Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lina Ammer in Eichstätt, a puzzle solved.

Lina Ammer's visit to Eichstätt (Bavaria)

(dating before 1929)

In the end Wolfgang usually finds what he is looking for solving the puzzle in last posting. The fountain is the "Willibaldsbrunnen" in Eichstätt in the heart of Bavaria. The building is Hotel "zum Träube" (the Grape). The name, closely examining, the artist even carved in the Block.

The Hotel has been under reconstruction in 1929 lifting the building with an extra floor (rows of windows).

Thank you Wolfgang !

And here're also with the help of Wolfgang and the "Allgäuer Auktionshaus Kühling" who on his request send the original photo's from their 2011 auction of these two Lina Ammer prints. Another Regensburg "Haus der Musik" (the right one)

 and a not identified historical but characteristic building.

Of this last one I "reconstructed", the left margin using Photoshop because it was hidden in the original photo.  
All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Two printmakers and a Munich teacher.

Kempter, Caroline (Lina)

(Illertissen 05-02-1856 – 27-08-1925 Illertissen)

German painter and printmaker private painting tutor in Munich. 

Lina Kempter was the daughter of prosperous estate and Inn “zum Hirsch” owner in Illertissen (N.W. of Munich) Max Josef Kempter and Caroline Rief

Working on my Index on Germany's first generation of modern printmaking women artists I found her name in an article recently. I read that a painting (above) by her hand had returned to Illertissen with the help of a helpful gallery owner (read here*).  It is the only example of her work I was able to find. Her life and career are are considered exemplary for the struggle of women to achieve a career in art and her life following the development of the women-rights movement. As many of  the 250 women I am researching she was of prosperous (or well to do) background and stayed unmarried.

She went to study in the “Königliche Kunst und Gewerbeschule” in Munich 1881-1883 and also with landscape painter Adolf Stäbli (1842-1901) in Munich. It is said that in later life she produced several color woodblock prints but I've not been able to find an example proving her efforts as a printmaker. 

Kempter family home: the Inn "zum Hisrsch" in Illertissen - Bavaria.

In 1894-95 she travelled to Valparaiso in Chili possibly visiting family members who had immigrated. She worked 1899-1904 as a teacher in the “Damenakademie des Künstlerinnen Vereins München” specializing in flower-, landscape- and still-life painting and started her own painting school and studio. From 1916-1925 she stayed and painted every summer and fall in Landsberg am Lech. She is buried in Illertissen.

Her family owned, since founding and building in the late 18th century, the Inn "Zum Hirsch" in Illertissen. Generations of Inn owners expanding the business with the well known Brewery best known by the name of its last owner Adolf Kempter (1851-1914). It went out of business in 1914.   

Her buste was created by arts and craft artist and sculptress Antonie Weber Petsche (Magdeburg 03-03-1845 -  after 1921) and was shown in 1893. She also created a buste of Adolf Stäbli in 1881, Kempters professor in Munich, shown in 1902 in Chur (Sw). She is still mentioned (“Kunstgewerblerin”) in Dressler 1921 living Adalbertstrasse 35  in Munich (then 76 years of age).

Other artists studying with Lina Kempter in Thieme-Becker/Folmer Künstler Lexikon:
Augustin, Josefine   (01-08-1882 –
Brendeke, Paula      (18-01-1879 -
Lasser-Schmalix, Ida von  (22-01-1879 –

Any examples of paintings or prints by Lina Kempter and biographical notes are most welcome for sharing in this Blog.  


Most interesting was what I discovered digitally cross-referencing my (not yet published) Index. Just two tiny footnotes in history connect printmakers Lina Ammer (1873-1935) from the small town of Straubing near Regensburg and Anna Feldhusen (1867-1951) from Bremen with Lina Kempter's painting school in Munich.

Anna Feldhusen: Oldenburg landscape 
Anna Feldhusen later returned to the North joining the Worpswede artist colony finally settling in Bremen. She is mainly known for her flower paintings and landscape etchings and became close friends with Marie Stein-Ranke (1873-1964) Germany's foremost woman portrait-etcher. 

Marie Stein-Ranke: selfportrait

Lina Ammer returned to Regensburg and had a career as painter, is well known for her fine woodblock prints and like her Munich teacher started her own painting school in Regensburg. One of her prints recently was identified by faithful reader Wolfgang as showing the "Haus der Musik" and backside of the "Dominikaner-kirche St.Blasius" in Regensburg. 

This particular view is not to be found in pictures in the Internet but this (above)  is what I glued and stitched together to show the actual situation of the print. 

And with this arial view it is clear were Lina Ammer must have sat sketching to fit two Regensburg historical buildings in one composition.

