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Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler

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

1937     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: 

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