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Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler (First Draft)


German artist/ painter

Born Dec 4, 1899 in Dresden, Germany 

Maiden Name: Anna Frieda Wächtler

Died July 31, 1940 in Pirna, Germany 

Biographical Detail: 

Grew up in a middle-class family 

1915 Began studying fashion design and graphic art at the Royal School of Applied Arts in Dresden; shortly after changed her focus to painting 

1917 Met artist Conrad Felixmüller, moved in with him and shared studio space with him for 2 years; enters bohemian artist circles of Dresden through him; meets artist Otto Dix 

1919 Dix introduced her to Kurt Lohse

1921 Married Kurt Lose 

1925 Moved to Hamburg, where she entered six years of artistic success, being most intensely creative and having multiple exhibitions.

Lohse-Wächtler joined the Hamburg Sezession (founded 1919) as well as the League of Women Artists and Women Art Friends (founded 1926)

1929 Suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to the state psychiatric institution in Hamburg-Friedrichsberg for two months; after being releases she remained isolated and impoverished despite her flourishing artistic career 

1931 Returned to her parents’ house in Dresden; father had her admitted to the psychiatric institution in Arnsdorf; 

Lohse-Wächtler was diagnosed with schizophrenia

Until 1935 Continued drawing and painting 

Under Nazi Regime underwent forced sterilization and was labeled a producer of degenerate art in 1937; much of her work of art was confiscated or destroyed 

1937 Was transferred to the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre in Pirna, where she was gassed to death

Early 1990s Lohse-Wächtler’s work was rediscovered, among the works of artists such as Käthe Kollwitz and Gabriele Münter  

Artistic Work: Paintings; mostly known for her portraits, self-portraits, city and harbor scenes

Movement/Style: Expressionism

Seleciton of Works: 

Friedrichsberger Köpfe (1929) 

Lissy (1931)


Salsbury, Britany L. “Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler: A Feminist View of Weimar Culture.” Woman’s Art Journal 29.2 (2008): 23-30. Web.

Hertel, Christiane. “Im Malstrom Des Lebens Versunken: Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler 1899-1940, Leben Und Werk (Book Review).” Woman’s Art Journal 21.2 (2000): 50-53. Web., Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler (Link to Website)

Artist’s Estate: 

Nachlassverwaltung Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler: Marianne and Rolf Rosowski, Hamburg, Germany (Link to more information)

Story map of the artist’s life: