Julie Wolfthorn

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Julie Wolfthorn in her studio, 1902

Julie Wolfthorn (also Wolf-Thorn , née Wolf or Wolff , born on January 8, 1864 in Thorn , West Prussia ; died on December 29, 1944 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp ) was a German modern painter, draftsman and graphic artist . As a Jew, she was a victim of the Shoah . Except for a few pictures in the depots of German museums, her extensive work was considered lost for a long time and was not rediscovered until the beginning of 2000.


Girl with Blue-Green Eyes (1899)
Portrait of Hedda Eulenberg (1901)
Portrait of the sculptor Georg Wolf , 1905
Carola Neher in the play by Noël Coward Fallen Angels , 1929

Julie Wolfthorn was born as Julie Wolf (f) as the youngest of five children of a middle-class Jewish family in Thorn; the sculptor Georg Wolf was one of her four siblings . Wolfthorn was an orphan when he was six years old . She and her four siblings grew up with relatives. She spent the summers in Ferch am Schwielowsee in the house of her cousin Olga Hempel. From 1890 she studied painting and graphics in Berlin and from 1892 at the Paris Académie Colarossi under Gustave Courtois and Edmond Aman-Jean . In 1893 she returned to Berlin and lived for decades in the no longer existing house at Kurfürstenstrasse 50. In 1895 she attended the drawing school for women led by Curt Herrmann . In 1897 she spent the summer in the Worpswede artists' colony , but she didn’t win over the atmosphere for her. The painter Paula Modersohn-Becker , who lives there, called her a “woman in trousers” in her diary.

In 1898 she became a founding member of the Berlin Secession as one of four women working in art , which she left with Max Uth , Hugo Lederer and others because she felt disadvantaged. Their request two years later to reverse this was not granted. Until 1913 she exhibited regularly in the Berlin Secession. In 1898 she was a member of the " Association of Artists and Art Friends Berlin ". At the turn of the century she was one of the few women who regularly received orders from the Jugendstil magazine Jugend , for which she created illustrations and covers.

In 1904 Wolfthorn married the art historian and critic Rudolf Klein-Diepold (1871–1925). In 1905 Julie Wolfthorn signed a petition with over 200 female artists demanding admission to the Prussian Academy of the Arts , which was rejected by the academy director Anton von Werner . In 1906 her name can be found in the list of members of the German Association of Artists . In the same year she and Käthe Kollwitz founded the exhibition group “Association of Visual Artists”, in 1912 she and Käthe Kollwitz were elected to the board and jury of the Secession, in 1927 she joined the Hiddensoer Künstlerinnenbund . At that time, women artists were contemptuously referred to as " painters ".

In 1933, in the early days of National Socialism , the Hiddensoer Künstlerinnenbund was dissolved. In 1933, as a Jew, she was excluded from the Secession board with Fanny Remak , who emigrated to England. She stayed in Berlin and worked with the Kulturbund Deutscher Juden , which was banned in 1941. The employees were arrested and the association's assets were confiscated.

On October 28, 1942, Julie Wolfthorn was born at the age of 78 together with her sister Luise Wolf with the “68. "Age Transport in the by the Nazis called Terezin ghetto deported . There she drew as far as she could under the circumstances. She survived here for two years and died a few days before her 81st birthday.


The Julie Wolfthorn Circle of Friends has been concerned with the artist's life and work since it was founded in 1998 . The name of a new street at Berlin's Nordbahnhof has been reminiscent of Julie Wolfthorn since 2005 . A board on the square of the former Luisen Lyceum at Ziegelstrasse 12 names her as a prominent student. In 2002, 50 stumbling blocks were set for her and her sister in front of the Kurfürstenstrasse building. There has also been a stumbling block in front of her summer house in Vitte on the island of Hiddensee since 2011.


Julie Wolfthorn was best known for her portraiture. She portrayed Ida Dehmel , Richard Dehmel , Hedda Eulenberg , Gerhart Hauptmann (in a double portrait with his wife Margarete), Gabriele Reuter , the family members of the writing and translating couple Hedwig Lachmann and Gustav Landauer , the family of the architect Hermann Muthesius , the doctors Salomon Neumann and Carl Ludwig Schleich , the opera singer Irmgard Scheffner , many actresses such as Tilla Durieux or Carola Neher - and other famous contemporaries, mainly from Berlin society, including a particularly large number of committed women. Her further focus was landscape painting , which she often combined with people in it (including in Abend in der Mark , shown in 1904 at the Munich annual exhibition in the Glaspalast , or Mädchen im Walde , purchased by the Kunsthalle Kiel ).


