in Karlsruhe, Germany
in Pirna, Germany
- Grew up in a bourgeois family
- Attended the Victoria-Pensionat and received education and training as a musician and artist; studied painting, photography and music
- Played the piano and sang until she lost her voice at the age of 26
- Suffered from neurasthenia and later from hypochondria and nightmares; showed signs of schizophrenia when she claimed to be the wife of the German Emperor Wilhelm II
- From 1899 Lived in the Swiss sanitarium “Bellevue”, located at the Bodensee, where her major body of art developed; tried to keep her works secret, but they attract attention, besides other of painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn (Heidelberg)
- After 1920 works are curated and shown as part of the Prinzhorn collection
Artistic Work: Gouache works, drawings, poems, compositions and sketches/drafts for bank notes, often also portraying scenes from her imaginary life
Selection of Works:
Ohne Titel (Sängerin) (before 1919)(gouache)
Die zweifache Tochter (audio piece)
Further literature about Else Blankenhorn:
Doris Noell-Rumpeltes: »Else Blankenhorn – Vom Projekt der Versöhnung des Unversöhnlichen«, in: Expressionismus und Wahnsinn«. Hg. von Herwig Guratzsch u.a. München u.a. 2003.
ungesehen und unerhört. Künstler reagieren auf die Sammlung Prinzhorn. Bd. 2: Literatur, Theater, Performance, Musik. Hg. von Ingrid von Beyme und Thomas Röske. [Mit 4 CDs]. Heidelberg, 2014.
Story Map of the Artist’s Life: