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Hannah Höch's adress book

Hannah Höchs Adressbuch, 1917–1978
© Repro: Kai-Annett Becker

The open address book belonging to artist Hannah Höch. The yellowing, dog-eared pages with tattered edges reveal handwritten jottings of names and addresses. Slips of paper have been inserted between the countless pages.

The exercise book that Hannah Höch (1889–1978) used for an address book is stuffed full of entries, slips of paper and visiting cards. In the end the artist had to tie it up with parcel string. Browsing through the 5,000 or so names opens up a vast historical cosmos of art and culture – but also her own everyday field of reference: stars of Classical Modernism like Hans Arp, Theo van Doesburg and Kurt Schwitters or Bauhaus teachers László Moholy-Nagy and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe alongside Höch’s favourite hairdresser.

When the artist began her address book in 1917 she could have no idea how long it would keep her company. The earliest jottings date from the First World War. Soon after this Höch, as the only woman among the Dadaists in Berlin, was using her absurd, grotesque photomontage to provoke respectable citizens into thinking about their society. The artist’s last entries date from at least sixty years later, by which time her versatile œuvre had gained worldwide recognition.

Hannah Höch's adress book
1917 – 1978
Paper, handwritten
approximately 430 pages
19 x 21 x 7 cm (closed)
Acquired with funds from the Senator for Culture, Berlin 1979

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