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.
DAS VERBORGENE MUSEUM
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
Board of Directors Das Verborgene Museum
8 – 10 pm
No registration needed
Wed – Mon 10 am – 6 pm
Closed on Tuesdays
15 October 2021 until 17 January 2022
Picture Quotes | LOUISE STOMPS| FIGURING NATURE
on the life and work of the sculptor Louise Stomps
LOUISE STOMPS – FIGURING NATURE
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