Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Finding Helene Pferdmenges (news)

After posting and sending several emails to Pferdmenges family members with accessible email addresses I received notice of attention by a friendly family member who will look into this puzzle and forward my interest. 

And as many times before I received an addition, a piece of the puzzle, that I've obviously overlooked, by faithful reader Hannelore from Austria. Not identical but possibly related ?

Hilde Prelle-Pferdmenges 
(26-06-1907 – 1981 Hamburg)

Painter, graphic artist and sculptor. Studied painting “Wintersemester" 1928/29 at  Munich “Akademie der Bildenden Künste”. Married “Studienrat” (high school teacher) Walter Prelle(1906 - 1978). Since 1953 member HKüS and “Hamburger Berufsverbandes Bildender Künstler” and living and working in a nice villa in Hamburg Farmsen, Farmsener Höhe 17. Taught artist Anke Landenberger (b. 1948). The couple is buried at “Friedhof Hamburg –Tonndorf”. 

Hilde is mentioned in: "Der neue Rump, Lexicon der bildenden Künstler Hamburgs".

This is the only example I was able to find and I doubt the auction catalogue title: "Maxe Kirschberg". It is obviously a Jewish older man and dated 1940.

As always: all information welcomed !

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

Friday, 15 June 2018

Finding Helene Pferdmenges

Helene Pferdmenges


Unknown and unidentified printmaker. 

In my ongoing research into the life's of forgotten German women printmakers it is not often that I encounter a completely new (to me) "girl on the block". This small and monochrome, titled "Kleinbahn" print surfacing recently in German Ebay was a surprise. Although investing many hours since (auto-diagnosed as a mild  disorder in the autistic spectrum) in trying to establish the identity of the maker Helene Pferdmenges it was without success so far. She is not to be found in any of the Artists Lexicions or Artist Address books, nor did I succeed in identifying an artist by this name after thorough Internet research. An artist by this name is nowhere mentioned.  

A "Kleinbahn" was a tertiary railway track or system, not a main or secondary line. Under less strict rules, laws and regulations they were constructed in the later part of the 19th century often using existing roads connecting rural areas or industrial sites (mines and factories). Most of them were soon to be closed at the beginning of the age of the automobile.   

Four of her prints are preserved in the Art Institute Chicago (Lois H. Culver Fund ?) in America, probably a bequest by a faithful visitor or supporter. I'm very curious to the American link of the donator with the Pferdmenges family. Maybe this would shed some light: a direct or indirect relative immigrating and in the possesion of these prints (?). One of them shows a street in Osterode in the Harz region (below left), the other ones could be also from here (Quedlinburg ?)     


This (auctioned) 1934 portrait of "Helene Hertmanni, geb. Pferdmenges"  by well known painter Adolf Münzer (1870-1952) who was also a professor in Düsseldorf Academy and an illustrator ("Jugend" magazine) shows a woman that cannot (I could not) be identified within the Internet free accessible genealogical sites. Her given dates are: born 1893- died 1962 (possibly taken from the frame?). I have not been able to find a Hertmanni-Pferdmenges partner by marriage (how many can there be with this combination ?) or a Helene Pferdmenges (1893-1962) other then:

Richard Hertmanni (1854-1948), merchant, married to Wilhelmina Emilia (Emilie) Pferdmenges (1856- 1939). She was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Pferdmenges (1836-1900) and Charlotte Wilhelmina (Minna) von der Heydt (1839-1870). Could the sitter (in her 30-40's ?)  possibly have been their daughter and a mistake introduced by the auction catalogue text ?

The Pferdmenges family originates from centuries past from the Mönchengladbach (Reydt) region and several prosperous members were in the 19th century wool, cotton and textile industrials. Large families with many children and as was the custom often intermarried over the centuries with other regional industrial families, loom- and mill owners, weavers etc....

