Friday, 14 September 2018

Helene Ady: big cats in Berlin

Helene Ady
(born 1875-1880 - died after 1930 probably in Berlin)
Graphic artist, arts & crafts artist, goldsmith and painter  

As this blog is composed following my stream of consciousness the cats in before posting brought me to this very obscured and hardly known Berlin artist. She is only known (to me) by these two wonderful (1913) hand pulled lithographic prints of tigers and leopards. She may have seen them in nearby Berlin  Zoo (Tiergarten). These prints managed to remain united for over a century.   

Very little is known about Helene Ady. My research into her biography learned she lived at various addresses (1900-1930) in Berlin-Schöneberg, stayed unmarried and was known as "Zeichnerin" and "Malerin" (drawer and painter) and was mentioned in the correspondence of Ludwig Detmann.  Detmann participated in the Berlin Secession and acted as teacher at the VdBK's drawing school teaching also Helene Mass, Margarethe Hoenerbach, Emmy Meyer and Martha Unverhau. Unless there existed 2 Helene Ady's, at the same time, she is also mentioned working as a goldsmith and arts & crafts artist.

Looking at the Ludwig Jungnickels 1905 tigers print I think Helene may have been inspired by him: is it the same pair of tigers ?   

Any help finding more facts about her life and family history and knowledge about other works by Helene Ady are very welcomed..... (as are any offers of her work) ......

PS: As there were very few Ady family members found in the old Berlin address books and Ady is a much more common family name in Hungary, Helene Ady might be (distantly) related to Hungary's most important 19th century poet Endre Ady (1877-1919). 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Wolfgang Wagner: caged tiger

Wolfgang Wagner 
(Fürth 1884 - 1931 Munich) 

was a Munich academically trained illustrator, caricaturist  and printmaker, who had studied under Angelo Jank. Wagners work was mostly distributed in the popular magazines (weekly's) like the very popular "Fliegende Blätter". He is mentioned to have won a gold medal in the 1913 "Internationale Kunstausstellung" for his painting titled "Arbeiter". 

I accidentally stumbled over his tiger print, Googling, which lead to this small article.

It reminded me of Walter Arnold's (1909-1979) caged panther. Walter Arnold after WW-II served as professor in Leipzig "Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst".  The image is often used in relation to Rilke's famous poem.    

which lead me to this panther (1945)  by hardly known artist Jupp (Peter Josef) Breuer (1908-1991), trained in Dresden and Berlin and Weimar "Bauhaus" school and after WW-II worked als graphic artist in Cologne.

Besides some examples of Wagners' colour lithographic, mostly humorous attributions, I could find only Wagners "feeding the pigeons" woodblock print.

Please send other known examples of his printmaking for sharing.

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

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Etelka Edvi-Illés Karády: Budapest flowers

Etelka Karády 
(Beodra 1877 - 1969 Budapest)
Hungarian painter and graphic artist 

Of course I'd never heard of Etelka Karády or, as she is also known: Etelka Edvi-Illés Alladárne ("the wife of") or with her signature "ösw. Edvi Illés Alardáne" (ösw. meaning widdow of) 

Aladár Edvi-Illés
(Pest 1870 - 1958 Budapest)
Hungarian painter and graphic artist

This wonderful aquatint etching was once framed at Amsterdam Kalverstraat gallery "Pieter Breughel". Following the signature it will have been created after 1958 finding its way to the Netherlands. I have no idea who was its first owner But like to think he, ehe or they fell in love finding it in the posh Amsterdam gallery as I did in a nearby junk-shop window. The choice and marriage between picture and frame was obviously very carefully discussed and decided, and the combination will have served someone a life-time no doubt enjoying its delicate colours and composition every day. 

Its delicacy reminds me of the flowers, presented as a fare-well by his visiting  for the last time friends that Manet painted on his deathbed.

I could not help associating Aladárs portrait with Catwaezle, the illustrious medieval sorceror placed in our times whoms adventures were broadcasted on TV in 1970. 

I suppose (last of) the previous owner(s) probably left this world recently, descendants or estate executioners with modern Ikea taste eventually called in the house-clearers to empty the house or apartment of the things "nobody wanted". On its way to the second hand shop the frame, with gold-foil lining was bashed and broken but the paper undamaged. After carefully repairing the frame, cleaning window and re-assembling the bouquet will now serve and again give joy and colour. Until a next generation of house clearers move in..... or some-one wants to trade or swap it.   

