A Woman who Confessed Color
As far as I can recall, painting and drawing is a necessity for me, even if life took a break at times. But I have never thought about exhibitions of my work … To express in silent-time what impresses me – be it still lifes with flowers, or heads of special personalities that remained vividly in my memory – these are the occasions that urged me to paint.Excerpt from autobiographical memories of Hanna Bekker vom Rath, dictated in 1972
The young Hanna vom Rath received first painting and drawing lessons around 1905 from the Frankfurt painter Marie Steinhausen. She mainly drew studies of plants.
In 1913 she met the artist Ottilie W. Roederstein, who lived in Hofheim, and took lessons with her, focusing on portraiture.
The war winters of 1916 and 1917 she spent in Stuttgart as a private student of Ida Kerkovius, Adolf Hölzel’s assistant. Here she studied the currents of contemporary art.
Through her collecting activity, which began in the early 1920s, Hanna Bekker got to know numerous artists personally. Long-standing friendships developed with some of them, such as with Alexej Jawlensky and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, through whom she was also inspired in her own painting.
Between 1929 and 1948 she participated in several exhibitions, but after founding the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett she essentially let this rest without ever giving up painting. Until the mid-1970s she mainly painted portraits and still lifes, while between 1933 and 1948 she also captured landscapes.
Some 300 oil paintings are documented in the estate as well as in private and public collections. Her work on paper, i.e. watercolors, drawings and some woodcuts are still to be counted.
In the estate are documented so far about 300 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings are not yet recorded. Very few of her paintings were signed, but when they were, they were signed as “Hanna Bekker”. Even more rarely do her works bear a date or title.
Paintings by Hanna Bekker are in private collections, mainly in Germany and the USA, as well as in museums, including the Museum Wiesbaden, the Stadtmuseum Hofheim am Taunus, the University Museum Marburg and the Böhme Collection in the Museum of the Lost Generation, Salzburg.