Ben Uri collection

Cottage in the Valley

Artist information

Name Hilde Goldschmidt (1897-1980)

Born Leipzig, Germany

Died Kitzbuhel, Austria

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Hilde Goldschmidt was born in Leipzig in Germany and trained in book design at the Academies of Fine Arts in both Leipzig and Dresden, joining Kokoschka’s master classes at the latter. Upon his departure, the class was dissolved, and Goldschmidt left for New York, holding an exhibition at the New Gallery. Returning to Europe in 1926, she studied in Paris before travelling to the South of France, and then moving in 1929 to Italy, where she settled in Capri. She later returned to Germany and held her first large exhibition in December 1932 at the Galerie Caspari, Munich. Forced to flee in 1933, she settled in Kitzbuhel, Austria, inspired by the Tyrolean landscape, exhibiting at the Galerie Wuerthle, Vienna in 1934. Finding that she was unable to return to Germany on the outbreak of war ‘for political reasons’, she moved to England with her mother, earning her living by ‘handicrafts’, until following a meeting with Kokoschka in 1941 she resumed painting. She also met and had an important friendship with fellow refugee artist Kurt Schwitters and became part of the émigré network, exhibiting in the 1941 Artists International Association and Free German League of Culture exhibition of Drawings and Sculptures. She also created work for both churches and Jewish memorials including the Memorial at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Five Reliefs for Buchenwald. Her subjects include mother and child. In 1942 she settled in the Lake District, where she was moved by 'the grandeur of the scenery', and renewed her friendship with Schwitters, part of the Langdale group which included the philosopher Olaf Stapledon and the dancer Rudolf von Laban. She remained there until 1949. In the autumn of that year her Lake District work was exhibited in Manchester. In 1950 she returned to Austria and settled finally in her house and studio in Kitzbuhel, holding exhibitions in Munich and Basel, and receiving an honorary Professorship from the Austrian President. Her first solo London exhibition was with Ben Uri in 1959.

Object Details

Date 1947

Object type drawing

Medium pastel on paper

Materials and techniques pastel (medium) paper (support)

Unframed 35.5 x 50 cm

Signed signed and dated, bottom right: HG 1947

Accession number 1996-4ii

Display status not on display

This work was created during Goldschmidt's years in England. Following a meeting with Oskar Kokoschka in 1941, she resumed painting; she also met and had an important friendship with installation artist Kurt Schwitters and after settling in the Lake District, became part of his emigre circle. Goldschmidt declared herself moved by the 'grandeur of the scenery' in this famously poetic landscape and shows a figure similarly dwarfed by its majesty. This pastel was part of a body of work carried out during her seven year stay in the area, which culminated in a solo exhibition in Manchester in 1949, shortly before she returned to settle in Austria the following year.


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© Hilde Goldschmidt estate