Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Frieda Kretschmann-Winckelmann, forgotten, unknown and unloved.

Kretschmann-Winkelmann, Frieda
(Berlin 23-10-1870 – 1939 Berlin)*
German painter, sculptor and graphic artist.
bookplate artist. 

After almost a century of darkness this wonderful artist finally has her deserved  entry in the digital world.

Self at the painting easel

Every now and than I'm lucky to stumble over pictures of a past auction and meet an artist whom I otherwise probably never would have met. All too often these auction results and the pictures afterwards are sold only to be viewed online at a fee. This is of course very tempting and although I fully understand the commercial motivations I fundamentally try to avoid subscribing or using those sites.  

I believe a connoisseur ("GourmetFeinschmecker") with a keen eye, some financial room for manoeuvre and a healthy feeling for a solid future profit bought them (all or most, they appeared in two succeeding internet online auctions). Recently I found them again: now offered for a ten fold of the earlier auction result ! If that is deservedly is up to you: but do I love them !  

She is said to be born as Frieda Kretschmann: there's no strict rule placing the maiden name before or after the husbands' in Germany. I think. She studied with Käthe Kollwitz and although it is stated she was a self taught sculptor in 1922 she studied in Hamburg with sculptor Ludwig Kunstmann (1877-1961)  well known for his animal sculptures. 

 Until 1935 she worked as a teacher in the painting school, the “Malschule des VdBK”. She sculpted a buste of Käthe Kollwitz and made an etching titled “Kathe und Milly(*)” and was a member of the “Deutschen Lyceum Club”, studied in Paris and London and lived for a considerable time with a catholic congregation in Brittany in France.

She received a second price in 1916 in a bookplate contest, but this one (right) is by Franz Stassen (1869-1949). 

A Horst Kretschmann-Winckelmann lived at  Kurfürstendam 126 in Berlin in 1926 and had a subscription to a philosophical magazine.

(bookplate for Horst Kretschmann-Winckelmann) 

She was member of the VdBk ("Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen")  1901-1937 and board member 1927-1931 exhibiting in Berlin and Munich and with the VdBK 1901-1930. She is mentioned in most Artists Lexicons.


(*) Milly surely refers to sculptor Milly Steger (1881-1948), who in 1917 was visited in her studio by Kathe Kollwitz. She was an admirer of Aristide Maillol and Auguste Rodin and was appointed "city-sculptor" of the city of Hagen. Her 4 bigger than life sculptured classic nudes, Caryatides, placed on the pillars of the local theater front caused a huge scandal at the time, now hard to understand. How far, in 2500 years since in Athens, have we "progressed" ?  

 Caryatides in Hagen and from the Acroplis Temple in Athens

And a (very Maillol) Caryatide at her home in Hagen "holding up" the balcony.  

* Although her exact day of birth is delivered to us through time no further family or genealogical data could be found. So much was destroyed in WW2 that this is often the case. Please help me find or confirm her family circumstances. And if possible send other examples of her work for sharing. 
She is possibly related to Lily (Braun-) Kretschmann (1865-1916) a feminist writer and daughter of Baron Hans von Kretschmann (1832-1899) and Jenny Auguste Frieda Karoline von Gustedt (1843-1903). Her sister Marie-Else von Kretschmann (1878-1920) was married to graphic artist and Secessionist Otto Eckmann (1865-1902).

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

Monday, 23 March 2015

Two forgotten Austrian printmakers

Helene Ladstätter
(1892* - d. 1970 Vienna)
(* this year is not confirmed !)

Valerie Praschniker 
(1894-1972 Vienna)

"Fruhlingswind nach dem Winterstille”  by Helene Ladstätter.

Yesterday faithful reader Tom from (still wintery) Boston send me one of his spring puzzles with a very appropriate title. "Spring wind after Winters Quietness". A very fine print from his collections by an "unknown" printmaker, leading to this posting about two today hardly remembered Austrian printmakers. Maybe it will lead to spring in Boston. 

A little determination however resulting in this interesting posting. At least I think it is, composing and writing two more short biographies from what is available on the Internet and from my files and archive of bits and pieces. Hopefully this will lead to more new facts and discoveries soon. Please, if you have found this posting send all new information to share.   

Two examples of the same print possibly(?) color variations/trials by the artist.   

 Ladstätter, Helene   ( - died Vienna 1970)

Austrian printmaker. Known by these three fine alpine woodblock prints sold/auctioned in recent years in the USA and England. She exhibited in 1939 together with printmakers William Giles (1872-1939),  Yoshijiro Urushibara (1888-1953), Engelbert Lap (1886-1970) a.o. at Colnaghi Art Gallery in Bondstreet London. This firm in the 1920-30’s had strong connections with the art business in the USA possibly explaining the prints surfacing in the USA. She was probably a member of the “Verein für Bildenden Künstlerinnen Östereichs” (VBKÖ) because her 1970 obituary is kept in its archives.

