental near Törwang in Upper Bavaria near the Austrian border. But that could also have been after WW2 when all German citizens were forced to leave and expelled. 

Wilhelm Koch: unidentified location.
All suggestions and identification welcomed.

Karl Johne: Römerstadt in central Bohemia (now Czech Republic) 

He studied 1910/12 in Reichenberg at the “Kunstschule des Gewerbe-museums”, which gives reason to believe he was actually from this region. In 1913/14 in Gablonz' (near Liberec) “Kunstgewerbliche Fachschule für Glas und Metall” and 1915/16 at Vienna “Kunstgewerbeschule”(Art and Craft school). In Reichenberg-Liberec he taught for many years (1926-1945) graphics and Arts and Crafts in Reichenberg's “Kreisberufsschule” and is mentioned for his color woodblock prints (only two known).

View on Reichenberg ("Heimat") by Carl Johne.  

He illustrated “Zwischen Himmel und Erde” by Otto Ludwig (1813-1865) and works by  Theodor Storm (1817-1888) an exhibited 1929 in Landesmuseum Stuttgart (see below for Stuttgart). He was als involved in the celebrations with the 100th anniversary of Karl May (1842-1912) in 1942. 

Ferdinand Porsche (Reichenberg 1875-1951 Stuttgart ) was also born in the Reichenberg region, he died in Stuttgart leaving an imperium.  

Wilhelm Koch is not mentioned in Dresslers Kunsthandbuch, but he is Thieme-Becker and in Kürschners Graphiker-Handbuch 1959. 


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


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