Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack

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Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack
Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, 1923.jpg
Born Ludwig Hirschfeld
(1893-07-11)11 July 1893
Frankfurt-am-Main
Died 7 January 1965(1965-01-07) (aged 71)
Allambie Heights, Sydney, Australia.
Occupation Artist, musician, art educator
Nationality German
Alma mater Bauhaus, Weimar
Notable work(s) Desolation, Internment Camp, Hay 1941
Spouse(s) Elenor Wirth (1917–36)
Olive Russell (1955–65)

Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack (born Frankfurt-am-Main 11 July 1893, died Allambie Heights, in Sydney 7 January 1965) was a German/Australian artist.

His formative education was 1912-1914 at Debschitz art school in Munich, and 1922 at the Bauhaus-University Weimar where following Kurt Schwerdtfeger[1] he further developed "Farblichtmusiken" ('coloured-light-music'), a light and colour modulator which provided a visual translation of music;[2] in fact an early form of multimedia. Hirschfeld Mack was joint participant, with the former Bauhaus master Gertrud Grunow,[3] in the Second Congress of color-sound research in 1930 in Hamburg.[4] Music and colour theory remained lifelong interests, informing his art production in a number of media, and it was the inspiration for his well-respected and influential teaching.

Life[edit]

Hirschfeld Mack [5] was born in Frankfurt am Main and attended Arts and Music School in Frankfurt, and later was taught by Hermann Obrist and Wilhelm von Debschitz in Munich, taking art history with Heinrich Woelfflin and Fritz Burger. During the First World War, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack was an infantry officer.

In 1919 he was amongst the first intake at the newly combined architecture school, crafts school, and academy of the arts, the Weimar Bauhaus, where he studied under Johannes Itten, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, and was apprenticed to Lyonel Feininger in the print workshop, obtaining a Bauhaus graduate diploma in lithography in 1924.[6] Itten planned to offer a course devoted to colour at the Bauhaus, but as he was sacked before it could be taught Hirschfeld Mack delivered the first dedicated course on colour (as an unofficial course) in the winter semester of 1922-23.[7] He remained at the Bauhaus until 1926 and conducted experiments in light projection, following Kurt Schwerdtfeger in developing the "Farbenlichtspiele" (colour-light play). In 1963, while visiting Europe Hirschfeld was invited by the Bauhaus-Archiv, Darmstadt, Germany, to reconstruct the instrument which was filmed for the archive.[8]

In 1926, Hirschfeld Mack began teaching art in the Free School in Wickersdorf. In 1929 he was appointed at the University of Craft and Architecture in Weimar as a teacher of color and general morphology. Just one year later, he became professor at the Pedagogical Academy in Frankfurt (Oder). He taught at the University of Kiel from 1932 until the university was closed by the Nazis in 1933. He moved in 1935 to the Jöde-Schule/Güntherschule in Berlin and taught the construction of simple musical instruments. Hirschfeld Mack had married Elenor Wirth in 1917 and entered the Society of Friends (better-known as Quakers), but because of his part-Jewish heritage fled the Nazis and emigrated to England in 1936. There he taught art for the Subsistence Production Society, a Depression-era sustenance program of the Quakers in the Eastern Valley of Monmouthshire in South Wales. Elenor (d.1953) remained in Germany with the two youngest daughters, while his eldest, Margarita, followed him into English exile. His second daughter Ursel (17) committed suicide in Germany in 1937. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, included his work in its Bauhaus retrospective of 1938.

In 1940 Hirschfeld Mack was deported to Australia as an "enemy alien" on the ship HMT Dunera, spending time in internment camps in Hay, Orange and Tatura, before being granted Australian citizenship. Imprisonment and the longing for freedom were the theme of his small, stark, poignant relief prints of this period, including the woodcut Desolation, Internment Camp, Hay 1941. He was mentor to other internees including Erwin Fabian.[9] His release from detention was secured in April 1942 through the intercession of Dr J.R. Darling, principal of Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Victoria, who appointed Hirschfeld Mack as the Art master. "Dr Hirschfeld", as he was known at the school, was held in high regard students and staff alike, and proved to be an inspirational teacher, consistently propounding the Bauhaus principles of self-knowledge, economy of material and form, and reform of society through art.[6] Hirschfeld introduced the boys to such things as colour-coded guitars and colour 'organs'.