Working on more unknown or forgotten locations shown on prints we ask the help of readers to identify two more prints by Lina Ammer. There is this typical for the South of Germany small road-side shrine. Called in German a "Bildstock" or "Marterl". This type is also commonly seen in Austria. Perhaps an impossible task to find where Lina Ammer saw it. 

And this fountain situated in a town square, opposing a medieval house. Surely showing St. Jakob (with the staff): "St Jakobsbrunnen" ? But where ? It could also be no longer existing because Wolfgang who usually succeeds in eventually finding what he is looking for was unsuccessful so far. 

See next posting for the solution of this location.    

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

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Varvara Bubnova, a Russian printmaker in Japan

Bubnova, Varvara Dmitriyevna
(St. Petersburg 17 May 1886 – 28 March 1983 St. Petersburg)

Painter, graphic artist, printmakers, art critic and art pedagogue.

Meeting adventurous Hilda May Gordon in before posting it is not that difficult to return to early Russian Modern (synonymous with St. Petersburg-school) printmaking with this artist.
In the Rice fields of japan

She was the daughter of Dmitry Kapitonovich Bubnov (?–1914), a bank clerk of lower rank and Anna Nikolaevna (maiden name Wolfe) (1854–1940) who descended from an old noble Russian family and was distantly related to Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837).

Rice Fields, Japan.
From 1903 to 1905, she studied in the studio of Art Promotion Society and 1907-1914 she studied in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and attended school with the soon-to-be famous Pavel Nikolayevich Filonov (1883-1941) and her future husband Voldemar Matvey (1877-1914) who was the first Russian researcher of African Art. 

In 1910 she became a member of the Youth Union and participated in art exhibitions with Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930), David (and Lyudmilla) Burlyuk, (1882-1967), Michael Larionov (1881-1964), Natalia Goncharova (1881-1981) Pavel Filonov (1883-1941), Dimitri Falileev (1878-1950) and Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935).

Varvara Bubnova also studied in the Archeological Institute of St. Petersburg (compare the career of Hilda May Gordon !) and graduated with the tittle of “full member of the Institute” working in the Moscow historical Museum 1917-1922 studying and organizing the first exhibition of Ancient Russian Miniatures in the Department of Ancient Manuscripts. While in Moscow she worked also for the Institute of Artistic Culture with avant garde artists like Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Robert Falk (1886-1958), Ljoebov Sergejevna Popova (1889-1924), Varvara Stepanova (1894-1958), Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)

and also studied seriously the Art of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) (see above).

In 1923, she moved to Japan following her youngest sister Anna(*), where she lived until 1958. For her contribution to the development of Japanese culture she was awarded by the Emperor, as was her sister, “the order the Precious Crown of the fourth degree”.

(*) Bubnova-Ono, Anna Dmitriyevna
(St. Petersburg 1890-1979 St. Petersburg)

was a gifted violinist and one of the first who started to be engaged in teaching children playing the violin in Japan. Now regarded as the God-mother of violin teaching in Japan and aunt of legendary Yoko Ono (b. 1933) married to John Lennon (1940-1980).

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

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Hilda May Gordon, a colorist abroad.

Hilda May Gordon

British archaeologist and painter.

She studied under Frank Brangwyn (1866-1956) and Sir Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914) at the Bushy School of Art and joined Brangwyn on a painting trip to Italy in 1900. 

A significant part of her paintings consists of tens of aquarelles painted in Palestine around the year 1900. 

Although inspired by the Orientalist academic trend, some individual shades can be traced in Hilda May Gordon's small paintings, in particular her tendency towards the light cloudy shade, and her remote view which is always one of a curious but cautious tourist. 

She set off travelling for a few months in 1922 and ended up going on a trip around the world, which lasted six years. During this time she visited India, Kashmir, Tibet, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Japan and produced a large body of watercolour paintings - the product of her keen ability to render people and the atmosphere of exotic places in colourful compositions.

The expression on the face of this cute baby Orang Oetang (she saw probably while in Indonesia) instantly reminded me of two woodcuts by Dutch artist Theo Dijkwel (1881-1952) who in London had been a student of pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes (1832-1915). Dijkwel isn't very well known and there aren't many examples of his work to be found but most of his prints I know are about animals and show, besides skill, a keen observer and a very sensitive artist. His subject will have lived in Amsterdam Artis-Zoo   


I love to read about adventurous women artists instead of marrying and having a husband and a family traveling the world and leaving us accounts and pictures of the world they engaged.  

Hilda May Gordon was such an adventurous artist and I only happened to discover her stumbling over these recent Ebay offers of woodcut prints not mentioned anywhere before (as far as I know). Because there were several  copies they also learned she happily experimented with colors

Heaven knows where they came from but I could not resist having a try keeping at least 3 copies of her unsigned (African) woodcut prints together. 

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