Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

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Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven , b. Elsa Hildegard Plötz , (* July 12, 1874 in Swinoujscie ; †  December 15, 1927 in Paris ) was a German artist of Dadaism .

Live and act

Elsa Hildegard Plötz was born in 1874 in the then German port town of Swinemünde; her family was wealthy. Her artistic career began in Berlin. She went to the USA with her second husband. She was a muse and nude model , painter and sculptor , poet and reciter . She lived in New York from 1913 to 1923 , where she experienced brief popularity.

Like many other women in art , she was unable to subsist adequately from her work. Often living in abject poverty because her art and person were perceived as too eccentric and the art scene was dominated by men, she was supported by the collector and patron Peggy Guggenheim , among others . She was part of the American art scene of the Paris Left Bank ( Rive Gauche ) in the 1920s, where she was known among others with Djuna Barnes . It is attributed to her, under the pseudonym "R. Mutt “to have created the 'most influential work of modern art', the author of which is traditionally her friend Marcel Duchamp : Fountain , a urinal that has been declared ready-made .

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven was married three times: first marriage (1901) to Art Nouveau architect August Endell , second marriage (1910) to translator Felix Paul Greve , third marriage (1913) to Leopold Karl Friedrich Baron von Freytag-Loringhoven ( 1885-1919).


Irene Gammel (* 1959) published in 2002 under the title Baroness Elsa. Gender, Dada, and everyday modernity Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's first biography. The narrator in Siri Hustvedt's novel Damals (2019) is a great admirer of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, often referred to as Baroness in the novel .


  • The Dada baroness. Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Exhibition, conceived by Ernest Wichner and Lutz Dittrich, initiated by Irene Gammel and Brigitte Ebersbach . Literaturhaus Berlin , March 23 to May 8, 2005. A catalog was published by Edition Ebersbach.

Group exhibition

  • 2010: Wrong ; Kunst im Tunnel, Düsseldorf curated by Katharina Fritsch and Gertrud Peters.


  • Ina Boesch: The DaDa. How women shaped Dada. Scheidegger and Spiess, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-858-81453-1
  • Irene Gammel: The Dada Baroness. The wild life of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (German edition by Baroness Elsa. Gender, dada, and everyday modernity. A cultural biography ). Edition Ebersbach, Berlin 2003 ISBN 3-934703-57-7
  • Britta Jürgs: Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven , in: Britta Jürgs (ed.): A little water in the soap: portraits of Dadaist artists and writers . Aviva Verlag, Grambin 1999, ISBN 3-932338-06-5 , pp. 115-126

Web links

Commons : Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Louise Jury: 'Fountain' most influential piece of modern art, in: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/fountain-most-influential-piece-of-modern-art- 6156702.html , December 2, 2004 (accessed September 14, 2015)
  2. John Higgs, Was Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain' actually created by a long-forgotten pioneering feminist? In: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/was-marcel-duchamps-fountain-actually-created-by-a-longforgotten-pioneering-feminist-10491953.html - excerpt from the book John Higgs, "Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century", London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2015, ISBN 978-1-59376-626-9 (accessed September 14, 2015)
  3. ^ Judith Luig: Völlig Dada , in: taz, November 22, 2003; Katharina Rutschky : Unaffected by mental health , in: Frankfurter Rundschau, December 31, 2003.
  4. Siri Hustvedt: Back then. Reinbek near Hamburg 2019. pp. 221–223, 347, 428 and a.