Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Happy Christmas 2014 and Best Wishes

And my special thanks and wishes for all the nice fellow print enthousiasts and print collectors, friendly Blog-article observers and commentors, reasonable print sellers and even more reasonable print exchangers, hard working "German-pioneering-Women-Woodblock-Printmakers-born-before-1900" out-there-in-the-field Scouts, enthousiastic and professional text editors and correctors, important and vital information and new picture senders, always cooperative museum and other email-answering archival correspondents, friendly car-boot and flee-market sellers, unselfish charity shop owners.

it is now time for a rest:    

And in person I would like to thank: Wolfgang Barina, James Barnes, Heert Burgers, Michelle Bos, Bill Carl, Tom Clemens, Charles Haji-Baba, Clive Christy-Hazell, Lily Lotus Green, Ortwin Danckert, Wim Eilander, Hans von Döhren, Ed Ogul, Erik (El-Vivio) Korbeek, Felicity Naylor, Holger Paul, Steven Muzy, Hubert Fricke, Karen Charbonneau, Klaus Ohlig, Klaus Voigt, Markus Wehner, Vlatko Milosevski, Cees Oorthuijs, Peter Weidlich, Auke in Leeuwarden, Neil Philip, Sergei Prodolnov, Shaun D'Arcy-Burt, Henk Spruit, Stephen Bishop, Steve Deniss, Thomas Treibig and all their loved ones who helped making 2014 an unforgettable year. 

And to all deer persons "out there" I might have forgotten to mention. 

These two card/examples by printmaker Arthur Allen Lewis  (Mobile, Alabama, 1873 - New York City, 1957). I'm wondering: who was CBH ?? 

The Newspaper reading dad found at:

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

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Louise Steinbach-Weinhold: Pollards on the isle of Finkenwerder.

Steinbach-Weinhold, Louise (Lise)

      (Dresden 1879-1971 Hamburg) 

Visiting Hamburg and enjoying the city and river Elbe in last postings this is a  good opportunity to show this print that showed up in German Ebay recently. To my knowledge (but that is not a way of measuring) the second example of a print by this forgotten printmaker. It is a limited (12/50) copy printed in 1990 from the original 1909 blocks. I do not have a clue who printed them, where and why, and if the original was at hand to determine and choose colors. (If it wasn't for the horizon it could easily be mistaken for a view of Provincetown Mass. USA)

It's titled "Kopfweiden" (Pollard Willows) in "Finkenwerder": an island in river Elbe just south of the great city. An idyllic place, a fishing community, around 1900 but 100 years later hardly recognizable by "progress': it's todays centre of the German Airbus industry. The sad thing about progress is it cannot be stopped. 

Louise's Pollards: although it's not 100 years old, as it should be, I loved it the moment I saw it. Just three color blocks (blue, green and purple) and a key block were used but it is how the eye is drawn into the composition and the great suggestion of depth (the purple roof top placed under the horizon) by overlooking the broad river from the heights of the moraine, a wall created by friction from the glaciers advancing from the North in successive ice-ages (350.000-150.000 years ago). When they retreated and melted the river bed of todays tidal river Elbe was formed.  

The traditional Elbe "Fischkutter" fleet is/was marked HF (Hamburg Finkenwerder) below by Thomas Herbst. The nearby (opposite) Blankenese fleet SB (Schleswig-Holstein Blankenese).  

Visiting Hamburg and Blankenese, the picturesque village on the opposing Elbe bank, and using the unique Hamburg water taxi service we enjoyed similar views from the other side, the North Bank, overlooking Finkenwerder and the bustling river with endless rows of cargo ships, fishing boats, tugboats and ocean steamers entering and leaving majestic Hamburg harbor. It created an everlasting impression in my memory. As it did on many artists who came here to paint and sketch 100 years before. A selection will be shown in next posting.

Louise, who had been a student of Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) in Berlin's Art Academy, was trained a painter but for most women artists that was to have a career as teacher, what she actually was for a while at a drawing school in her native Dresden. While studying in Berlin she will have learned that new way of Printmaking-the-Japanese-way from Emil Orlik (1870-1932) who was appointed to teach the craft (or is it an art ?) in Berlins "Kunstgewerbe Museum Schule" in 1905. 

Friedrich Schaper: Sommertag in Finkenwerder 1895.

Louise was married to painter and professor Eduard Steinbach (Hamburg 1878-1939) who taught at the Academies of Berlin, Leipzig, Karlsruhe and Hamburg and together leading a private painting school in Hamburg. They lived and worked in Berlin and Hamburg (below: camping along the river  by Eduard Steinbach).

She exhibited in the Berlin Secession 1909/10 and was close friends with painter/printmakers Arthur Illies (1870-1952), who also taught at the Hamburg Arts and Craft (Kunstgewerbe) school and that wonderful but short-lived Friedrich Lissmann (1880-1915) who appeared earlier in this Blog (do follow the label below to read more !)
Willy Dammasch (1887- ?), The Elbe seen from Finkenwerder.