He was also a guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne, where he had exhibited his work in 1946. He showed also at the Peter Bray Gallery,[10] Melbourne, in 1953. In 1949-1950, 1958 and 1964 he visited Europe. When Walter Gropius came to lecture at the Royal Australian Institute of Architects convention in Sydney in 1954 he made a special trip to Geelong Grammar School to visit his former colleague. In 1955 he married Miss Olive Russell, a leading Quaker whom he had met at Tatura, and teacher of social studies at the Melbourne Church of England Girls Grammar School. In 1957 he retired from Geelong Grammar School and they moved to Ferny Creek, Victoria.

In 1960, Clement Meadmore selected works from Hirschfeld Mack’s own collection to curate the first significant exhibition of Bauhaus ideas and work in Australia, “The Bauhaus: Attributes and Influences”, at Gallery A in Melbourne (July–August 1961). Included were Hirschfeld Mack’s own works and colour-coded musical instruments and proof prints he had made for other Bauhaus artists as well as numbers of works given to him during his period at the Bauhaus. After Hirschfeld Mack’s death, Gallery A held a commemorative exhibition of his watercolours.

Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack died on 7 January 1965 at Allambie Heights, a suburb of Sydney.

Exhibitions[edit]

  • Work represented in Bauhaus: 1919-1925 MOMA New York 1938
  • University of Melbourne, 1946
  • Solo exhibition Peter Bray Gallery, 435 Bourke St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1953
  • Memorial exhibition at University Gallery Melbourne, 1981
  • The Great Australian Art Exhibition 1788-1988 Art Gallery of South Australia, 1988[11]

Publications[edit]

He produced an explanatory text of the Farbenlichtspiele in 1923,[12] also an article, "Reflected-Light Compositions…" (1925)[13] In retirement in 1963 he published The Bauhaus: An Introductory Survey.[14]

The Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack Collection[edit]

The Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack Collection was presented Melbourne University in 1971 and 1980 by Hirschfeld Mack’s widow, Olive Hirschfeld. The collection contains over six hundred works by Hirschfeld Mack, including almost three hundred drawings, over two hundred prints, ninety-one watercolours and sixty-nine paintings. In addition the University of Melbourne Archives houses material including correspondence, teaching aids, drawings, photographs and slides.

Olive Hirschfeld also donated a collection of her late husband's paintings, prints and drawings to the National Gallery of Australia, and numbers of his works, many from his internment at nearby Tatura, can be found at the Shepparton Regional Art Gallery

The Hirschfeld-Mack Professorship in Germany and Australia[edit]

In 2008, the Institute of English Philology at the Free University of Berlin (Institut für Englische Philologie der Freien Universität Berlin (FU)) set up a Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack Visiting Chair of Australian Studies [1]. The professorship is named after Hirschfeld-Mack, "to stress the interdisciplinary nature of its teachers, their commitment to the role of culture in the public sphere, and the central transcultural German-Australian aspect of the project." The chair is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Australian Embassy in Berlin.

Hirschfeld-Mack professors in Berlin included: Dr. Stephen Muecke, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Technology Sydney; Dr. Philip Mead, Professor of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia; Dr. Devleena Ghosh, Associate Professor in Arts and Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney; Dr. Lynn McCredden, Professor of Literary Studies at Deakin University; Dr. Simon During, Australian Professorial Fellow at the University of Queensland; Dr. Anna Haebich, Distinguished Professor of Human Rights Education at Curtin University; Dr. Peter Otto, Professor of English and Theatre at the University of Melbourne;Dr. Chandani Lokuge, Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Monash University; Dr. Verity Burgmann, Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne; and Dr. Andrew Milner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Monash University.

