Johannes Theodor Baargeld

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Johannes Theodor Baargeld: Typical vertical cluttering as a representation of Dada Baargeld , 1920, Kunsthaus Zürich , graphic collection.

Johannes Theodor Baargeld or Zentrodada (born October 9, 1892 as Alfred Ferdinand Gruenwald in Stettin ; † August 18, 1927 at Mont Blanc ) was a German painter , graphic artist , author and publicist of Dadaism and mountaineer .

life and work

Baargeld grew up in Cologne . After graduating from high school, he studied law at Oxford University in 1912/13 and continued his studies in Bonn . In the First World War he served as a reserve lieutenant from 1914 to 1917. In 1917 he began to write lyrical and political texts for Franz Pfemfert's magazine Die Aktion , and the following year he joined the USPD . Alongside Max Ernst, Baargeld was one of the founders of the Cologne Dada group in 1919 . He published the Dada magazine Der Ventilator and a year later, together with Max Ernst, he published die schammade (amateur artists get up!) .

In 1920 he took part in the First International Dada Fair in Berlin , but a little later withdrew completely from the Dada movement in order to take up a degree in economics .

From 1923 he started climbing . He achieved several first ascents in the Alps . Landscape photographs were taken while mountain climbing, some of which the Cologne Museum Ludwig acquired. On August 18, 1927, at the age of 35, he had a fatal accident in a storm in the Mont-Blanc area.

Grave in the Melaten cemetery

Baargeld was buried in the Melaten cemetery in Cologne (hall 73a). Walter Vitt took over the sponsorship of the grave and had a new one erected according to a design by Wolfgang Nestler in place of the gravestone that was destroyed in the war .

The Johannes-Theodor-Baargeld-Weg in Cologne-Junkersdorf is named after him.


  • Walter Vitt (Ed.): In search of the biography of the Cologne Dadaist Johannes Theodor Baargeld . Keller, Starnberg 1977, ISBN 3-7808-0114-0 .
  • Walter Vitt (Ed.): Bagage de Baargeld. News about the Zentrodada from Cologne , Keller, Starnberg 1985, ISBN 3-7808-0136-1 .
  • Walter Vitt (Ed.): Fummelmond & Ferngefimmel. Poetry and prose of the Zentrodada. Steinmeier, Nördlingen 2001, ISBN 3-927496-86-3 .
The human eye and a fish, the latter petrified , 1920

Web links

Commons : Johannes Theodor Baargeld  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Quoted from web link
  2. Soénius, Ulrich S.,: Kölner Personen-Lexikon . Greven-Verl, 2008, ISBN 978-3-7743-0400-0 , p. 37 .
  3. ^ Josef Abt, Johann Ralf Beines, Celia Körber-Leupold: Melaten - Cologne graves and history . Greven, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7743-0305-3 , pp. 103f.