Adele Louise Sophie Stomps is born in Berlin on October 5. She is the second child of Otto Stomps (1860–1931), an attorney and legal adviser, and his wife, Else Stomps, née Kempff (1873–1952). The family lives in the Tiergarten district and moves to a private residence in Berlin-Lichterfelde in 1910. Louise’s brother, the later writer and publisher Victor Otto Stomps (1897–1970), called VauO, was born in Krefeld.

Louise Stomps finishes grammar school at the Elisabeth Lyceum in Berlin-Lichterfelde. First animal sculptures.

Attends a girls’ boarding school in Feldafing on Lake Starnberg.

Marries the engineer Hans Becker who is ten years her senior. Their daughter Inge is born in 1921 and their daughter Annemarie in 1922.

Divorce. Louise Stomps moves with her daughters into her parents’ house at 10 Teichstrasse in Berlin-Zehlendorf.

Evening nude-drawing classes under Prof Johannes Röttger at the United State Schools for Fine and Applied Art in Berlin. Attends the sculpture class of Milly Steger at the Association of Berlin Women Artists (VdBK). Member of the VdBK from 1928 until 1943. Wood sculptures. First participations in the jury-free exhibitions of 1928 and 1929.

Her father dies. Works in stone; in 1935/36 she creates the stone funerary monument Mutter Erde (Mother earth) for the family grave at the Zehlendorf cemetery.

Starts working as an independent sculptor. Meets the sculptor Lidy von Lüttwitz; the two are lovers for a while and afterwards remain lifelong friends. For a number of years, they share a studio, first in Berlin-Grunewald, then at 32 Schaperstrasse in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.

Louise Stomps moves with her daughters and her mother to 88 Hohenzollerndamm in Berlin-Wilmersdorf to enjoy greater freedom in the anonymity of the city; the house in Berlin-Zehlendorf is let. She becomes a member of the Reich Chamber of Culture – where she is registered as Luise [sic] Sophie Stomps – to receive ration coupons for materials and maintain work opportunities for herself as a sculptor.

Occasionally attends the get-togethers of people affiliated with Rabenpresse (1926–1937), the Berlin publishing house of her brother, VauO Stomps, who is under observation by the Nazis. Ludwig Meidner, Paul Steegmann, Luigi Malipiero and Oda Schaefer are among the people she meets there.

Rejection of the Nazi regime and withdrawal from the public sphere after works by Käthe Kollwitz and Ernst Barlach are removed from the anniversary exhibition of the Berlin Academy of the Arts. Out of solidarity, she stops exhibiting.

Visits the Paris World’s Fair together with Lidy von Lüttwitz and Else Driessen. 
Moves to 3 Achenbachstrasse in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.

Louise Stomp’s brother, VauO, arranges for her to meet the painter, collector, patron and art dealer Hanna Bekker vom Rath (1893–1983), who, from 1940 until 1943, privately shows exhibitions of ‘degenerate’ artists in her Berlin studio on Regensburger Strasse. The National Socialists lay claim to the studio on Schaperstrasse; Louise Stomps finds a new studio on Neue Grünstrasse in Berlin-Mitte and Lidy von Lüttwitz finds one in the Hermsdorf district in the north of Berlin.

Following the first bombing raids, Louise Stomps rents a refuge in Caputh near Potsdam and buries some of her sculptures there.

Bombing raids completely destroy her apartment at 3 Achenbachstrasse in Berlin-Wilmersdorf on 3 November and her studio at 40 Neue Grünstrasse in Berlin-Mitte on 23 November; all works remaining there are lost. From now on, she lives and works in temporary accommodations. She gives shelter to a persecuted communist and distributes pamphlets against the Nazis.

She is denounced and taken into Russian custody for six weeks on suspicion of espionage. In August, Galerie Rosen at 215 Kurfürstendamm opens its first exhibition. In October/November, Louise Stomps participates in the gallery’s third exhibition of ‘Sculpture and sculptors’ drawings’ together with Paul Dierkes, Karl Hartung, Gottfried Kappen, Gustav Seitz, Renée Sintenis, Christian Theunert and Hans Uhlmann. She rents a studio at 21 Schillerstrasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

She is invited to participate in the competition for the Memorial for those executed in Plötzensee.