Robert Pferdmenges and Konrad Adenauer 

Possibly the most known member was banker and member of parliament  (Bundestag) Robert Pferdmenges (1880-1962), a personal friend of Konrad Adenauer, first Chancelor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).  Robert Pferdmenges is considered to have personally saved the jewish Sal. Oppenheim Bank during the Nazi regime. (He was a son of Wilhelm Albert Pferdmenges (b. 1844) and Helene Croon (1851-1930) (see below)   

Thus my initial research ended up with several (too many !) persons with the name Helene Pferdmenges, either by birth or by marriage. Here is the result,  an ultimate attempt to identify one of the candidates as the artist by name and period: roughly born between 1850-1900 and living into or after the 1930's. And I think I possibly may have overlooked one or two. 

Finding Helene with the help of readers would be wonderful.   

Candidate artists named Helene Pferdmenges:

By marriage:

Helene Clara Wilhelmine Engels (1860-1956) married Friedrich Wilhelm Pferdmenges (1851-1930). She was a daughter of Hermann Engels (1822) x Emma Clara Pferdmenges-Croon (b. 1834)

Helene Clara Wilhelmina Croon (1851-1930) daughter  of Johann Theodor Croon (1793) textile baron married to Wilhelm Albert Pferdmenges (Mönchengladbach 1844) Kaufmann, textile baron. Mother of Robert Pferdmenges (above)

Helene Quack (1861-1936) married Johann Wilhelm Pferdmenges (Reydt 1853) a teacher. Their daughter Helene Pferdmenges (1891-1972)

By birth:

Helene Klara Auguste Pferdmenges (1875-1925)  daughter of Julius Pferdmenges (Viersen 1844) and Maria Elisabeth Panzer.

Helene Pferdmenges (1891-1972) daughter of Johann Wilhelm Pferdmenges (Reydt 1853), a teacher, and Helene Quack (1861-1936)

Helene Pferdmenges (1885-1909), daughter of Johann Heinrich Pferdmenges (Reydt 1847) x Eva Heymanns (Reydt 1854).

Helene Hildegard Pferdmenges (1903-1985), daughter of Johann Wilhelm Pferdmenges (Reydt 1875) x Adele Pott (b.1879)
Emma Christina Helene Pferdmenges (Hamburg 1878 – 1962) daughter of Johann Carl Pferdmenges (Viersen 1837-1921) and Christina Emma Elisabeth Dreyer (Bremen 1842-1911)

Helene Hertmanni- Pferdmenges (1893-1962). Unidentified person mentioned with the Adolf Münzer portrait.  

This posting is a request to all who stumbles over it and who may have information about the printmaking artist Helene Pferdmenges and/or her family to share information. I plan to send an email to every Pferdmenges I can find the @ address of in a Google search. 

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


Friday, 25 May 2018

Deja vu: Paris,Pissarro, Boulevard Montparnasse

An artist (I'm confident that with the help of readers we will be able to decipher the signature) travelled to Paris, took a room in Grand Hotel de Russie (photo below,  left) at the corner of Boulevard Montparnasse and Rue Drouot (Carrefour Drouot) and did what Camille Pissarro did 25-30 years before: enjoy the view from his balcony and make an image. 

Pissarro did not one but of some 15 of them, in 1897 when he was towards 70, acknowledging his mastership as "Father of Impressionism". They hang all over the world in treasured Impressionist collections. 

Although I think Pissarro obviously did enjoy the view and absorb the life and romance of this wonderful place, where 3 major Boulevards merge at Carrefour Drouot: Bd. Montparnasse, Bd. Italian and Bd. Hausmann. I also believe Pissaro "fiddled" with the point of vantage, recreating the perspective, in his paintings. He suggests to be positioned more or less in the centre of the road allowing him to see along the left row of trees. Something that would have been impossible from his balcony. 

Astonishingly: his has the same perspective as most of the postcard views. I could find no clues or discussions about this phenomenon in the public domain but I suppose these paintings will be analysed by the experts extensively.  Pissarro also exaggerated the width of the Boulevard considerably to emphasise its "grandeur" dramatising the importance of Paris' Grand Boulevards.

