Trude Waehner (  Wien 1900 - 1979 Wien)

 

The Austrian Artist Trude Waehner was born on August 11th 1900 in Vienna. Due to her parents' interest in arts and music, Trude got in touch with fine arts early on. She frequented courses of the Grafische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna and after she had graduated, she studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, where Oskar Strnad and Josef Frank were her teachers.
 
In the early 1920’s, Trude Waehner set up her own atelier in her parents' house, which became a popular meeting point of artists, academics, writers and art historians. Among those were the art historians Ernst Kris and Ernst H. Buschbeck, the mathematician Karl Menger, the economist Otto Neurath and the philosopher Karl Popper.
 
In 1928, the artist went to the Bauhaus in Dessau, where she was taught by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinksy. In 1931, the well known gallery owner Bruno Cassirer invited her to exhibit in Berlin which she accepted. In Berlin she got to know Klaus und Erika Mann, Bert Brecht, George Grosz and Otto Dix. Between 1931 and 1933 s,he made various study trips into the Alps, former Yugoslavia and Italy. When she came back to Berlin she witnessed the actions of the National Socialists against her Jewish and antifascist friends. Finally she was in danger too and decided to flee back to Vienna.
 
In Vienna she continued her political and artistic work together with Josef Frank, Hans Tietze and Oskar Strnad within the Austrian Werkbund. She supported victims of political persecution and falsified documents for them. As well her drawings show her engagement. The last exhibition of Waehner in Vienna took place in 1937. One year later she had to flee to Zurich.
 
In December 1938, she emigrated to New York. In the United States she tutored and taught at two colleges: the Sarah Lawrence College in New York and the Moravian College in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, she investigated the relation between Art and Psychology and created her own method of analyzing the character of human beings through their paintings.
 
In 1947, she returned to Vienna. Three years later she bought a small cottage in Dieulefit, France, where she spent most summers and autumns. In 1963, she moved to Venice, where she created a large amount of woodcuts with musical and political scenes.
 
Trude Waehner died on 18th of May, 1979

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