Participates in the 1st German Art Exhibition of the Central Administration for Public Education in the Soviet occupation zone at the Zeughaus on Unter den Linden in Berlin. At the end of year, she is the only sculptor to have a print included in the Grafik 1946 portfolio issued by Galerie Rosen.

She declines an offer to teach the wood carving class at the State College of Architecture and Fine Arts in Weimar.

In August, she exhibits with Hans Kuhn at Galerie Rosen; in the winter, participates in Galerie Rosen’s annual showcase as well as its 1947 Almanac.

The city of Berlin acquires the 1938 oak sculpture Das Paar (The couple; today Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie) for the planned Galerie des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Louise Stomps creates a studio for herself in the basement of the rented house of her parents at 10 Teichstrasse in Berlin-Zehlendorf.

17 March sees the founding of the Professional Association of Visual Artists in Berlin, which had been called for by Stomps and Hannah Höch, Renée Sintenis and Augusta von Zitzewitz and twenty-seven male artists. Besides Else Driessen, Louise Stomps – who carries the membership card no. 3 – is the only woman artist on the otherwise male admission committee.

Buys a used 1933 BMW motorcycle with sidecar which previously belonged to the police. Numerous solo and group exhibitions in the following decades, including multiple shows at the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker vom Rath as well as in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich, Oldenburg, Rosenheim and Wasserburg am Inn.

Louise Stomps is awarded the 1,000-Deutschmark art prize of the City of Berlin. After Renée Sintenis in 1948, she is the second woman artist to receive the prize.

Her mother dies. International sculpture competition for the ‘Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner’, announced by the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. She is the only woman artist among the twelve German finalists to be presented in London for final selection. When the international jury announces its decisions in March 1953, she receives an honourable mention and £25 in prize money.

Trips to Sylt and to Dortmund, Essen and Wanne-Eickel in the Ruhr area to see exhibitions of works by Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and others.

Visits the first documenta in Kassel.

Eremitenpresse, the new publishing house of her brother, publishes Bildhauer-Skizzen, a volume of ‘Sculptor’s drawings’ by Louise Stomps.

Participates in the competition for the International Auschwitz Monument. Hanna Bekker vom Rath shows a solo exhibition of works by Louise Stomps at the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett, the gallery she had opened in 1947.

She purchases an old water mill in Rechtmehring in Upper Bavaria and converts it into a studio and living space. She leaves Berlin in order to be able to do concentrated work in nature. The 1960s are a highly productive period; she works almost exclusively in various types of local wood, creating, among others, a number of slender, over three-metre-high sculptures, such as Einsamer (Lonely figure), Asket (Ascetic) and Pilger (Pilgrim).

Her brother Victor Otto Stomps dies. Lidy von Lüttwitz and Else Driessen move into the brewery of the Altenhohenau monastery near Wasserburg am Inn.

The Galerie der Künstler in Munich presents an extensive one-woman sales exhibition featuring 147 sculptures in its exhibition spaces at the Bavarian State Museum of Ethnology (renamed Museum Five Continents in 2014).

The Kunstverein Rosenheim selects her 1971 sculpture Kleiner Wassergeist (Small water spirit) for its annual members’ gift, offering the bronze in an edition of thirty.

Louise Stomps buys a red Yamaha XS 650 motorcycle with Squire sidecar.

On 22 April, Louise Stomps dies in Wasserburg am Inn from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Six sculptures and ninety-nine drawings, as well as the written documents in the artist’s estate, are donated to the Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur by the heirs, Berthold Kogut and Peter Schrader.

The heirs donate sixteen sculptures to the city of Wasserburg am Inn, where they are displayed in the public library.