Willy Tiedjen (1881-1950), Elbe impression and Hamburg skyline from Finkenwerder.  

Eduard and Louise worked (and possibly lived) on the Isle of Finkenwerder from 1901-1919 where a small artist colony had emerged frequented in summer by famous impressionist painters like Thomas Herbst (1848-1915) and Friedrich Schaper (1859-1956) but many other artists, local Hamburg painters and the lesser gods, will have payed a visit to this idyllic place with flowering fruit trees, haymaking and its traditional islanders, the inviting "Gasthausen" and fishing fleet.

Gretchen Wohlwill: Heu-ernte auf Finkenwerder.

Rolf Diener (1906-1988) Finkenwerder  

Gretchen Wohlwill (1878-1962), was here, the Jewish painter-printmaker who was befriended with painter, printmaker and Finkenwerder born Eduard Bargheer (1901-1979) (below). 

Printmaker Luigi Kazimir (1879-1937) visiting Hamburg also halted on Finkerwerder Island overlooking the Elbe and Hamburgs skyline on a gloomy day, obviously inspired by Emil Nolde's "Elbe Schlepper" (Elbe tug boat). 

Emil Nolde (1867-1956) 1910: "Elbe Schlepper" 

Hamburg printmaker Hans Förster (1885-1966), a shamefully neglected artist, but one of the earliest (1905-06) and a brilliant student of Emil Orlik in Berlin, immortalized the fishing village individuals of Finkerwerder making him a nice candidate to appear next in the Linosaurus. 

All pictures are mouse-clickable to embiggen.

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

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Else Zinkeisen revisited: more Elbe fishing boats

Zinkeisen, Else
(Hamburg 27-08-1871 - ?)
Hamburg painter and printmaker. 

Harbored Elbe fishing boats drying sails. 

Belonging to the group of pioneer German women printmakers Else is almost at the end of my alphabetical research list: only Olga von Zitsewitz and Bertha Züricher to follow last. She came to mind when reader Tom (see before posting) has send me another print probably losing its makers signature, for sharing. An educated guess (the use of color, the way the horizon is done and the rather simply cut outlines of the vessels) would be Else Zinkeisen (After "eliminating" possibles:  Carl Thiemann, and Josephine Siccard Redl (both traveled and printed Venice lagune ships in evening settings) and Margarete (L.E.M.) Gearhardt but she was active in the Nidden Art colony in the Baltic).  

She is printmaker about whom I know so very little (*). I've shown her before in the Blog and I am confident eventually more about her identity and biography will be revealed and cleared up. With the help of readers. She clearly had a fascination for these Elbe ships so for that reason they are shown here together again. Seen from some height, looking down, suggests in some views she sat near the village of Blankenese (maybe lived there?). That lovely and picturesque spot adjacent to the bustling city and harbour of Hamburg I plan showing, artistically, in next posting.    

What I do know: 

Else was a member of the “Heikendorfer Künstler Kolonie” that sprang up around the house and studios of Heinrich Blunk (1898-1963) at the Kieler Forde, not far from Hamburg. Printmaker Oscar Droege (1898-1983) was a member (later becoming professor in Kassel) and painter Georg Burmeister (1864-1936). She followed private painting lessons in Hamburg and in Berlin with professor Franz Skarbina (1849-1910), in Munich with Angelo Jank (1868-1940). She studied also at prestigious Academie Colarossi in Paris and was professionally active in Hamburg around the 1920's. An expensive artistic  education and training for a girl in those days an indication for a (very) well to do background. 

Some random biographical notes concerning artistic Zinkeisen families: 

(*) Else  could be related to Dr. Eduard Zinkeisen a pharmacists who in 1849 founded a successful and in Paris awarded mineral water company in Hamburg. Probably succeeded in the company by a namesake (his son?) Eduard Zinkeisen into the XXth century.  
(*) Gabrielle Zinkeisen (b. Dresden 1879), a painter and color woodblock printmaker (I've never seen an example) who also happened to study with Franz Skarbina in Berlin according to Thieme Becker Lexikon. She had a painting sister Gertrud (b. 1877). 
(*) Anna (b.1901) and Doris (b.1898) Zinkeisen, British/Scottish sisters, painters and stage designers. Their father Victor Z. a timber merchant originated from a Bohemian family that settled in Scotland in the 18th century. 

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

Friday, 28 November 2014

Hugo Amberg: in Hamburg, Alsterfleet

Hugo Amberg 
(Hamburg 1872 - 1943 Osnabrück)
German painter, teacher, etcher and printmaker. 


Recently American reader Tom sent me a picture of this woodblock print hoping  I had a clue where it was and who the maker was. Well here goes: 

I've learned that modern Germans today hardly know how to read the Sütterlin script (after Ludwig S. who perfected it) anymore. It became the German standard in 1935, by Adolph Hitler, and also abolishing it in 1941, some say was the best thing the villain ever did. And although I do not claim mastering it: I like a good puzzle. Focusing on and researching the lives of German Women Printmakers born before 1900 it also cannot be avoided. 

