Sunday, 8 July 2018

Agnes Salomon II: at last, progress !

Although Agnes Salomon is not represented in my personal print collection she recently is the focus of my research. Agnes is "just one" one of the over 300 mostly obscured and hardly researched women in my collection of short biographies of German woman artist involved in pioneering woodblock printmaking. With the help of the Hamburg Jewish Community I received information that may help us on the way in reconstructing her life. This blog contribution to share the first attempt creating her short biography from scratch. 

The date read in her only publicly known print, "Boulevard de Vaugirard" (before posting) 1902 was given (introduced) in the book where the print was displayed" Wege zu Gabriele Münter und Käthe Kollwitz" (2014). 

The S in the monogram is reversed (deliberately/accidentally ?) (the 2 an accidentally  reversed and inverted 7 ...... ?)

In 1902, just aged 18 Agnes she left for Berlin-Charlottenburg  (possibly to her brother Siegfried who left for Berlin in 1893 ?) Mentioned below "Mal-Schulerin, Malerin": Painting student, painter.   

How she could be also in Paris in 1902 is an interesting question. The Vaugirard print is obviously showing the late fall of 1902(?). Her departure for Paris is not written down in Hamburgs official registration: she would have needed a passport or travelling document: did she travel from Berlin ? Her mother died in November 1902 (her father in 1900). A few years later, returned in Hamburg in 1907, she requested a passport to Spain, while she married a year later in 1908 again in Paris.... Intriguing !  In 1911, married, her (definite) departure for Paris was recorded.  


Genealogy attempt: Agnes Salomon.
(courtesy of Jürgen Sielemann, 
Chairman of the "Hamburger Gesellschafft für judische Genealogie"
c/o Jüdische Gemeinde Hamburg )  

Agnes was the last child of 5 by Jewish "Kaufmann, Geschäftsführer" (merchant,  head of company) in "Weiß- und Hollandische Waren" Samuel Moses Salomon. "Weißwaren" was used to describe wool- and cotton underwear,  pyjama's etc..., (see this shop in Berlin), but also pottery. 

"Holländische Waren" suggest wooden shoes, porcelain windmills and Gouda  cheese but in fact was used to describe "all goods tradable manufactured in neighbouring Netherlands". German "Posamenten" (French: passements) lace, yarn and embroidery; home textiles. "Posamentier" merchant in ......)

Of great importance were the colourful printed cotton fabrics that until this day are manufactured in the Netherlands and in use to  locally create traditional African dresses. Read here the surprising and very interesting history of this trade (Vlisco)

Considering the studies of Agnes in Munich (when ? 1902-1907 ?), possibly Berlin and Paris her father had been probably not the average middle class Jewish potts, pans, knickers and home textile shop-owner, but probably was involved in the import and export business, a commissionaire-trader. In Hamburg I found shop owners with the family name Salomons (poss. family members ? ) active in more or less the same trade and business ("Weiss- Hollandische Waren", cotton, cloths, yarn, lace etc...), but not her father Samuel.   

Translating his recorded addresses in Hamburg 1890's records, in hard to read old-German script, may help to estimate his social status. All help is welcomed.   
Kiel around 1850
"Geschäftsführer" Samuel Moses Salomon (Kiel 03-07-1838 - 11-11-1900 Hamburg) married  Lea Isaacson ("Schneiderin" tailor/seamstress,  (Neubukow near Rostock 04-01-1843 -  26-09-1902 Hamburg). They are not buried together  (no idea about the reason) and were married in Hamburg 1874. 
Neubukow (Mecklenburg) around 1900
Samuel M. Salomon was the son of Moses Salomon and Betty Benjamin and Lea was bon in the village of Neubukow where a small Jewish community existed, the daughter of Salomon Isaacson and Lina Wolff (b. 1815), either of them a librarian in Neubokow. 
Their 5 children were all born in Hamburg: Siegfried (1876), Wilhelm (1879), Julius (1881), Friederike (1883) and Agnes (1884). Remarkable: all Christian and not Jewish names. Hopefully this can be explained later.
Brother Wilhelm may have died in WW-1 serving in the Navy and Siegfried (who also left for Berlin) possibly was buried in Hamburg 1908. Of Julius and Friederike I have no other clues.  

As far as I know all works (but this drawing) by Agnes von Bülow-Salomon are signed or monogrammed A.Salomon (A.S). There are too few works known to draw any conclusions but as we know she married in 1908, left for Berlin and started a family (3 daughters) and later moved to Brussels it is possible she abandoned an artistic career to dedicate herself to her husband and family. Not an uncommon scenario. Most successful women artist stayed unmarried or shared lives with a soulmate or female partner. 

