Emy Roeder

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Emy Roeder (born January 30, 1890 in Würzburg , † February 7, 1971 in Mainz ) was a German sculptor and draftsman .


Emy Roeder received her artistic training in Würzburg , Munich and - as a student of the sculptor Bernhard Hoetger - in Darmstadt from 1912 to 1915 . Afterwards she started her independent artistic work in Berlin . She joined various avant-garde artist groups, for example the "Association of Radical Visual Artists". In addition to her and her teacher Hoetger, this group included a number of well-known sculptors of the time, for example Rudolf Belling and the Berlin sculptor Herbert Garbe .

On January 20, 1919, she married her sculptor colleague Herbert Garbe.

From 1920 to 1925 she continued her studies in Hugo Lederer's master workshop . At the same time, she established herself as a successful sculptor in Berlin in the 1920s. She was regularly featured in important exhibitions and enjoyed a good reputation with critics. Among the acquaintances of the artist couple were a number of famous artists of the time, for example Käthe Kollwitz , Ernst Barlach and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff , with whom they had a lifelong friendship.

In 1933 her husband Herbert Garbe, previously a member of the SPD , joined the NSDAP voluntarily . She followed him to Rome in 1933 , where he held a studio in the Villa Massimo for a year . Garbe returned to Berlin alone in 1934, while from 1933 to 1935 she worked mainly in Rome, France and Bavaria .

In 1936 she received a scholarship from the Villa Romana in Florence, which was headed by Hans Purrmann at that time . She lived and worked there until 1937.

In 1937 her sculpture Die Schwangere was confiscated and shown in the exhibition Degenerate Art in Munich. The head section of the work that was believed to be lost was found again in Berlin in 2010. Five of her etchings were banned from exhibition. She lived and worked, plagued by financial worries, mainly in Florence, where she found accommodation from 1937 with the art historian Herbert Siebenhüner and his wife. In 1944, after Italy was liberated from the fascist dictatorship, she was interned in a camp by the Allies.

Emy Roeder: Tall, Seated Tripolitan (1963)

On the initiative of Purrmann and the art historian Wolfgang Fritz Volbach , she was released from the camp. She initially worked in Rome for four years. Purrmann, Schmidt-Rottluff and Volbach campaigned for them in Germany and urged them to return to Germany. In 1950 she finally received an apartment and studio from the city of Mainz , combined with a teaching position, which she gave up again in 1953. In 1955 Emy Roeder was a participant in documenta 1 in Kassel . Until her death in 1971, she lived as a respected, active artist in Mainz , with interruptions due to illness and stays abroad in Sweden , Italy , Greece and North Africa. Emy Roeder had been a member of the German Association of Artists since 1929 .

Emy Roeder was buried in her family's crypt in the main cemetery in Würzburg . She bequeathed her entire estate, consisting of numerous works of her own and works by her fellow artists Erich Heckel , Otto Herbig , Hans Purrmann and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, to the city of Würzburg.


Emy Roeder is one of the leading artists of sculptural expressionism . Her expressive, usually quite serious portraits , especially of women and mothers, are characteristic. In addition to these internalized portraits, there are also evidence of a moving, extroverted expressionism from the 1920s - in style roughly comparable to some of the contemporary works by Ernst Barlach . In her early phase she also made sculptures out of wood, while later she worked exclusively in bronze.

She dealt intensively with the representation of nudes in relief and full plastic, especially with the image of the growing person. Animal representations are another focus of her work.

She created portrait busts of the artist colleagues Hans Purrmann , Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Gustav Seitz .

Emy Roeder was also a medalist and created the Peter Cornelius plaque for the state government of Rhineland-Palatinate , which has been awarded for services to music since 1951.



Before the Second World War, Emy Roeder was represented at the DKB annual exhibitions in Dresden (1927), Hanover (1928), Cologne (1929), Stuttgart (1930) and Königsberg / Danzig (1932). Her participation in the last exhibition in 1936 with Old Woman (1930/31, destroyed) in Hamburg is documented; another bronze sculpture ( Retrospective Seated Woman , 1933?) Has not yet been identified exactly.

Emy Roeder again became a member of the German Association of Artists in 1950 and took part in the first exhibition in Berlin in 1951 with the bronze sculptures Bildnis Hans Purrmann (1950), Die Blinde (1927) and Roman Mountain Goats (1948).

  • Exhibition for the 70th birthday. [Art Association in Hamburg April 22nd – May 22nd, 1960].
  • November 5, 2000 - February 11, 2001, Hofheim am Taunus City Museum , three female sculptors. Emy Roeder, Louise Stomps , Wanda Pratschke
  • From November 13, 2004 to February 6, 2005, the comprehensive special exhibition In Search of Expression and Form took place in the museum in the Kulturspeicher in Würzburg . Emy Roeder and the plastic of their time .
  • In November 2010 the Neues Museum showed in its exhibition on the Berlin sculpture find the work “Pregnant” by Emy Roeder, which was believed to be lost and was discovered in the bomb rubble during underground construction work. When this exhibition was shown in April and May 2013 in the Würzburg Kulturspeicher, the recovered ceramic original and the wooden version later worked by Emy Roeder from the holdings of the Kulturspeicher could be seen side by side.
  • From September 2013, the group exhibition showed sein! in the Museum Giersch in Frankfurt am Main some of her works together with those by Ottilie Roederstein and Maria von Heider-Schweinitz .
  • From December 1, 2018 to March 10, 2019 exhibition Emy Roeder. The cosmic all being in the museum in the Kulturspeicher Würzburg.
  • From October 12, 2019 to January 12, 2020, the Georg Kolbe Museum in Berlin took over the Emy Roeder exhibition in Würzburg . The cosmic of all being .


Web links

Commons : Emy Roeder  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Freed from rubble , online article in Der Tagesspiegel , accessed on November 9, 2010.
  2. kuenstlerbund.de: Full members of the Deutscher Künstlerbund since it was founded in 1903 / Roeder, Emy ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed December 21, 2015). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kuenstlerbund.de
  3. ^ F. Gerke: Emy Roeder. A work biography with a complete catalog of the pictures and drawings. Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden 1963 (Fig. 18, p. 309).
  4. ^ Deutscher Künstlerbund 1950: First exhibition in Berlin 1951. University of Fine Arts, Hardenbergstr. 33 , exhibition catalog (without page numbers).
  5. ^ Exhibition catalog (curation and editing: Marian Stein-Steinfeld), Hofheim 2000, ISBN 3-933735-20-3
  6. Beate Reese : The sculptor Emy Roeder. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume I – III / 2, Theiss, Stuttgart 2001–2007; III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. Volume 2, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , p. 1344, note 1.
  7. Exhibition information from the museum in the Kulturspeicher Würzburg ( Memento of the original from October 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 19, 2013. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kulturspeicher.de
  8. Emy Roeder. The cosmic of all being. In: Kulturspeicher.de. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019 ; accessed on February 11, 2019 .
  9. Emy Roeder. The cosmic of all being. Retrieved May 21, 2020 .