The signature posing no problem, the left part however is more difficult to read. Knowing the scene helps, even not being German and born 10 years after the complete destruction of this Venice of the North by Anglo-American bombing in 1943: Alsterfleet, the very heart of this friendly city. So, I think it reads:

Alsterfleetbrücke - Hamburg
Holzschnitt - Handdruck.

A good opportunity to focus on the geography and recent history of Hamburg Neustadt, Alsterfleet, after all the most important city and harbour in the Frisian region: German, Danish and Dutch. Starting with a view on the Reesendamm Brücke dividing the Innen and Außer Alster, a small river affluent in River Elbe.  

The star I've placed on the Schleussenbrücke is where Hugo Amberg sat.   

The bridge shown in Tom's print is the Adolphsbrücke (build in 1843 and named not after A.H. but after  Adolph IV, Count of Holstein who died in 1261) as seen from the Schleussenbrücke (the locks, protecting this part of the Innenalster from Elbe tides and creating the reservoir of the Außenalster. (In this photograph below the locks are still in function). The famous Arkaden (Arcades) have also been rebuild to its former grandeur and glory.  

The same contemporary view (below) after the rebuilding of Hugo's native Hamburg and a 1964 print by an unknown printmaker.    

Researching into the history of Tom's print besides "bringing it home" my personal reward was in finally (!) discovering about Hugo Amberg's wife and her family: the illustre and much admired by me printmaker Ilse Koch (1869-1934). But that I will safe for a next posting. 

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

All pictures are mouse clickable to embiggen. 

Follow the labels (or use the search function) to find more on Hugo and Ilse in older posts. New posts with new examples of prints are in preparation.

(Leaving a comment by the way is the reward bloggers thrive on and may be encouraging to continue).    

Friday, 21 November 2014

Erna Halleur: Have a great little weekend !

"Stets ein frohes Wochenendchen"

"Again and again (for ever) a nice (little) weekend" by Erna Halleur (died 1940 Berlin)  send to share by reader Shaun ! Don't miss her recent posting in this Blog.  
What a nice little gem !  I count 6 different color stages (2 blues, 2 reds green and yellow) and blocks to be cut.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Emma Bormann in Groningen

Emma Bormann 
visiting Groningen (Netherlands)

The works and biography of Emma Bormann (1887-1975), as an important artist, are extensively published, both in books and in the Internet. She was appointed professor teaching graphics in Münich Art Academy in 1918 and in her long life she travelled extensively creating woodblock prints of the many places she visited all over the world: highly collectable and likewise priced.

In 1922 however she travelled to the Netherland making sketches for later printmaking. In that year the "Verein für verfielfaltigende Kunst" published her print of the Academy in Groningen and therefore has become one of her best known. Finding a print signed and titled in what looks like Bormann's own handwriting and not with the VfvK publishers title and credit suggests she also stocked local galleries with signed copies after her trip. After all: world traveling costs money, even when you are born rich, earn a professor's salary and are married to a doctor (Dr. Eugen Milch). 

I have no idea if the other prints she created in Groningen were also made for the "Verein" (I don't think so) but they were created during that same 1922  trip. One of them is showing the small village of Godlinze: pretty accurate, even the garden fence (lower right) is cut and printed correctly.  

There’s at least one other signed print to proof she extended her trip also visiting the city of Rotterdam some 250 Km south where she did the "Kolk-haven". This historic and medieval centre, the heart of Rotterdam was erased after the cowardly German bombardment of the city on may 14th 1940. 

But then to my surprise I recently discovered another Groningen print. One I’d never seen before. It’s titled “Lage der A”. Which it is not. It is actually the “Noorderhaven” just around its corner, looking North. I know, my roots are in Groningen and for the last 10 years I drove past these old store houses, to and from my work in the UMCG.

The mistaken title is the more remarkable because Emma Bormann also sat sketching on the opposite north side of the Noorderhaven looking South over the city. Creating this really very nice view of the city, below. And that print I'd also never seen before. 

On the left is the Martini-tower, the tower and spine of the Academy are in the middle and on the right the tower of the "der Aa"- church. This color(ed) print recently surfaced in the Internet in an auction. To be more correct: I found it long after the auction. 

To my surprise, researching these two new to me Noorderhaven-Groningen prints a bit, I found in the Archives of the City of Groningen yet another print by Bormann and one I also never had seen before. It shows the "Grote Markt" and the "Martini"-tower, an etching and: on a busy market day.

Over the years I have found, picked up and collected several prints of the iconic Martini tower, or Olle Grize (old Gray One) as it is lovingly called by Groningen’s citizens. But not many showing the tower on a market day held on what was then one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval market squares in Europe. Until it was destroyed with the liberation of the city in 1945.
(left: Hendrik Jochem Gorter 1905-1944 who did not survive the occupation and right: "Estgerbuh" (pseudonym for Henriette Rosina Dorothea Hubregtse (1879-1959) 

All pictures are mouse clickable to embiggen. 

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