Who is Hilde Goldschmidt?

By Gwylym Owen

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Hilde Goldschmidt (7 September 1897 -7 August 1980) was a German expressionist painter and printmaker. Facing persecution under the Nazi regime she sought refuge in Britain during the Second World War since establishing herself in Austria in the 1950s.

Goldschmidt was born in Leipzig into a middle-class Jewish family who had several artistic connections. The relatives knew the writers Rainer Maria Rilke and Thomas Mann and along with the painter Marianne von Werefkin and her co-conspirator Alexei Jawlensky. From 1914 to 1917, Goldschmidt studied collection design at the Leipzig Academy under Hugo Steiner Prag and produced woodcuts and lithographs in an expressionist style. She afterward took private painting lessions following O R Bossert and dance lessions at the Leipzig Opera ballet teacher as capably as writing poetry.

In 1918 the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts began admitting women students for the first get older and Goldschmidt studied painting there from 1920 to 1923 during which times she was taught by Oskar Kokoschka. Goldschmidt lived a somewhat cosmopolitan vibrancy after graduating from the Dresden Academy.

Between 1923 and 1932 she spent allocation of each year in Paris and after that spent the summer in the south of France in the past returning to Leipzig for the winter. She exhibited works in New York in 1923 and rented a studio in Montparnasse. Her first solo exhibition was held at the Gallery Caspari in Munich in 1932 but was closed down by the authorities.

Facing increased discrimination and persecution from the Nazi regime in Germany, Goldschmidt and her mom moved to Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tyrol in 1933 and both became Austrian citizens in 1936. Following the Anschluss, the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938, they moved to London in 1939.

Arriving in London in 1939, Goldschmidt and her mother started a small business, the Golly Studio, making and selling mittens to provide an income that could meet their expenses. A brusque holiday in the Lake District led them to have an effect on north and settle upon the Langdale Estate near Ambleside. There they found themselves among an artistic community that included several extra refugees, most notably the performer Kurt Schwitters, who became a close friend and influence upon her work.

In the Lake District, Goldschmidt continued to run Golly Studios, gave evening classes in leatherwork and continued to paint. She painted expressionist landscapes in bright pastel colours and after that portraits such as Awake and Dreaming, showing a woman deep in melancholic introspection. A self-portrait from this time, in which Goldschmidt depicts herself as a sphinx, albeit one set in an English landscape, is now in the Tate collection. In 1949, Goldschmidt had a solo play-act in Manchester that year, after her mom had died she returned to Kitzbühel.

In Austria, Goldschmidt attempted to govern a guest home for a number of years but after taking classes in the same way as her old moot Oskar Kokoschka in 1954, she settled to concentrate full-time upon her art. Her paintings became bolder and more structured often bearing thick black lines surrounding bold blocks of colour.

Trips to Venice in the 1960s and to Israel in 1968 led to sets of silk screen prints, including Israel: Man and Country. Trips to Malta and Gozo also as provided inspiration. Goldschmidt had several solo exhibitions in both Austria and England, notably at Annely Juda Fine Art in 1969 and at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal during 1973. That exhibition in the sky of toured venues in the north of England.

Examples of her accomplishment featured in the exhibition Condemned, Forgotten, Rediscovered. The Fate of Expressive Art in the 20th Century held at the Cultural and Historical Museum in Osnabrück in 2001 which concentrated on artists whose take action was suppressed by the Nazi regime. A joint exhibition of works by Goldschmidt and Schwitters was held at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in 2003 and both feature in Abbot Hall’s 2019 exhibition Refuge: The Art of Belonging.

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