weimar culture

Girls on Klassenfahrt in Weimar, Thüringen, Eastern Germany. A Klassenfahrt is a class trip/school trip/field trip that usually lasts for a week, in which you travel to places within Germany or to a city of interest in another country (e.g. Paris, Rome, Barcelona) with your school, staying in youth hostels. These longer overnight trips usually happen the first time at age 10 in 4th grade and again a few times during your school career. In addition, there will be short day trips with your class occasionally.

[Italian Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti] liked Berlin enormously, and it was as if there were a special Berlin, his Berlin, his domain, as if Berlin were prepared for him, as if it were suddenly filled with him.

Rudolph Leonhardt; Paul Raabe, ed. Expressionismus: Aufzeichnungen und Erinnerungen der Zeitgenossen (1965)

quoted by Peter Gay in Weimar Culture (1968)

NOVEMBER 1: Hannah Höch (1889-1978)

The German Dada artist and one of the pioneers of the photomontage, Hannah Höch, was born on this day in 1889.

A 1926 self-portrait by artist Hannah Höch (x).

Hannah was born as Anna Therese Johanne Höch in Gotha, Germany on November 1, 1889. Her family was of working-class status and although Hannah received a short education at the Gotha Höhere Töchterschule, she was eventually taken out of school in order to help her mother care for her younger siblings. When her youngest sibling, a sister named Marianne, was finally old enough to care for herself, Hannah was able to return to school. This time she chose to attend the School of Applied Arts in Berlin. Her main passion was painting and fine arts, but she studied the more “practical” crafts of glassmaking and graphic design in order to appease her father.

With the outbreak of World War I, Hannah returned home from school and joined the Red Cross; however, not a year later she moved back to Berlin and found herself in the midst of the wartime Dada movement. She continued her studies at the School of Applied Arts and created embroidery patterns for ladies’ magazines so that she could have a steady income, but her real life was lived in the bars and nightclubs of the city where she bounced ideas off the likes of iconic artists such as Kurt Schwitters and Piet Mondrian. One of her most well-known contributions was that of the photomontage, which is exemplified in her 1919 piece Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany.

One of her most well-known pieces; Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic, 1919, collage of pasted papers, 90 x 144 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin (x).

Hannah was known to have relationships with both men and women. She was only married once, to a man named Kurt Matthies, but one of her longest-lasting relationships was with the famous Dutch writer and linguist Mathilda Brugman. Although the relationship lasted 9 years and the two women openly lived together in the city of Hague, Hannah never spoke publicly about her sexuality or sexual identity. When the Nazis rose to power in Germany, much of her art was censored or destroyed after being labeled “degenerate art.” Despite the danger it put her in, Hannah continued to create photomontages throughout World War II and until her death on May 31, 1978.


Hannah Höch (November 1, 1889 – May 31, 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage.

Höch was a pioneer of the art form that became known as photomontage. Many of her pieces sardonically critique the mass culture beauty industry at the time gaining significant momentum in mass media through the rise of fashion and advertising photography. Many of her political works from the Dada period equated women’s liberation with social and political revolution.[9] In particular, her photomontages often critically addressed the Weimar New Woman, collating images from contemporary magazines.[10] Her works from 1926 to 1935 often depicted same sex couples, and women were once again a central theme in her work from 1963 to 1973. Höch also made strong statements on racial discrimination. Her most famous piece is Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser DADA durch die letzte weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (“Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany”), a critique of Weimar Germany in 1919. This piece combines images from newspapers of the time mixed and re-created to make a new statement about life and art in the Dada movement.


The Sisters G., Photo by Atelier Manassé, Wien, 1930s.

Eleanor and Karla Gutchrlein (born 1910) are twin sisters who danced and acted together in several 1930s films. They were sometimes billed as The Sisters G. The sisters were born in the Netherlands in 1910. They are famous for performing together, for having bobbed haircuts, and for their dancing and acting skills. They performed in several American films including the King of Jazz (1930), Recaptured Love (1930) and God’s Gift to Women (1931).

Book photo challenge day 11: Currently reading

Giving Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider another read. I haven’t been reading enough non-fiction for my liking lately and with the two stacks my parents re-united me with sitting and waiting to be shelved it’s a great reminder to be reading them. It’s also been fun running into old dog-eared pages and seeing what I found noteworthy at the time. Also reading The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales and The Necromancer: Johannes Cabal #1