  • 2007: Special exhibition on Julie Wolfthorn by the Julie Wolfthorn Circle of Friends as part of the "Berlin Secession" exhibition in the Thiede Villa (formerly Hamspohn) on Wannsee
  • 2009: “My pictures are like my children” , first solo exhibition of the post-war period on Julie Wolfthorn, International Fredener Musiktage
  • 2013: “Conquering the world with brushes and palettes” , exhibition about her work in the Barkenhoff - former residence of Heinrich Vogeler , Worpswede
  • 2015/16: Modern Artists - Magda Langenstraß-Uhlig and her time , Potsdam Museum , Potsdam
  • 2015/16: Women of the Secession II , Liebermann-Villa , Berlin
  • 2015/16: The turning point , Bröhan Museum , Berlin
  • 2016: empathy and abstraction. The modern age of women in Germany , Kunsthalle Bielefeld
  • 2016: Julie Wolfthorn - The Myth of Ferch - Paradise on Earth , Museum of the Havelländische Malerkolonie , Ferch
  • 2016: "Malweiber" from Schwaan , Schwaan Art Museum, Schwaan , October 1 to November 13, 2016


  • Heike Carstensen: Life and work of the painter and graphic artist Julie Wolfthorn (1864–1944). Reconstruction of an artist's life. Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8288-2728-8 .
  • Gerda Breuer , Julia Meer (ed.): Women in Graphic Design / 1890–2012 Women and Graphic Design , Jovis, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86859-153-8 (English / German).
  • Jutta Götzmann, Anna Havemann (eds.): Julie Wolfthorn in Artists of the Modern Age: Magda Langenstraß-Uhlig and their time , Lukas Verlag Berlin, 2015, ISBN 978-3-86732-227-0 ( books.google.de ).
  • Beate Spitzmüller: Julie Wolfthorn. In: Britta Jürgs (Ed.): Because there is nothing left as nature intended. Portraits of women artists and writers around 1900. AvivA Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-932338-13-8 , pp. 248–259.
  • “Around us is a day of creation”. From the artist colony to today. Published by Kunstmuseum Ahrenshoop . Ahrenshoop 2013, ISBN 978-3-9816136-1-2 , p. 106 f.

Web links

Commons : Julie Wolfthorn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Exhibition against forgetting in Ahrenshoop, OZ 11.11.2019
  2. Katja Engler: Sisters, to the sun, to freedom! In: Welt am Sonntag , July 28, 2013
  3. s. Wolfthorn, Julie, painter, Berlin W., Kurfürstenstr. 50 , list of members in the catalog of the 3rd German Artists Association , Weimar 1906. (p. 59) online , accessed on October 7, 2016.
  4. Berlin-Women: Julie Wolfthorn, Secessionist , accessed on January 26, 2020.
  5. Blackboard reminds of the Luis School . In: Berliner Zeitung , May 23, 2005
  6. Stolpersteine ​​Berlin , accessed on July 1, 2015.
  7. Seebad Insel Hiddensee, Stolpersteine ( Memento of the original from April 30, 2015 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 June 30, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.seebad-hiddensee.de
  8. s. Fig. In: Ninth Volume Free Art, the "Art for All", XIX. Volume , S 572, Textarchiv - Internet Archive
  9. Girl in the forest . museen-sh.de; accessed on June 30, 2016.
  10. A bit of refreshment - the painter Julie Wolfthorn is rediscovered at Villa Hamspohn , in: Märkische Allgemeine , May 20, 2007, print
  11. ↑ Visit two villas on Wannsee , tagesspiegel.de, accessed on January 26, 2020.
  12. Julie Wolfthorn: Conquering the world with a brush and palette . (PDF) historeausstellungen.de; Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  13. ^ Potsdam Museum
  14. Secession as you have never seen it before: exhibition “Zeitwende” in the Bröhan Museum . berliner-woche.de; accessed on November 8, 2016.
  15. Empathy and abstraction. The modern age of women in Germany . Kunsthalle Bielefeld, October 30, 2015 to February 28, 2016; accessed on May 8, 2016.
  16. Julie Wolfthorn: The Myth of Ferch - Paradise on Earth , havellaendische-malerkolonie.de, accessed on November 5, 2016.