Underestimated. Female Artists in Leipzig around 1900

Current

Underestimated. Female Artists in Leipzig around 1900

12/05 — 14/08/2022

Marianne Fiedler, Portrait of a Black Woman, 1889, private property
Marianne Fiedler, Portrait of a Black Woman, 1889, private property
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Ella Hagen, Self-portrait, frontal, o. J., MdbK
Ella Hagen, Self-portrait, frontal, o. J., MdbK
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Ella Hagen, Wilting Leaves, 1899, MdbK
Ella Hagen, Wilting Leaves, 1899, MdbK
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Bertha Schrader, The Interior of a Church, o. J., MdbK
Bertha Schrader, The Interior of a Church, o. J., MdbK
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM

In 1897, the Saxon-Thuringian industrial and commercial exhibition – STIGA for short – took place in the trade fair city of Leipzig. While the focus was on industry and trade, there was also a specially created hall for contemporary art. For the 125th anniversary of the STIGA, the MdbK is giving new attention to the female artists exhibited then and who are now almost forgotten. In addition to the female artists’ precarious educational situation and their role at the STIGA, the exhibition sheds light on female self-portrayal and self-perception of the time.

In the STIGA art hall, on almost 2000m², artists were exhibited who had a connection to the region through their place of residence or place of birth. Of the 362 exhibiting artists, only 34 were women. The female artists, who were often confronted with the accusation of dilettantism, had to assert themselves in a male domain. The member of the STIGA selection committee as well the artists who were awarded medals were all men.

Among the participating artists were Marianne Fiedler, Emilie Mediz-Pelikan, Philippine Wolff-Arndt, Ella Hagen and Bertha Schrader. Marianne Fiedler was a classmate of Käthe Kollwitz and one of the first women to present her works in a solo exhibition at the Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden in 1894. Emilie Mediz-Pelikan took part in the exhibition together with her husband, the Viennese artist Karl Mediz. They knew each other from the Dachau Artists’ Colony and were represented at the first art exhibition of the Vienna Secession and at exhibitions in Dresden and Berlin. Philippine Wolff-Arndt moved to Leipzig in 1880 after taking lessons at the Städel Drawing Institute, where she painted numerous portraits of important personalities. She was the initiator and chairwoman of the Verein der Leipziger Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen (Association of Leipzig Women Artists and Art Lovers), founded in 1896, and was able to exhibit her paintings repeatedly at the Leipziger Kunstverein. At her suggestion, the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts and Book Trade in Leipzig (today’s HGB) was founded in 1905. It is considered one of the first art academies in Germany where women were allowed to study. The Leipzig artist Ella Hagen is known in particular for her plant and flower studies. In addition to the presentation of her works in the STIGA art gallery, she was represented in an exhibition of the Leipzig Museum of Decorative Arts in 1903. Bertha Schrader worked in Dresden as a painter, graphic artist and lithographer. During her active time in Dresden, she was chairwoman of the Gruppe Dresdner Künstlerinnen, a group of Dresden women artists founded in 1904. Her interests ranged from architecture and interiors to landscape painting.

“If you need me, Im (still) in the basement!”

In parallel to the exhibited drawings and paintings, some artists from the class for Installation and Space at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst will be showing an intervention that focuses on the structural discrimination against female and non-binary artists that continues to this day.

Artists of HGB Leipzig: Morten Bjerre, Melina Brass, Leila Brinkmann, Julia Gerke, Markus Heller, Brigita Kasperaitė, Kevin Koen, Nora Jil Langen, Merlin Maximilian Meister, Sophie Constanze Polheim, Kay Lotte Pommer, Yashar Shirdel 

The exhibition is part of the City of Leipzig's theme year 2022 "Leipzig. Freiraum für Bildung" (Leipzig: Open Space for Education) and is sponsored by the City of Leipzig and the Neuer Leipziger Kunstverein.

Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM
Installation view "Underestimated. Female artists in Leipzig around 1900" with the room intervention "If you (still) need me, I'm in the basement" (2022) by artists of class Blank (HGB Leipzig), photo: Alexander Schmidt / PUNCTUM