Lea Grundig

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Lea Grundig (1951)

Lea Grundig , b. Langer (born March 23, 1906 in Dresden ; † October 10, 1977 during a trip to the Mediterranean) was a German painter and graphic artist . From 1964 to 1970 she was president of the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR .


Portrait of Lea
ink drawing of her husband Hans Grundig , 1928

Lea Grundig grew up in a Jewish family in Dresden's old town. She was a cousin of Fred, Max and Josef Zimmering as well as Hans and Max Dankner and Bruno Goldhammer . Even as a young girl she rebelled against the Jewish Orthodox religion as she experienced it in her family. From 1922 to 1924 she attended the Dresden Academy of Applied Arts . From 1924 to 1926 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden and was accepted into Otto Gussmann 's master class , which also included Otto Griebel , Wilhelm Lachnit and Hans Grundig . There she met Otto Dix , whom she regarded as one of her key artistic mentors. In 1926 she became a member of the KPD and co-founder of the Dresden section of the Asso artist group . In 1928 she married Hans Grundig against her father's wishes. In the summer of 1929 she attended the Reichsparteischule of the KPD "Rosa Luxemburg" in Fichtenau near Berlin .

Lea Grundig's old comrade (1932) from the holdings of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Link to the picture

(Please note copyrights )

During the time of National Socialism she was persecuted as a Jew and a communist, her works of art were defamed as " degenerate " in relation to so-called German art .

She created the cycles Harzburger Front , “Under the Swastika” (1936), “The Jew is to blame!” , “War threatens!” , “In the valley of death” and “Ghetto” .

She was banned from exhibiting in 1935 and was finally arrested in May 1936. Because of her membership in communist organizations, she was imprisoned from May 1938 to December 1939 and then emigrated to Pressburg . In 1940 she was taken to a refugee camp in Slovakia, and at the end of the year she managed to immigrate to the British Mandate Palestine as a survivor of the Patria refugee ship . She lived in the Atlit refugee camp until 1942 , then in Haifa and Tel Aviv .

From November 1948 to February 1949 she lived in Prague and then returned to Dresden, where she became a lecturer in 1949 and in 1951 the professorship for graphics at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts . During this time she traveled to the People's Republic of China , Cuba and Cambodia . In 1961 she became a full member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR , testified in the trial against Hans Globke and was president of the Association of Visual Artists from 1964 to 1970 . From 1964 she was a member of the Central Committee of the SED .

In 1975 and 1976, major personal exhibitions in Berlin and Dresden were dedicated to her. She died during a Mediterranean voyage on the MS "Völkerfreundschaft" . Her grave is on the Heidefriedhof in Dresden . The written estate is in the Akademie der Künste .


Grave of Lea and Hans Grundig on the Dresden Heidefriedhof


"I wanted to portray people in such a way that one recognized their misery and suffering and at the same time felt anger about it."

Foundation, endowment

In 1972 Lea Grundig paid a foundation balance for the Hans and Lea Grundig Foundation of the Ernst Moritz Arndt University . A prize should be awarded annually from the funds of the foundation, which recognizes outstanding artistic, art-historical and art-pedagogical achievements of students and graduates of the Caspar David Friedrich Institute for Art Studies. The prize has not been awarded since 1996 because Lea Grundig was considered politically obsolete and no longer justifiable by members of the faculty at the Caspar David Friedrich Institute. At the beginning of 2011, the University of Greifswald handed over the Hans and Lea Grundig Foundation to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation . Since 2015 the Hans and Lea Grundig Prize has been awarded every two years.

Works (selection)

  • The face of the working class , 50 prints of works from the years 1929–1977, Verlag Volk und Wissen
  • Sheets against imperialism , VEB EA Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 1975
  • Young doctor from a Dresden polyclinic
  • Street in Schwedt
  • Dresden - Neumarkt

Book illustration (selection)

  • L. Avital, Naftali Melumad: Keshet, shenaton li-yeladi , Masadah, Tel Aviv 1949
  • Brothers Grimm: Children's and Household Tales , 3 volumes, 281 drawings (including 16 color plates) by Lea Grundig, Der Kinderbuchverlag, Berlin (-Ost) 1953/1954
  • Louis Fürnberg: El Shatt. A cycle of poems , 13 drawings by Lea Grundig, Dietz, Berlin 1960


  • Stories and history. [Autobiography], Dietz Verlag, Berlin (GDR), 1974; (10th edition 1984, ISBN 978-3-320-00586-3 )
  • About Hans Grundig and the art of picture making. , Volk und Wissen Verlag, Berlin (GDR), 1978
  • Art in Times of War / Art in Times of War. Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin 2015 (This essay by Lea Grundig was published in Hebrew in 1944 in Palestine in the daily newspaper "Davar". On the occasion of the award of the Hans-und-Lea-Grundig Prize 2015, the German-English text by Thomas Flierl was marked with a Foreword edited by Oliver Sukrow.)