She could be related to
Ladstätter, Ida (1892-1970)* an artist mentioned also working in Vienna and who worked closely with sculptor, printmaker and goldsmith Elisabeth Turolt-Grohmann (1902-1966) who had been a student of Norbertine Bresllern-Roth (1891-1978) in Graz 1915-1918 and  with Valerie Praschniker (1894-1972) who - a co-incidence ?- created woodblock prints very similar in execution to the prints known by Helene Ladstätter. * She could well  be identical with Helene Ladstätter. The Sütterlin (old German handwriting script)  H and I could easily have been mixed up. But a mix up with  populair Austrian Ski slalom specialist Ida Ladstätter (b.1965) could be an even simpler explanation.  


A fast update on yesterdays posting thanks to a comment left by reader Andreas: A 1924 "the Studio" article "two Austrian Engravers": Emma Bormann and Helene Ladstätter.


"Late Autumn" by Valerie Praschniker (from "the Studio" 1927)

Praschniker, Valerie (Valeria)         (Celje, Slovenia 24-04-1894 – 28-10-1972 Vienna)
Austrian painter, woodblock printmaker and illustrator living and working in Vienna. Possibly the daughter of Louis Praschniker (1857-1938) a railway engineer and Valerie Caroline Korab von Mühlström (1860-1942). Then she would be sister to Camillo Alois Franz Praschniker (1884-1949) an archaeology professor in Vienna. She is known by two alpine woodblock prints similar in execution to those by Helene Ladstätter (d.1970).  

Above: Valerie Praschniker (from a thumbnail, sorry), below: Helene Ladstätter. 

And an Alpine impression by Engelbert Lap who exhibited in 1939 with Helene Ladstätter in London .

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

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Maria Delago, an unexpected pleasure

Maria Delago
(St. Leonhard im Passeier 11-01-1902 – 02-10-1979 Bresanone)

Austrian Arts and Crafts  and ceramic artist, sculptor and printmaker.  

Thanks to a helping hand and a hint from Lily (of the much missed Japonism blog) I recently came to know this artist. Although she is slightly outside my field of research (born just after 1900) I immediately have included her into my research and biographies list: like Lily I love an artist who just needs her garden to inspire her to such delicate creations of lasting beauty. 
(See also Marlies Meinshausen-Felsing, Thea Gutmann, Lisbet Schultz: follow labels below)   

These color etchings remind me strongly of the delicate floral prints by Scandinavian printmaker Maja Fjaested (1873-1961) whom I introduced earlier (here, or follow the label below) in 2011 in this Blog. 

Maria was the artistic daughter of a district judge and Rosa Amalia Plant. Studied 1922-1926 in the “Kunstgewerbeschule des Östereichischen Museum für Kunst und Industrie” in Vienna with sculptor, ceramist and glass artist Michael Powolny (1871-1954) (right). 

Powolny was a craftsman working in clay and glass and created some stunningly beautiful glasswork (for the famous Art Deco Bohemian glass company of Loetz) and worked also in relief. His experience and skills inspiring Maria Delago later to create her often biblically inspired stoneware plaquettes and some very beautiful earthenware pottery.   

In 1928 she studied in Munich “Kunstakademie” with cartoonist Olaf Gulbransson (1873-1958). Gulbransson, a Norwegian, friend of Max Liebermann and a member of the Berlin Secession since 1914 drew since 1902 for the satirical Simplicissimus Magazine. Just Google his name to enjoy his timeless humor and a 100 years later still very modern work. 

His views on how our creator sees upon us (without cloths) and when we have arrived at the end of our earthly time (just potty trained) are food for some serious reflection. 

But Gulbransson besides his satirical work also painted (below), portraits like Hans Holbein (1497-1543) (his wife Grete) and in his very "simple" Spring Landscape shows the origin and influence on Maria Delago's later botanical graphic work. 

She moved to, lived and worked in the city of Bolzana (Bozen) and in the 1930’s lived and worked for while in the Netherlands employed by the “Mosa” ceramics company in Maastricht. In 1948 she returned to her native region (Tirol, Austrian-Italian borderland) and established a studio in Bolzano (Bosen). 

In 1964 she received the Walther von der Vogelweide(*) price and was awarded a honorary membership of the “Südtiroler Künstlerbund” in 1968. Known for her delicate floral coloured etchings and ceramic reliefs of biblical themes.  She died of complications caused by a traffic accident.

(*) Walther von der Vogelweide (c.1170- c 1230): Germany's greatest Middle High German lyric Poet. Woodblock print by printmaker Carl Alexander Brendel (1877-1945)

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

Fanny Remak part VI: to Paris with friends

Helen Grund
German painter, writer, editor and journalist.

Auguste von Zitzewitz
German painter, portraitist and graphic artist

Self portrait Augusta von Zitzewitz

When Fanny Remak went to study in Paris, in 1912, she was accompanied by her friends Helen Grund and Auguste von ZitzewitzOf Helen Grund we know she was encouraged by her painting teacher (and Berlin seccesionist) George Mosson (1851-1933). His "Chrysanthemums in a blue vase" below. Auguste, although Mosson was her teacher too, supposedly was encouraged to go to Paris by Kathe Kollwitz.  