Speaking of postcards and photographs. Across the Hôtel de Russie is a large building with the name Reutlinger on it. Leopold Reutlinger continued the business his father had taken over from his brother Charles who started it in 1850. Their studios were located in this building. This classic (academic) nude  practising to be a Greek Godess or Maillol statue was taken (and composed)  by Leopold.    

The reversed letters upper right read Cadum ..von. They are no doubt from a soap advertisement that is known to be (and has been for a century) there although it should read Savon Cadum and not Cadum Savon. 

Reader Tom suggested the  etching artist saw a Neon light (iconic of Paris and in use since the end of WW-I) on the roofs opposite. Or the artist made a tiny mistake.   

About Grand Hotel de Russie in Paris (Rue Drouot 1) not much is to be found. In later photographs it also named Hotel de Brésil and by the time our artist checked in: La Maison du Cafe, which was also the name of a coffee brand.

At least until 1909 it was known as Grand Hôtel de Russie and was owned by Alfred Riguelle, the severe looking chairman of the French Cyclist Union.

See name of the Hotel upper right. 

All pictures embiggen by mouse click

   All help and suggestions on the etchers identity are welcomed !


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

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Paul Leschorn: Sanguinary Islands (Corse Fr.)

Paul Leschorn (Metz 1876 - 1951 Allensbach), German painter and printmaker is mainly known by (and loved for) his "Alpine" winter landscape prints depicting the Vosges near his native Metz and later homestead Strasburg. They are mostly "Snowy trees" and "Tracks in a snow covered landscape". All very desirable !

In 1907 however Leschorn travelled to Dalmatia and, 1924-1931 several times to the isle of Corse (Corsica). Reader Tom in Boston (USA) would like to know the location of his newest find and acquisition an obviously "Mediterranean" coastal view (opening photo) with characteristic islands. 

Researching a bit I found the place last night: a string of small islands  (archipelago) near Ajaccio (Corse): the "Îles Sanguinaires" or bloody islands named after the many shipwrecks or, as others claim, because of the blood red sunsets.

I found one other example of a similar seascape, probably the same islands/rocks view, by Leschorn: "Rocks near Ajaccio" which seems to show a view to the smaller, most left of these islands.


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

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Clara Telge (Part V) China and Hamburg

Bernard Telge traded (import/export) in metals (iron), colonial ware, machinery for mining and printing, building and contracting of railways and bridges, steam engines, railway locomotives etc.. He also took an interest in coal mines.  

Tientsin (Tianjin) concessions (Austrian bridge) around 1900.
I found several business partners who joined Telges China-Hamburg trading house and businesses (1860-1900) and about some of them more details were found then on the life of Bernard Telge himself. Telge was appointed consul for Belgium in 1892. In 1890 a partner Fritz (Friedrich) Sommer (b. Bremen 6-1-1868), joined and acted as consul for Norway from 1907.  
Tientsin-Tianjin trading harbor in 1874 
Herman Schroeter (see later) also joined the company in 1890 and became a partner in Telge & Schroeter in 1895. The firm would move up to Tientsin (Tianjin) another freeport and nearer to Being. It consisted of 9 foreign concessions granted by the emperor (Qing dynasty) in 1860. 
Somewhere between settling in Shanghai in 1860 and 1870 Bernard Telge will have found a wife (probably in Germany ?) because in 1870 Clara was born in Shanghai. It was mentioned she had a sister or sisters. I have not been able to find anything more about Bernards family so far. For instance the name of his wife and other children. It could be Bernard died in 1898 (that is also when the company was taken over) but that has to be verified. 
Hamburg,  Maria Luisenstrasse 1915
I found Bernards widow ("Frau Bernhard Telge", Clara's mother who I sadly do not know by name yet), mentioned in an old address book living Hamburg Maria Luisenstrasse 4 which is near Hamburg Stadtpark, probably the location of this entrance gate by Hamburg printmaker Else Zinkeisen (Hamburg 1871 - died probably 1934) Her short-biography can be read in my book.   

