Anneliese Ratkowski

Salon meiner Eltern, 1938

Anneliese Ratkowski (1903 - 1996), Salon meiner Eltern, 1938

Anneliese Ratkowski (1903–1996), Salon meiner Eltern, 1938

Genre Painting
Materials Oil on canvas
Size 61 x 75 cm
Signature signed bottom left: "Ratkowski"

 

Restored with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung

Research status

Provenance is established. The work does not qualify as a cultural asset extorted due to Nazi persecution.

Memories of another life

Anne(liese) Ratkowski was a German-Jewish artist. Her teacher Arthur Segal, a painter and a committee member of the artists’ association Novembergruppe, had been promoting her work since the 1920s. When the Nazis took power, Ratkowski was banned from public art activities. Although this put an end to her successful exhibition record, she continued to produce her art.

Katalogseite mit Text und handschriftlichen Notizen, Druck, Papier

From 7 April to 7 May 1921, Anneliese Ratkowski exhibited together with her husband Nikolaus Braun at Fraenkel & Co. / Josef Altmann.

Invitation to the exhibition of Anne Ratkowski and Nikolaus Braun at Fraenkel & Co. (Josef Altmann), 1921

© Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte
Rückseite eines Bilderrahmens, Detailansicht eines Stempelabdrucks

Stamp with the address where the company Leopold Hess, where Anneliese Ratkowski bought the frame for this painting, was registered from 1935.

Anneliese Ratkowski, Salon meiner Eltern, 1938 (Back, Detail)

© Repro: Kai-Annett Becker

During those years Ratkowski bought her art supplies from Leopold Hess, whose shop was not far from Potsdamer Strasse. Among these purchases was the stretcher frame for her painting “My Parents’ Living Room”. It was one of the last she did in Berlin. It probably shows the apartment at Apostel-Paulus-Strasse 18 in Schöneberg that until 1937 was home to her parents, the doctor and medical adviser Leopold Ratkowski and his wife Gertrude. Her father died that year and her mother fled in December 1939 to Buenos Aires. We do not yet know whether she took this painting with her as a souvenir of her lost roots and eventually returned it to Anneliese Ratkowski, or whether the artist took it with her in 1938.

Anne Ratkowski began preparing for her own emigration in 1937. She burned her early works. She managed to put her son from her former marriage to the artist Nikolaus Braun (1900–1950) on a Kindertransport to England. She herself escaped to Belgium, where she survived German occupation and the war. Under extremely difficult conditions, Anne Ratkowski produced new works there, exhibited for the first time in 1946 at the Regent Gallery in Brussels.

Dokument, Schreibmaschine auf Papier und handschriftliche Notizen

List of furniture and fittings that Anneliese Ratkowski’s mother Gertrude had to leave behind when fleeing Berlin.

Extract from the files of the Compensation Office in Berlin

© Repro: Berlinische Galerie
Fotografie: Porträt einer jungen Frau

Anneliese Ratkowski, 1938, photograph by Ellen Czernichowski

Anneliese Ratkowski, 1938, photograph by Ellen Czernichowski

© Ellen Czernichowski; Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte
Fotografie: Außenansicht einer Galerie im Erdgeschoss mit Schaufenstern

The Regent Gallery in Brussels during Anne Ratkowski’s show in 1946

The Regent Gallery in Brussels during Anne Ratkowski’s show in 1946

© unknown, Repro: Berlinische Galerie

As the Belgian authorities refused to grant her permanent residence, Anneliese Ratkowski moved on to New York in April 1948. From there “My Parents’ Living Room” returned to Berlin and the artist gifted it to the Berlinische Galerie in 1995.

Dokument, mit Schreibmaschine und von Hand beschrieben

Extract from Anne Ratkowski’s curriculum vitae in the files of the Compensation Office in Berlin

© Repro: Berlinische Galerie

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