  • Martin Beier u. a .: Lea Grundig. Jewish, communist, graphic artist. Catalog. Ladengalerie Berlin , Berlin 1996 ISBN 3-926460-56-3
  • Brigitte Birnbaum : The painters from Ostbahnstrasse . From the life of Hans and Lea Grundig. Children's book publisher, Berlin 1990 ISBN 3-358-01556-4
  • Lea Grundig . In: Birgit Dalbajewa (ed.): New Objectivity in Dresden . Sandstein, Dresden 2011, ISBN 978-3-942422-57-4 .
  • Heike Friauf: Will Lea Grundig be erased? Ossietzky (journal) 19, 2009 full text
  • Erhard Frommhold (ed.): Hans and Lea Grundig. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1958
  • Maria Heiner: Lea Grundig. Art for the people. Jewish miniatures, 184. Hentrich & Hentrich, Berlin 2016; New edition 2020 (= 184A)
  • Hildegard Reinhardt : "But I stayed with people ..." On the life and work of Lea Grundig (1906–1977) . Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn 1984
  • Wolfgang Hütt : Lea Grundig. Verlag der Kunst , Dresden 1969
  • Hildegard Reinhardt: Lea Grundig's contribution to the "biblia pauperum" of the 20th century , in: Lea Grundig 1906–1977. Drawings and etchings. Exhibition. Hans Thoma Society, Reutlingen 1981
  • Hildegard Reinhardt: Lea Grundig, painter, graphic artist , in: Jewish women in the 19th and 20th centuries. Lexicon on life and work. Edited by Jutta Dick, Marina Sassenberg. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1993
  • Oliver Sukrow: Lea Grundig: Socialist artist and president of the Association of Visual Artists in the GDR (1964 - 1970) Bern 2011 ISBN 978-3-0343-0297-5
  • Bernd-Rainer Barth , Maren Horn:  Grundig, Lea . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .

Web links

Commons : Lea Grundig  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Georg Reinhardt: Lea Grundig. 1906-1977. Drawings and Etchings. Catalog, series of publications by the Hans Thoma Society. Reutlingen 1981, p. 9f.
  2. a b c d Andreas Schätzke: Return from exile. Visual artists and architects in the Soviet Zone and early GDR. Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-496-02675-8 , p. 88.
  3. ^ Georg Reinhardt: Lea Grundig. 1906-1977. Drawings and Etchings. Catalog, series of publications by the Hans Thoma Society. Reutlingen 1981, p. 15.
  4. Lea Grundig: Wonderful "Holidays", in: At that time in Fichtenau. Memories of the central party school of the KPD. Schöneiche-Fichtenau Memorial and Education Center 1980, pp. 66–73.
  5. ^ RLS Israel: From Dresden to Tel Aviv and Back - The artist Lea Grundig in Palestine, 1940-1948. In: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Israel Office. Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Israel, September 14, 2016, accessed on January 28, 2017 .
  6. Lea Grundig: Faces and History. Autobiography, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1958, p. 93.
  7. Foundations of the Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald ( Memento of the original from December 17, 2014 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. , last accessed October 14, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.uni-greifswald.de
  8. Kurt Neuchâtel: Academic bêtise . In: Junge Welt from August 20, 2009, last accessed on October 14, 2009.
  9. Eckhard Oberdörfer: Prizes have not been awarded for years. In: Ostsee-Zeitung of January 21, 2009 (regional edition Greifswald), p. 14.
  10. Press release of the Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald from February 9, 2011 3:45 p.m.: University of Greifswald hands over the Hans and Lea Grundig Foundation to a new sponsor. . In: idw-online
  11. Announcement of the Hans and Lea Grundig Prize 2017 Rosa Luxemburg Foundation