I found not many other examples of Etelka's work, but her husband, recognised as an important Hungarian artist, happened to be a fine landscape and cowpainter in the best tradition of the best golden age Dutch-Masters, but also a very good etcher (above) and drawer. Here are some of the best examples of his skills. Googling you'll find many others.  


Il like this simple but very effective drawing of a tidal landscape very much. It is known Aladár travelled to Germany and the Netherlands (in 1905) and, comparing it with this photo of a very similar tidal creek taken a century later , I would not be surprised he even may have visited my province.  

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

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Walter Schürmeyer: who ?

(It took me some time to "find out" but, thankfully, the little grey cells proved to be more or less functioning: retrieving and linking an "unlabelled" image from the brains- to the computers database sometimes can be very hard awaiting a revolutionary plug-in and cabled solution) 

Dr. Walter Schürmeyer
(Krefeld 04-10-1889 – 17-07-1976 Königswinter) 

German librarian, art historian and printmaker. 

was the son of Krefeld “Realgymnasium” professor Franz Schürmeyer and Anna Schorlemmer. Studied art history, philosophy and history in Heidelberg, Munich, Oxford, Berlin and Marburg. Started working 1913 as assistant at “Reiffmuseum” in Aken, earning his degree in 1914 at Marburg Academy. 
Being married to Jewish Kornelia Marens(b. 08-07-1890) the Nazi regime forced him to give up his position and functions in 1937. Later he became director of Frankfurt “Bibliothek für Kunst und Technik” (Library of Arts and Technology). President (1948-1951) and after WW-II refounded in 1948 the “Deutschen Gesellschaft für Dokumentation” (DGD) He was also a pioneer in photographic techniques for the duplication of library materials and the introduction of microfilms for storage and documentation in libraries. Vice president of the “Fachinformationsdienste für die Wissenschaft” (FID) (German scientifique informations services) 1954-1964. He had a visionairy look on the future use and function of co-operating and interconnected institutions, collections and libraries. 

I have no idea if Walter Schürmeyer was the artist of this cigar smoking gentleman wearing a house cap. The monogram obviously "does not fit" W.S. (although I cannot make out the initials, yet) is also  inspired by Orliks well-known monogram OE. 

His popular booklet “Holzschnitt und Linolschnitt” (first published in the 1930’s ?) saw its 9th edition in 1973 as an “introduction in its technique for artists and laymen”. At page 1 is this machine printed woodblock print portrait of this  bearded man very similar and obviously inspired by Emil Orliks woodblock portrait of his friend Bernard Pankok at work (it would be nice to know the original print, lady in long coat, hat and shawl, on the wall !)

Schürmeyer probably was a close friend (Krefeld class-mate ?) of Heinrich Campendonk (Krefeld 1889 – 1975 Amsterdam) because in 2003 a modernist painting (nude) by Campendonk “bought by previous owner Schürmeyer from the artist” was auctioned on behalf of his descendants. 

All help and suggestions are welcomed. 

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

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Helene Isenbart:: Dantzig Oliwa Cathedral

Annex collecting "Holzschnitte" and continuously researching the biographies of German women printmakers born in the 19th century, on rare occasions opportunity knocks: finding and actually being able to acquire something special: an etching, lithographic drawing or a painting. Knowing my special feelings for this particular Berlin printmaker it was made personally known and shown to me by friendly Berlin gallerist and printdealer Thomas in Berlin recently.

This oil painting of an unknown church interior was painted by Berlin printmaker Helene Isenbart (b. 1864- d. in or after 1927). Almost without exception "our " women printmakers happened to be wel trained and accomplished painters)
Thanks to a very friendly and helpful reader of this Blog, who prefers to stay anonymous, we now do know the location. 

Helene Isenbart choose Danztig (then capital of West-Prussia, now Gdansk in Poland) Oliwa Cathedral for her interior. It is most famous for its splendid organ. 

Thanks to this very attentive and friendly and also Berlin helper we can stand where the artist draw and sketched her view. Knowing the title or location of a work of art adds greatly to its historic and artistic importance and "value" (not meaning money wise). 

It looks like the church has seen some restoration, on the pillars, and the rames of biblical paintings (stations) seem be renewed. But most of it, the floor tiles and church benches are still as they were 100 years ago when Helene Isenbart visited.


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

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Elsa von Durant: extra !

First result of my request for information and examples by artist Elsa von Durant. (Danke, Thank you H.)