Before  following Agnes to Spain I share this this one drawing I found in an auction catalogue. It shows the worlds 20th century most important conductor Wilhelm Fürtwängler (1886-1954) and thanks to Agnes' signing (von Bülow), dating and titling, I am almost certain she saw maestro Fürtwängler in Paris 1931 when his very successful series of performances of Wagners "Tristan and Isolde" in France started. Living in Brussels Paris was just a train ride away. 

Co-incidance:  Emil Orlik also did Fürtwänglers portrait. In 1928.  

In 1907 Agnes received documents/permission to travel to Fuenterrabia in Spain. These few letters in Hamburgs civic registration, discovered last week and a century later, were a great surprise to my research. Not only it proved to locate one (and possibly two) of her scarce known paintings but it also directed me to a place where I found several possible leads and indications to my "when's, how's and why's". 

All (translating and genealogical) help is welcomed. 

All pictures embiggen by mouse-click 

Next: Agnes in Fuenterrabia - Spain.   

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Marie Wippermann & Agnes Salomon in Paris

Agnes Salomon
 (married journalist Joachim von Bülow 1908)
(Hamburg 1884 - 1939 Brussels) 
Painter and printmaker 

Agnes Salomon (poss. "Dame in Weiss", before 1904)

She was the daughter of Hamburg "Kaufmann" (merchant) Samuel Salomon  and Léa Isaacson (1843-1902). Lea is buried in Hamburg Ohlsdorf cemetery. 

A Samuel Salomons is buried here also but in another plot (without dates) 35 years later in 1937. It might be her father although he by then must have reached a respectable high age, not impossibly but maybe another relative rests here (brother/nephew?). Her mother Lea's ancestors possibly can be traced to a Jewish community in Neubukow near Rostsock and I have a hunch Samuel Salomon might be related to a very prosperous Schleswick/Dittmarschen Jewish cigar manufacturer originating from Stavenhagen (also near Rostock) with honorary title "Komerzienrat" bearing the same name several decades earlier. On my request the Hamburg Jewish community offered help with the ancestry/genealogy because my arm-chair research from neighbouring Friesland had come to a halt. Results will be shared in due time. Lea was 41 btw giving birth to Agnes and she died when Agnes was 18, the same year we find her in Paris. Some interesting questions arise: was she the last and/or only child ? How did her father finance her studies in Munich (under Angelo Jank and Christian Landenberger) and Paris ? She married into an aristocratic family, the son of a diplomat and military so surely there must be traces of her fathers prosperity and business in Hamburg allowing her to study abroad.   

Agnes Salomon (Paris Brd. Vaugirard, 1902)
(Trees suggesting fall or early winter) 

Print stitched with contemporary photo. Entrance to metro next to  small building on the square, right  

Why research an artist that is so little known, forgotten and obscured ? I had Agnes in my archive files with just one print (and some paintings of which the marines surely are not by her but by an unknown "A. von Bulow"). It is however a very early print, showing Paris Boulevard de Vaugirard, adjacent to "Place de Maine" (and the Metro entrance). Opposite, then was the backside of Montparnasse train station demolished in the 1960's to make place for the imposing over Paris Tour Montparnasse. 

It is possibly the earliest woodblock prints by a German woman artist I've ever come across. 
Gabrielle Munter (Herbst in Sèvres, 1907)

In these years later well known Gabrielle Munter (1877-1962) was also fiddling with block printing in Paris (1907-08) when Agnes Salomon created her Bvd. Vaugirard print. 

Albert Marquet: Paris Boulevard Madeleine (also with Metro entrance)
Compare it with  Agnes' printed Boulevard Vaugirard version 
Although not an Art Historian by birth or academic training I've wondered about the similarities in Marie Wippermans prints with painter Albert Marquet (see before posting) who had become seriously popular in Paris in the first years of the 20 century. Marquet was a close friend of Matisse and colleague of Raoul Dufy with whom he travelled and painted together in Normandy in 1906 (below posters). 
Rose Friedrich (Dresden): Stilllife fruits in bowl.

Rose Friedrich (1877-1953) from Dresden was student of Matisse in Paris and so was Marie's close friend painter Ida Gerhardi (1862-1927) also from Lüdenscheid who lived and worked in Paris for 20 years (1891-1913), friend of August Rodin and Kathe Kollwitz. 

Académie Colarossi (Ida Gerhardi standing right)  

Marie Wippermann also choose these decorative and colourful advertising murals for her Seine woodblock print (see before posting).    

