Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hanna Nagel

 Hanna Nagel, Self-Portrait, 1929

Hanna Nagel (1907-1975) was born in Heidelberg as the eldest daughter of the merchant John Nagel and his wife Bertha. As a child, the left-hander drew eagerly and began in 1924 a bookbinder apprenticeship. Between 1925 and 1929 Hanna Nagel studied at the Baden State Art School in Karlsruhe with Karl Hubbuch and Wilhelm Schnarrenberger, later as a master student in the etching class of Walter Conz. In 1929, she moved with her future husband to Berlin where she studied at the United State Schools for Free and Applied Arts. She belonged to the classes of Emil Orlik who saw in her "a new Kollwitz".

Hanna Nagel, The [Anti-Abortion] Paragraph, 1931.

In 1931 Hanna Nagel married the painter Hans Fischer. Between 1933 and 1936 she stayed several times in the Villa Massimo in Rome. She illustrated Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, Maxim Gorky's Night Asylum, and works of Daphne du Maurier. Because of her resolute rejection of the Nazi art scene and the immense criticism in Hanna Nagel's work as to existing gender roles, the Fischer-Nagel family could only survive by accepting small orders (such as calendar pages, or commercial art). 

 Hanna Nagel, Liegende, 1929

In 1947, the couple separated. The next 30 years Hanna Nagel spent in Heidelberg, constantly suffering under pain attacks. After an operation of her arm she had to switch to right-hand drawing. Hanna Nagel created countless drawings, lithographs and etchings. Parts of her extensive work are not yet published, and her artistic legacy is mostly privately owned. A Hanna Nagel Prize is awarded annually by a jury of prominent women (including Prof. Dr. Jutta Limbach) in Karlsruhe.

Hanna Nagel, Sitter (at Hubbuch), 1929

You can see more works of Hanna Nagel here in my Flickr set.

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