Lea Grundig

Lea Grundig

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Lea Grundig

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Successful painter and art professor

Lea Grundig

Lea Grundig, Sächsische Schweiz, 1962, Aquarell
Lea Grundig, Sächsische Schweiz, 1962, Aquarell

In 1949, artist Lea Grundig was appointed the first female professor at Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, despite the rector’s opposition. She became one of East Germany’s most successful artists. Lea Langer studied at Dresden Academy of Arts and Crafts from 1922 to 1924 before transferring to the State Art Academy in 1925. One of Lea Langer’s early teachers was the painter Otto Dix. In addition, Lea Langer was politically active and joined the communist party in 1926. Following graduation, she married fellow student Hans Grundig and began working as a painter and graphic artist. Lea Grundig was persecuted by the Nazis for her Jewish background and political views. In 1935, she was banned from exhibiting her works. After several spells in prison, in 1939 she emigrated to Palestine via Slovakia. She only returned to Dresden ten years later, where she received a teaching post at Dresden Academy of Fine Arts reopened in 1947 (previously Dresden State Art Academy), whose first rector was her husband Hans. On 8 September 1949, Lea Grundig was appointed professor of graphic arts and painting, despite the resistance of new rector Mart Stam (Hans Grundig’s successor). Mart Stam, a former Bauhaus lecturer and reformist architect, considered Lea Grundig artistically and educationally unsuitable. But as a long-time communist and someone persecuted by the Nazis, Lea Grundig was given precedence by the Ministry of Education when it came to appointments in the region of Saxony. Consequently, she emerged unscathed from this clash, whereas Mart Stram had to leave Dresden. Lea Grundig went on to enjoy great acclaim in East Germany as both an artist and a lecturer, and several major exhibitions were dedicated to her work. In 1964, she was made a member of the Central Committee of the ruling SED. In 1977, Lea Grundig died while on a Mediterranean cruise.

 

Fotonachweis: Archiv der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden (1, 3, 4); Aquarell, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017 / Kunstfonds, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Stefanie Recsko (2)

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