Bernards brother Rudolph Telge's widow ("Frau Rudolph Telge") is Emma Telge-Oldermann (1834-1911). She lived Uhlandstrasse 38 and was the daughter of former merchant and "Dispacheur" Johannes Olderman (b.1800), Hamburgs official government legal expert on business damages. Judging the size of the dwellings in these posh Hamburg lanes Emma Telge and her sister-in-law seem to have been left very "well-off" by their successful merchant husbands.  

Hamburg Uhlandstrasse 

Anyway, in 1898 Bernard or his legal representatives left (part of ?) the firm to his nephew Rudolph Telge (1859-1914). As it happens he is one of the sons of Georg Telge (1827-1897) in Hamburg suggesting Bernard had no male successor to his international trading company. It is these small but significant bits of information that help to see the coherence and allowing to rebuild the past. 


Two of Bernard Telge's associates or partners are particularly intersesting to mention here.  

Hermann Schroeter
(born where ? 16-10-1857 - 24-06-1905 Shanghai ?) 

Some personal photographs were found and together with some research they tell a dramatic personal story maybe to be continued by readers in future. 

Here we see posing elegantly Hermann Schroeter and his wife Emilie Becker photographed in may 1896 in Shanghai in a horse and carriage with a Chinese servant. Emilie Telge-Becker was born (possibly in Lemgo near Detmold) on 11-08-1864. Following the dates with the photographs she is expectant of their first born son Albert (Shanghai 16-10-1896). Unaware of the dramatic events that were to follow the dates with the photo's tell she would die two weeks after she gave birth.   

Albert is photographed a year later with his grand-mother Becker in Lemgo, she is probably Emilie's mother (although it is possibly she is the mother of Hermann Schroeter). I suppose on that occasion Hermann married Emilie's younger sister Lulu (Luise) Becker born 1869 and returned to Shanghai where the couple had two more children, but then Hermann Schroeter would die in 1905. I wonder what has become of his family afterwards.  

In 1906 Arnold Berg (1874-1939) joined the firm and eventually in 1928 ended up as the owner of the entire company with an office at Hamburg Alsterdamm 7.

Hamburg: Alsterdamm and Jungfernstieg. 

Hermann Johann Mandl (Edler von Manden)
(Vienna 1856 – 1922 Vienna )

was in 1877 an adventurous Jewish young man who joined Bernard Telges’ firm and for several years worked deep in the interior China for the Telge company learning to speak Chinese fluently. He was to stay in China for 30 years. After some time he switched leading the British trading company of “Jardine, Matheson & Co” and in 1886 succeeded in founding his own trading company “J. Mandl & Co”, representing Ferdinand Krupp and Werner von Siemens products euphemistically described as “Kriegsmaterial” (guns and canons) and “Friedensmaterial” (railway and engineering equipment). He became an influential lobbyist, heavily depending on bribes, charm and a chest-full of imperial decorations. The conflicts, China being involved in several wars (Russian-Japanese and Chinese-Japanese) the successful trading and his Vienna charm made him extremely wealthy.

In 1900 Mandl competed in the Paris summer Olympics (the first of its kind and part of the World Fair) on several equestrian disciplines. In 1909 he returned to Vienna with a shipload ("a mountain") of art and treasures and was knighted (“Edler von Manden”). 
Paris 1900 World Exhibition. 
Married without children many of the Chinese artefacts and treasurus he brought home are now kept in Vienna Museums. Johann Mandl ranked nr. 250 on the 929 wealthiest people in Vienna 1910 which counted 2 million inhabitants and was the 7th largest city in the world. 
Readers and passer-by are invited to send additions and all they may know about the Hamburg families of brothers Bernard and Georg Telge helping to create a first short biography of forgotten Hamburg painter Clara Telge.

More to follow soon .....(work & research in progress)

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

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Clara Telge (part IV): starting business in China and an account of the events shortly before.

I am beginning to understand Clara Telge could well be one of the finest rediscovered ("retrouvé") artists among my private collection of mostly forgotten German woman artists. Today in this Part IV I share some more interesting findings of my research. Many small parts had to come deep from the Internet and puzzling them together is creating a truly fascinating story. 