In October, DAS VERBORGENE MUSEUM presents the retrospective LOUISE STOMPS: Figuring Nature - Sculptures 1928-1988 at the Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur in Berlin.






will be the guest of the Berlinische Galerie

15 October 2021 until 17 January 2022

Thursday | 14 October | 7 pm

7 – 8 pm
with opening speakers

Please confirm attendance by 8.10.21 at

Dr. Thomas Köhler
Director Berlinische Galerie

Dr. Klaus Lederer
Senator for Culture and Europe

Elisabeth Moortgat
Board of Directors Das Verborgene Museum

8 – 10 pm
No registration needed

Berlinische Galerie
Alte Jakobstraße 124 –128
10969 Berlin

Please check the latest
hygiene rules on website:

Wed – Mon 10 am – 6 pm
Closed on Tuesdays

15 October 2021 until 17 January 2022


on the life and work of the sculptor Louise Stomps

Sculptures and Drawings 1928-1988

Edited by Marion Beckers and Elisabeth Moortgat for DAS VERBORGENE MUSEUM with academic essays by Yvette Deseyve, Arie Hartog, Annelie Lütgens, Christiane Meister, Christina Thürmer-Rohr and Julia Wallner and personal memories by Berthold Kogut, Martin Meggle, Peter Schrader and Hans Goswin Stomps; illustrated with new reproductions of the works; Hirmer-Verlag, German/English, 224 pages,180 colour illustrations, in the museum € 29, hardback.
ISBN 978 97774 3776 7






Born Hélène Mathilde Thérèse Pauline Tardif in Marseille on 12 May, daughter of Mèrette (Lucie) Tardif (? – 8/2/1914) and Monsieur Tardif (c. 1840 – 30/12/1911); his schoolfriends included Émile Zola (1840-1902) and Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), with whom he probably attended the Collège Bourbon in Aix-en-Provence between 1852 and 1857.
Nothing else is known yet about Mathilde’s childhood and teenage years. 

Training at the Académie Julian in Paris. There is no record of exact dates or who her teachers were. 

Birth of her daughter Yvonne (1892-1957)

Leo von König (1871-1944) studies at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Tony Robert-Fleury. This is probably where Mathilde Tardif meets Leo von König, her future husband.

Painting trips with Leo von König to Concarneau, a fishing village in Brittany popular with artists since the 1870s, like the artists’ colony at nearby Pont-Aven. The painter Ida Gerhardi also worked here for three months in 1891. 

Leo von König joins the Berlin Secession.
Mathilde Tardif probably moved to Berlin. She shows “Balleteuse”, “Greis und Kind” and “Verlobte” at the 4th Exhibition of the Berlin Secession.

Mathilde Tardif shows “Die tote Mutter”, “Flirt”, “Elend” and “Moulin Rouge” at the 6th Exhibition of the Berlin Secession.

Mathilde Tardif shows “Hochzeit”, “Mutter und Kind”, “Das tote Kind” and “Obdachlos” at the 8th Exhibition of the Berlin Secession.

Leo von König befriends art historian Julius Meier-Graefe (1867-1935), who has settled back in Berlin after several years as an art dealer in Paris. Meier-Graefe publishes his book on the history of modern art; he never mentions female artists in his writing. 

In September Julius Meier-Graefe moves to Genthinerstrasse 11, Berlin W, where Leo von König and Mathilde Tardif are frequent guests. There are also meetings with the art sponsor Ida Dehmel and the painter Dora Hitz.

Leo von König lives at Schleswiger Ufer 11, Berlin NW.
Mathilde Tardif shows “Die Familie”, “Das Mädchen”, “Spaziergang” and “Die Wahl des Paris” at the 11th Exhibition of the Berlin Secession in summer; she also contributes drawings to the 12th Exhibition of the Berlin Secession in winter. 

On 26 September Mathilde Tardif and Leo von König marry; he adopts her daughter Yvonne. Relocation to Schleswiger Ufer 12, where he also set up his painting and drawing school.