Two etchings proving she was a graphic artist also published in "Jugend" magazine : "Lesendes Kind" and  "Kinder am Strande"  


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Elsa von Durant: to the Manor born..

To my best knowledge: this condensed short biography is a first attempt.
The artist Eva Tischner-von Durant is not mentioned in any of the Artist Lexicons or adress books. 
All help and further information by readers is appreciated and welcomed. 

Elsa von Durant (1876-1958) was born in Breslau in 1876 as the oldest daughter of Baron Hans von Durant (1837-1907) and Baroness Eugenie von Hahn (1858-1900). To be more precise as: Freiin (Baroness) Elsa Emma Charlotte Henriette Kornelie Adelheid Christiane von Durant de Sénégas. Her 3 nobel brothers and her youngest sister were all born at her  fathers and ancestral Prussian estate and all given six or seven names, at palace Baranowitz in Upper Silesia (then Prussia now Poland). 

It had once been one of the great Prussian estates ("Gut"). Most of these estates today have fallen in ruin and neglect after the world had been on fire, maps were redrawn and populations were reshuffled in the aftermath: the Jews gone, the Germans out, communism in etc....   Although recent photo's show this palace at last has seen the beginnings of renovation.

Her ancestors had come from France, protestant nobility fleeing France after the Edict de Nantes (treaty guaranteeing some freedom of religion) was revoked in 1685. The male members in the generations before (I followed the Prussian von Durants to her great-grand-father) were all high ranking military, marrying happily members of other nobel families, sharing and securing fortunes, estates and palaces, while an aunt (sister of her grandfather) had been in the personal service and entourage of Empress/Tsarina Katharine the Great and in that of her son Emperor/Tsar Paul-I until he was assassinated in 1801, at the imperial court at Saint-Petersburg. 

But today she is a completely forgotten artist, and very undeservedly as this example proves. She is not mentioned in any of the Artist Lexicons nor in Dresslers Kunsthandbuch. She was born in great wealth (her sister Frieda (1883-1966) I found in Prussian millionaires listings, the Germans keen on meticulous book keeping) in a nobel family, gifted able and allowed to study painting in Munich and Paris around 1900 (no doubt in the "Damenakademie" and "Academie Colarossi"), meeting the impressionists, post-impressionist and modernists and fortunate enough to even collect their paintings (more later) and to pursue an artistic career. Elsa's name popped up unasked, in an Ebay queerie this week. And Googling I read about her in a newspaper article from a recent presentation by German art historian Ulrike Götze. Today sharing the first results of my investigation. 

She married ophthalmologist Rudolph Tischner (1879-1961) in 1909 who besides his private "eye-care" praxis in Friesing (near Munich) was also to become the "Nestor of German Parapsychology" including, occultism, telekineses, homeopathy and several other disciplines we today describe as: quackery. She lovingly painted his portrait bent over his, no doubt one of his own many written books. When things were still OK.

She became the mother of their daughter, Elli in 1913 and enjoyed bringing her up sketching lovingly the embraceable and adorable young girl. They lived through WW-I. Somehow "change" set in: Mr. and Mrs Tischner divorced in 1919. 

Single mother and artist Elsa managed to survive the great Depression but not without being forced  to sell her beloved paintings in the 1920's (so much much for divorce settlements in the 1920's) and then saw the National Socialists rise to power. She survived WW-II, her house bombed and destroyed near the end in 1944 losing everything, then her daughter committed suicide (in 1944). She lived alone and forgotten in a wooden garden shed the last 10 of her 80 long years on the planet wondering: what the ..... has happened ?

These are the 3 paintings once in the personal collection of the Baroness Elsa von Durant.

Paul Gauguin: "l'Invocation" painted in 1903 the year of his death and today in the collections of the National Gallery in Washington (USA)

Paul Cezanne:"Vue de l'Estaque à travers les arbres" (1878), sold in 2002 to a private collector for $ 4.4 M.  

Vincent van Gogh: "l'Arlesienne" (or Madam Ginoux) Vincents neighbour painted in 1890 after a drawing by his friend Gauguin, bought in happier times 1908-1912 of van Gogh’s sister-in-law Johanna van Gogh-Bonger1862-1925 (wife of Theo van Gogh (1857-1891) was bought for less then 13.000 DM and was auctioned in New-York in 2006 for a staggering $ 40 M.


All examples of paintings (artwork) by Elsa von Durant and additional genealogical and family details are welcomed. 

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