Saturday, 5 November 2016

Cläre Schmidt-Weissenberg: forgotten printmaker from Dresden

I share with you all I've been able to find trying to create something of this printmakers biography. All help is welcomed by those who might stumble over this humble posting.  

Cläre Schmidt-Weissenberg

Painter and printmaker, she is known to me by two colour woodblock prints both floral compositions, the autumn bouquet surfacing very recently in America. The signature in both prints probably reads M.C. Schmidt-Weissenberg (Marie Claire ?). 

She may have been the wife of Dr. Kurt Schmidt (Colmnitz near Dresden 22-04-1866 - in or after 1932) who lived/worked in 1932 at the exact same Dresden address where Cläre Schmidt-Weissenberg lived in 1930. But she could also have been his sister, or even his aunt, living at the same address (see below)

Dresses Kunsthandbuch 1930: “Frau Cläre Schmidt-Weissenberg:  M(alerin)”, Dresden-Strehlen, Josefstraße 12. (She is not mentioned in the 1920 edition). 


Dr. Curt Schmidt (Colmnitz near Dresden 22-04-1866 - in or after 1932) was a neurologist who ran a private sanatorium at Josefstrasse 12b. He attended (high school) at Batten gymnasium 1881/82 earning the "Stipendium Hautmannianum" (I have no idea about this award). Bautzen is located some 25 km east of Dresden. (the School below) 

He was the son of theologist Clemens Gottlob Schmidt (Kaditz near Dresden 1827-1904 Dresden) and his wife Johanna N.N. His 6 uncles were all professors, physicians and theologists in Dresden en Leipzig. 

Dresdens Josefstrasse was renamed in 1940 Caspar Friedrich Davidstraße.

-  Dresden, Josefstrasse Nr.3. In 1904 (the year his father died) a villa in Jugendstil style was build for Dr. Curt Schmidt by Dresden architect Heino Otto (1869 – probl. after 1929). It was the first house designed with a garage for an automobile in Dresden (or Germany). Before WWI Robert Sterl (1867-1932), impressionist painter and Berlin Secessionist,  professor in Dresden Art Academy lived and worked here for several years. He worked as a war artist during WW1 and moved in 1919 to nearby Naundorf.

-  Dresden, Josefstraße Nr.12 (above, was build shortly before WW1 as a private sanatorium for neurologist Dr.Curt Schmidt. He is mentioned living/working there in 1932. From 1932 the sanatorium at nr. 12 was continued by psychiatrist Dr. Heinrich Stoltenhof (1898-1979) making it plausible Dr. Curt Schmidt either retired or died (aged 66) in 1932.

A Klara Schmidt was 1881-1887 “Leiter” (director) of Dresden “Schul- und Erziehungsanstalt für Töchter gebildeter Stände” (“English School”) at Kurfürstenstrasse 11 (source: Stadtwiki Dresden). Above and Below. She could be related to Kurt Schmidt (his sister or his aunt ?). She was succeeded in 1887 by one Dr. Christiane Wiederhold. 

It could very well be the -Weissenberg is not a maiden name but an addition to the very common family name of Schmidt (compare artists Schmidt-Wolfartshausen, Schmidt-Hild, Schmidt-Rotluf  etc…).

Weissenberg is a small town 30 km. east of Dresden and 5 km east of Bautzen (where Curt Schmidt attended the Gymnasium). 

All information and help is very much appreciated and  welcomed.


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


  1. Gerrie, thanks so much for posting this! I saw the autumn leaves print, too, and spent quite a bit of time on the internet trying to find any information on M.C. Schmidt-Weissenberg. I couldn't find anything, and it is great to be able to see the other print by her as well. As usual, you are a font of knowledge! Did you happen to bid on/win the autumn leaves print? I thought it was beautiful.
    Thanks again! Michelle

    1. Hello Michelle, thanks for stopping by. A friend in America pointed me to this print last week. The obscured artist happened to be in my archival files with that "roses in a blue vase" print, pressing me to start a renewed research with the blog article as the result. I have a modest but gourmet collection of woodblock prints by women German woman artists (born 1850-1900) pioneering with "printmaking the Japanese way" and I'm happy to tell you this one will be part of it. Thanks to the help and intervening of an equal enthusiast Boston friend and collector.

  2. The Jungendstil style is so lovely. I've admire it for years. Lovely prints. Even if I don't comment, I'm still following your blog, Gerrie.