From April to October they travel with Julius Meier-Graefe and his wife Anna to Portugal and Spain. Embarking in Hamburg on the “Cap Arcona” set for Buenos Aires, they leave the ship in Lisbon, reaching Madrid in mid-April, where they spend long hours in the Prado and observe Spanish street life, while Mathilde Tardif in particular enjoys the Mediterranean climate. They attend traditional bullfights in Madrid and Seville and pay an enthusiastic visit to the Alhambra in Granada.

They briefly cross the sea to the Moroccan port of Tangier. Mathilde Tardif recalls her first trip to North Africa, when she visited Tunis as a young girl.
In August Mathilde Tardif stays with her parents in Paris, where she is later joined by König, Meier-Graefe and his wife.

On 25 November Leo von König leaves the Berlin Secession. 

On 30 December Mathilde Tardif’s father dies at Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris. 

The architect Walther Leo Epstein builds a country house for Leo von König at Seestrasse 4 in Schlachtensee on the edge of Berlin (now Am Schlachtensee 134), where Mathilde and Leo take up residence.

In February Mathilde Tardif and Leo von König visit Paris; he portrays Mathilde’s mother Lucie (Mèrette) Tardif.
On 15 June Mathilde, Yvonne, Leo von König, Meier-Graefe and his wife see a production of Tolstoy’s “The Living Corpse” at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.
Christmas with Leo von König’s parents in Woltersdorf, Brandenburg. 

The couple travel to Paris following the death of Mathilde Tardif’s mother.
In Berlin they watch Richard Wagner’s opera “Parsifal” with Meier-Graefe.

On 3 August Germany declares war on France. Julius Meier-Graefe and Leo von König volunteer for war service, but von König is not drafted; Leo’s father Götz von König is Commander of the 3rd Reserve Army Division in Poland.  

Meier-Graefe sends Mathilde Tardif various editions of French literature, including Stendhal and the diaries of artist Marie Bashkirtseff, and Goethe’s poem to friendship “Gingo & Biloba”.

Mathilde and her daughter spend some time on the estate at Woltersdorf with her mother-in-law. As a Frenchwoman, Mathilde Tardif finds the war years extremely hard to bear, especially talk of an age-old “hereditary enmity” between France and Germany. 

Leo von König divorces Mathilde Tardif to marry his student Anna von Hansemann (1897-1992) on 26 May.  

In Oberstdorf in Oberallgäu Yvonne meets the painter Walter Becker and marries him in November; they live in Berlin until early 1924. 

Mathilde Tardif moves to Cassis-sur-Mer near Marseille, living with Yvonne and Walter Becker in a Provence-style farmhouse which becomes a meeting-place for artists; Yvonne and Walter Becker live here until 1936.

Leo von König visits Mathilde Tardif, Yvonne and Walter Becker in Cassis-sur-Mer in the spring. 

1927 Julius Meier-Graefe and his second wife Annemarie visit Mathilde Tardif in Cassis-sur-Mer and move to the country house “La Banette” in the vineyards of Saint-Cry-sur-Mer.

On 5 May Mathilde Tardif takes her own life at Woltersdorf near Berlin on the estate of her parents-in-law Götz Freiherr von König (1849-1934) and Hertha Freiin von König-von Cramm (1847-1934). Mathilde Tardif is buried in the König family grave in Potsdam.  

NEW DURATION | extension

23. April - Extension until 29. August 2021


Fr 15 - 19 Uhr | Sa - So 12 - 16 Uhr

The Museum is only open during the exhibition period !!


Schlüterstrasse 70
10625 Berlin-Charlottenburg


+49 (0) 30 313 36 56





Flyer | to the Exhibition



The Exhibition book

Ingrid von der Dollen
 “Die Malerin MATHILDE TARDIF 1872-1929 – Panoptikum der Gesellschaft um 1900”
128 pp., Edition Joseph Hierling, Tutzing 2020, € 19,00.


traffic connection

S-Bahn Savignyplatz
U-Bahn Ernst-Reuter-Platz
Bus M49, X34, 101


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