Marquet: Trouville 

Dufy: Trouville 

Only recently, after getting in contact with Marie Wippermanns grandson (see before posting, these prints were accidentally sold and never meant to leave the family, but that is another story) I came to see this print of a handsome woman in light coat and feathered hat in a Paris café by Agnes Salomon. She wasn't married then, she was in 1908 in Paris, with aristocrat, journalist and self-taught painter Joachim von Bülow from Breslau but his (military) ancestors also originated from the Rostock area. The couple later moved to Berlin and eventually to Brussels.  

The Café print was in the personal belongings of Marie Wipperman. Who like Agnes, married the same year she returned from Paris in Halver near Lüdenscheid, Germany moving into her house at Marktstrasse 11 in Halver (above a: right, b: middle). 

Exhibition poster by Emanuel Josef Margold (1888-1962)
(Sold for over $ 16.000)
My renewed research efforts (continuing business) resulted in finding the 1902 woodblock print of Boulevard Vaugirard exhibited in the Rudolfinum in Prag in 1907 (68th Jahresausstellung des Kunstvereins Böhmen (Bohemia).

Amedee Joyau (Dunes, Bréville, Normandy)
Hans Neumann ("Aristokrat")
A long row of very interesting and well known international artists took part and I suppose because of the presence of several French and British, were invited to join. 
William Nicholson (Sarah Bernardt )
Allen Seaby (Two Swans) 

Dagmar Hooge (Badende Mädchen)  

Jean Veber (Soiree bourgeois) 

Of which I was able to trace various exhibited prints (selection above). The café portrait by Agnes Salomon possibly was mentioned in a 1904 print catalogue as "Dame im Weiss". Agnes on that occasion was mentioned living in Munich. 

Please send all information on Agnes von Bülow-Salomon and help me to write and complete her short biography. 

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


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Marie Wipperrmann in Paris II: A year later and first results !

Through this Blog I recently came in touch with Marie Wippermann relatives resulting in a very friendly correspondence, additional biography, family photographs and: two more woodblock prints by her created in Paris 1907-08. 

Marie Wippermann 
forgotten German painter and printmaker

The Karl Wippermann family.
As a daughter of prosperous Lüdenscheid distiller Karl August Wippermann she was allowed to study in Paris and according to family history also under Lovis Corinth in Berlin. Returned to Halver near Lüdenscheid in 1908 she married manufacturer Wilhelm Linden who died in 1922 after which it was said she never painted again and two of her three sons fell in WW-II in Russia.  
MW (right ) with her husband and probable sister 
As we saw at the time Marie was not alone in Paris (see before Wippermann article/posting) probably all attending lessons in the Academy Colarossi. 

I ask the help of readers to try and identify if possible the Paris locations Marie choose and depicted.

The street view (she possibly did it twice, so maybe from her rooms ?) possibly near where she had her quarters in the the Montparnasse district, not far from the Académie Colarossi and near Boulevard de Vaugirard (the "Jardin de Luxembourg" area) where Hamburg born Agnes Salomon lived who we will meet in next and closely related posting. 

A view on Eglise St-Joseph-des-Carmes in Rue (not the Boulevard) de Vaugirard (we think to see a cross on top, not a chimney) is a possible candidate. Seen from higher up the adjacent buildings ? Which happens to be "La Catho" or the Paris Catholic University founded 1875. It is not a 100% fit, possibly wrong, but just for starters. Better suggestions are welcomed.

What I thought to be earlier a "big cloud over Paris" on closer inspection and analysis is thick smoke from a chimney curling downwards into the street. Streetviews, winter and smoke were also topics used by Paris painter Albert Marquet, fauvist and close friend of Henri Matisse and in those years exhibiting with great success his Paris street views in Paris.

Albert Marquet 

Albert Marquet 

Seine river and quai with huge

Billboard - mural, Quai along River Seine with a barge (?)
This advertisement (obviously a huge mural) of "Le Petit Journal" a popular newspaper on a Paris wall somewhere along river Seine + remnants of other (red) advertisements + the silhouettes of the buildings I hope will be enough to eventually disclose the exact location of this Seine-quai print by Marie Wippermann.  

Marie Wippermann 

Albert Marquet 

And then, in the end, creating a bridge to next posting, there was this surprising woodblock portrait, "Women in Café with coat and feathered hat", that once belonged in the private possession of Marie Wippermann that will be discussed in next posting. It will lead us possibly and unexpectedly to the birth of German Modern woodblock printmaking. In Paris ! This print was probably mentioned in a 1904 (!) graphics catalogue. 

More revelations & surprises in next posting.

All help and suggestions welcomed.


All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. And with courtesy of the Linden-Wippermann family.