Estate of Hannah Höch

1889 – 1978

Hannah Höch is probably the most important female German artist of classic modernism. Although a stylistic pluralist – she painted both representational and abstract works and throughout her life she enjoyed experimenting, with artistic media among other things – Hannah Höch is famous for her collage work. The principle of collage was the real inspiration behind her means of expression and self-portrayal.

Part of the production of collages was gathering the necessary material to be processed. In this sense Hannah Höch was also a unique collector, as evidenced by her documentary estate, which was incorporated into the Artists’ Archives of the Berlinische Galerie in 1979. Comprising around 12,000 items, it is a first-class collection of art and cultural history. At the same time, however, the estate is an autobiographical material collage providing information about friendships between artists, the developments of the avant-gardes, and the philosophical foundation to Höch’s art.

In an editorial project taking many years, the complete estate was made available to the interested public in book form. In the three-part series “Hannah Höch – Eine Lebenscollage” (Vol. 1 1889-1920, Berlin 1989; Vol. 2 1921-1945, Ostfildern 1995; Vol. 3 1946-1978, Berlin 2001) all the received documents were transcribed and published in chronological order together with scholarly commentaries. This archive edition is an essential aid for anyone wishing to learn about Hannah Höch’s life and work.

Schwarz-Weiß Fotografie von Raoul Hausmann und Hannah Höch vor ihren Werken Fotografie in Berlin 1920

"Erste Internationale Dada-Messe", Berlin 1920, Raoul Hausmann und Hannah Höch vor ihren Werken Fotografie, Hannah-Höch-Archiv

© Foto: Robert Sennecke

Hannah Höch

Artist in focus