In 2010 DAAD established, in the reverse direction, a Hirschfeld-Mack Visiting Chair for German Studies at the German Department at the University of Western Australia. Through this reciprocal visiting professor program the exchange between the Australian and German higher education system is intensified. The first Hirschfeld-Mack professors in Perth were the Germanists Dr. Matthias N. Lorenz, University of Bielefeld (2010), and Prof. Dr. Sven Kramer, University of Lüneburg (2011).

Further reading[edit]

  • Art and Australia, 30, no 4, 1993, p 518
  • Bate, W. (1990) Light Blue Down Under. Melbourne
  • Frances Derham MBE : a retrospective exhibition covering the period 1910 to 1985 and including works by her associates: Mary Cecil Allen, George Bell, Danila Vassilieff, Geoff Jones, Ethel Spowers, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack. East Malvern, Vic. : Jim Alexander Gallery, 1986.
  • Draffin, Nicholas (1974) Two masters of the Weimar Bauhaus :Lyonel Feininger, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack [Sydney] : Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales,. ISBN 072410738X.
  • Elsen, G. (1990) The Dunera Experience, exhibition catalogue, Jewish Museum of Australia. Melbourne :
  • Form (Cambridge, England), 2, Sept 1966, p 10
  • Hapkemeyer, Andreas/Stasney, Peter (Eds.), (2000) Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack. Bauhaus and visionary. Hatje Cantz Verlag, OstfildernRuit, ISBN 978-3-7757-0928-6.,
  • Merewether, Charles, (1984), Art and Social Commitment, Sydney, NSW : Art Gallery of New South Wales.
  • McNamara, Andrew (2008) 'The Bauhaus in Australia', in Ann Stephen, Philip Goad, and Andrew McNamara, Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia, Melbourne 2008, 215.
  • McCulloch, A., (1984), Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Melbourne, Vic (Second edition)
  • Hirschfeld-Mack, Ludwig, (1963) The Bauhaus : an introductory survey; with a foreword by Walter Gropius, introduction by Joseph Burke, epilogue by Sir Herbert Read. Croydon, Vic. : Longmans Green
  • Pearl, C. (1983) The Dunera Scandal. Sydney :
  • Renowden, F. & Schwarzbauer, R. (2006) The Bauhaus Legacy at GGS. Works designed and inspired or created by Ludwig Hirschfield Mack (1893–1965), Art Master 1942-1957.
  • Seear, Lynne & Ewington, Julie (eds.)(1998) Brought to light: Australian art 1850-1965 : from the Queensland Art Gallery collection. South Brisbane : Queensland Art Gallery.
  • Stasny, Peter (1991) Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Künstler, Kunsttheoretiker und Kunstpädagoge im Gefolge des Weimarer Bauhaus (Ph.D. thesis, University of Vienna).
  • Stephen, Ann, Goad, Philip and McNamara, Andrew (eds.) Modern times : the untold story of modernism in Australia. Carlton, Vic. : Miegunyah Press ; Sydney, N.S.W. : in association with Powerhouse Publishing, 2008.
  • Thomas, Daniel & Radford, Ron, (1988), The Great Australian Art Exhibition, CAT.
  • Underhill, N. (1977) Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, exhibition catalogue, Brisbane.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kurt Schwerdtfeger". Bauhaus Online. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  2. ^ see Kenneth Peacock. Instruments to Perform Color-Music: Two Centuries of Technological Experimentation in LEONARDO,[Oxford, Eng.] : Pergamon Pres, ISSN:0024094X. Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 397-406, 1988, p.404
  3. ^ "Gertrud Grunow". Bauhaus Online. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  4. ^ see also
  5. ^ he signed works with the sometimes hyphenated addition of his mother's maiden name, Mack, from early in his artistic career. (see Draffin, Nicholas, Two Masters of the Weimar Bauhaus: Lyonel Feininger, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1974, p. 39).