The earliest mentioning of Clara's father Bernard Telge (of who I did not find any specifics in Hamburg yet other then I was able to confirm he had a merchant  brother Georg Jr. Telge and his family). I found Telges presence in Yokohama Japan in 1860 as "special agent" of the Hamburg trading firm of Pustau (more later) where he had been the subject of international diplomatic problems and worries which had to do with his "rude and uncivilized behavior" in Yokohama (in the late 1850's !). It has to be said diplomats had in overall rather negative view on all European traders in the Orient. It was reported Telge had "violated" hunting regulations...... Seeing the later succes of his businesses in China he either changed his attitude considerably or one can doubt the "tone" of the written reports.  Maybe the truth lies in the middle.   

Any way, the "problems, concerns and worries" he'd caused were discussed as far away as in London parliament and were also recorded by the leader of the German East-Asia expedition diplomat Friedrich Albrecht Baron zu Eulenburg (1815-1881) who, returned from his expedition to Japan, was to serve as Prussian minister of the Interior (1862-1878) 

Since the 16th  and 17th centuries several European countries traded with China and Japan but because the Japanese had enough of the constant attempts to convert Japan to Christianity it had limited foreign trading countries to the Dutch and Chinese.

America after annexing California had gained access to the Pacific and seeking trade and coal (bunker) harbors to the West had send two semi military expeditions to Japan to, if necessary with the use of military force, make Japan to open the island to trading. In the second Perry expedition of 1854/55 German/American artist William (Wilhelm) Heine (1827-1885) who was working in the Americas was assigned to the staff as an artist drawer.

Wilhelm Heine:  The second Perry expedition 1855 anchored in Yokohama 
How the Japanese saw the American and Europeans traders and settlers was also depicted in several woodblock prints. Prints like this were first seen publicly in the Paris World Exhibitions only one or two decades later starting European woodblock printmaking at the end of the 19th century.

On his return to Germany in the late 1850's Wilhelm Heine with his American expedition expertise was able to persuade the Prussian government to send a German-Prussian expedition claiming and securing "their share" of future business and to avoid monopoly by America and other trading countries. Thus the Prussian Eulenberg expedition was set up. Again the artist Wilhelm Heine travelled to Japan, China and Siam but now at the service of his native Germany.

The German ships of the 1859 East Asia Expedition.
On arrival one ship with its entire crew was lost in a typhoon.
A decade  before the first private trading mission from Germany to China ever was organized by Hamburg businessman Carl von Pustau (1820-1879). The operation was co-financed by Hamburg wealthiest banker Solomon Heine (1767-1844). He was the uncle, and benefactor, of Germans greatest Poet: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856). It was this firm that had send Bernard Telge as "special agent" from Hamburg to Japan probably in the late 1850s. 

Shanghai 1860: "the Bund" location of the foreign trading concessions.  
It was said Telge more or less fled from Japan to China in 1860, his position in Japan grown intolerable and impossible. Diplomats described the foreign traders in Yokohama as "scum of the earth". In Shanghai things probably came to rest and obviously Bernard Telge soon started for himself as the Telge (and later Telge & Schroeter) Company is known since then. 

Shanghai: the Bund
He would build an office at "the Bund" a strip of land, a concession along river Huangpu where foreign countries were allowed to establish businesses (and living communities, clubs, schools, hospitals etc..): Shanghai's freeport after the Chinese emperor signed and ratified the treaty in 1860. Bernard Telge would lead one of the most successful international businesses, the Shanghai-Hamburg import & export, contracting, mining and building & construction firm for the next 40 years.
Shanghai: the firm of Bernard Telge (& Schroeter) in the late 19th century 
Telge & Schroeter: possibly Bernard Telge and Hermann Schroeter)  

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

More to follow soon. Readers and passers-by are invited to send all they might know about Clara Telge and her Hamburg (and possibly Berlin) relatives in an attempt to create a first short biography of Clara Telge.