Mosson, a Frenchman living and working in Berlin since he was 14, taught also at the “Zeichen und Malschule" of the VdBK (Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen) and was a member of the Berlin Secession. He lived and worked from 1901 at Nollendorfplatz 1, a large renting house, next to the studio of Seccesionist Lesser Ury (1861-1931) also ran a private painting school and was famous for his flower paintings. Auguste von Zitzewitz had also been among his students. 

Helen Grund photographed by Mann Ray (1890-1976), right. 

Mosson’s relation with Helen Grund however also was of an amorous nature although he was old enough to be her father they were lovers for 7 years until her departure for Paris.

Robert Henry (1865-1929), Café du Dôme, Paris 

Helen Grund came from a well to do family but in her family circulated some serious mental problems. Her mother Julie, her sister Ilse and brother Fritz ended their lives by suicide and another brother, Otto, died in a mental asylum. The rumour went she has had an incestuous relationship with her brother and a lesbian affair with Fanny Remak.

In Paris the women stayed in the circles of Café du Dôme and here Helen met writer and bon vivant Franz Hessel (1880-1941). They were married the year after and in 1913 their first (of two) son was born.

Some years before, when living in Munich, Hessel had been involved with "wild countess" Fanny zu Reventlow (1871-1918) whom I’d met in Fanny’s mothers home in Berlin (see earlier postings on Fanny Remak and Kathe Münzer-Neumann).

The turbulent life story of Helen Grund lead to the French Novel “Jules et Jim” by Henri-Pierre Roché  (the third party in this “ménage a trois”) and to the 1962 “Nouvelle-Vague” movie with Jeanne Moreau (b.1928). Helen became a publisher/editor and was well known figure in Paris society, Auguste returned to Berlin and developed a career as a successful portrait artist. 

Fanny Remak returned to Berlin, working and with Auguste von Zitzewitz sat  together in the board of the VdBK ("Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen"). To this day I haven't been able to find any example of work by her hand.       


When Fanny Remak went to study in Paris in 1912 she was 28 years of age so it was a surprise recently discovering she exhibited 5 years earlier in 1907 (!) in the Berlin art gallery of (Jewish) Paul and Bruno Cassirer: the prestigious Kunst Salon in the Viktoriastrasse 35 near Kemperplatz and Tiergarten

Julius Jacob (1842-1929), Kemperplatz and Rolandbrunnen

 Kemperplatz-Viktoriastrasse 1910 and 1945.

Recently the history and revelation of it's immensely interesting surviving archive of collections and exhibitions was published (here) in 4 volumes.  

Cassirers prestigious gallery, around the turn of the century, probably had no equal in the world representing and promoting the French (and Berlin) Impressionists and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

In this exhibition Fanny was represented with 4 works in an Exhibition build around Impressionist Camille Pissaro (1830-1903) (30 works) together with  Ernst Oppler (1867-1929) (30 works), Fritz Rhein (1873-1948) (6 works), Heinrich Linde-Walther (1868-1939) (11 works) and Paul Baum (1859-1932)(17 works).  

The titles and catalogue numbers of the works Fanny exhibited:
  • 78. Yachthaven
  • 79. Duc d’Alben(*)
  • 80. Strasse in Travemünde
  • 81. Landungssteg.
(*) Duc d'Alben: "Dückdalben", derived from the name of the much hated Spanish tyrant the Duke of Alba (1507-1582) who ruled the Dutch 7 provinces until 1573. Engl.: Dolphin or bollard. Dutch: Dukdalf or meerpaal

Ulrich Hübner: "Tiergarten Berlin" 

How did Fanny, 23 years young, managed to be represented here amongst these famous and accomplished painters ? The titles (besides the great quality of her paintings might hold an unexpected lead or a clue: Berlin painter and seccesionist Ulrich Hübner (1872-1932). Hübner painted in summer in Travemünde and between 1909 and 1912 he even lived permanently in the seaport village. 

Ulrich Hübner: Travemünde: "Landungssteg und Duc d"Alben"

Hübner was well acquainted with Cassirer and with Berlin's and the international art world. Cassirer, on the other hand was well acquainted in the Paris Café du Dôme circles. 

Panther: Logo of Cassirer Publishing House
designed in 1902 by Max Slevogt (1868-1932).
 the same year Rilke (1875-1926) wrote his famous poem.   

Please send all information you might have concerning Fanny Remak: genealogical, family, paintings, examples  etc…. helping my investigations to shine light on the obscured life of Fanny Remak. At least some of her paintings could have survived the "entarted" or "degenerate" qualifications. Her belongings were seized (confiscated, stolen and auctioned) when she fled from Hamburg to London by the Nazi's (more about this in next episode)   

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