  6. ^ a b "Hirschfeld-Mack, Ludwig (1893–1965)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  7. ^ Rainer K. Wick, Teaching at the Bauhaus, OstfildernRuit 2000, p.113, cited in McNamara, Andrew 'The Colour of Modernism: ColourForm Experiments in Europe and Australia' in Sascha Bru, Jan Baetens, Peter Nicholls, Benedikt Hjartarson (Eds.) (2009) Europa! Europa?: The Avant-Garde, Modernism and the Fate of a Continent Volume 1 of European Avant-Garde and Modernism, Tania Rum Edition, Walter de Gruyter Publ., ISBN 3110217716, 9783110217711
  8. ^ see also 'Farben Licht Spiele: Reconstruction 2000' a later film arranged and performed by Peter Böhm, Marlies Fuchs, Corinne Schweizer, Burkhard Stangl, Annabella Supper, with musicians: organ players; Kurt Heiling, Peter Böhm, accordion player; Krassimir Sterev. Reconstruction of the light playing apparatus; Koloman Mayerhofer, Kaj Delugan. Directed and produced by Corinne Schweizer, Peter Böhm © 2000. DVD-Video, PAL, stereo, dur. 45 min.
  9. ^ "... tales of ‘making do’ with humble materials are joined by a group of works produced during the Second World War in internment camps in Hay, Orange and Tatura by German and Italian-born artists including Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Erwin Fabian and Bruno Simon. The Bauhaus-trained artist Hirschfeld Mack taught some of his fellow detainees the technique of monotype printing, using old windowpanes or discarded Masonite, and printing ink made from black shoe polish. The shortage of materials in these barren surroundings made woodcuts another popular technique. Mack’s 1941 print, Desolation, Internment Camp, Hay, is one of the simplest but strongest statements made in this medium. In this eloquent print, the silhouette of a solitary figure is seen at night looking at the Southern Cross through the barbed wire fence of the camp. Made by an artist far from home, there is a palpable sense of despair and isolation beneath the alien night sky.". Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax. The story of Australian printmaking 1801–2005 in artonview, pp14-23, Issue no. 49, Autumn 2007, National Gallery of Australia. issn 1323-4552
  10. ^ Peter Bray Gallery (a commercial gallery) was established at 435 Bourke St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1951, and closed in 1957 [see Prints and Printmaking website. The proprietors were Helen Ogilvie (from 1949 to 1955) and Ruth McNicoll (from Sept 1956 to close). It showed Australian paintings, sculpture and prints by significant contemporary artists including John Brack, Ian Fairweather, Inge King, Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, Helen Maudsley, Michael Shannon, David Dalgarno, Ian Armstrong and others.
  11. ^ Catalogue: Creating Australia, 200 years of art 1788-1988 / by the Art Gallery of South Australia ; edited & introduced by Daniel Thomas ; selection co-ordinated by Ron Radford ; with contributions by Leigh Astbury ... [et al.]. [Sydney] : International Cultural Corporation of Australia [and] Art Gallery Board of South Australia, 1988. ISBN 0-642-13433-2 : 0642134332 "Published on the occasion of The Great Australian Art Exhibition 1788-1988 originated by the Art Gallery of South Australia and presented by the International Cultural Corporation of Australia for the Australian Bicentennial Authority".
  12. ^ Hirschfeld-Mack, Ludwig: Farben Licht-Spiele, Wiesen-Ziele-Kritiken (Weimar, 1923)
  13. ^ which is reprinted in Hans Maria Wingler, Joseph Stein. The Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Chicago. MIT Press, 1969. ISBN 0-262-23033-X, 9780262230339, 653 pages ed.
  14. ^ Hirschfeld-Mack, Ludwig: The Bauhaus : an introductory survey; with a foreword by Walter Gropius, introduction by Joseph Burke, epilogue by Sir Herbert Read. Croydon, Vic. : Longmans Green, 1963.