Self. Determined: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein

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PRESS RELEASE
SELF. DETERMINED: THE PAINTER OTTILIE W. ROEDERSTEIN
20 JULY TO 16 OCTOBER 2022

Exhibition annex

The German-Swiss painter Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937) was one of the outstanding women artists of the period around 1900. This summer the Städel Museum will present a comprehensive retrospective featuring 75 paintings and drawings that will provide an overview of the artistic development of a painter distinguished by her stylistic versatility. From 1891 onwards, after training in Zurich, Berlin, and Paris, Roederstein lived in Frankfurt am Main. In 1909, she and her partner, the gynaecologist Elisabeth H. Winterhalter, settled in the neighbouring town of Hofheim am Taunus. As a free-lance portraitist, Roederstein was firmly established in the male-dominated art world and self-confidently disregarded the prevailing social norms of her time. Her works were shown in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad—from Frankfurt, Zurich, and Paris to London and Chicago—, gaining her wide recognition among her contemporaries. Yet despite her extensive exhibition activities and onetime renown, the painter has all but fallen into oblivion.

Roederstein’s work is closely intertwined with the history of the Städel Museum and the city of Frankfurt. Her studio in the Städel School was just a few steps away from the museum, which she visited regularly, its collection being an important source of inspiration for her art. Her own works already entered the Städel holdings during her lifetime. In 1902, the museum acquired its first work ever by a contemporary female artist: Roederstein’s painting Old Woman Reading. The exhibition accordingly builds on the Städel Museum collection which, meanwhile comprising 28 works by the artist, represents one of the most important Roederstein holdings apart from those of the Stadtmuseum Hofheim am Taunus and the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Curators: Dr Alexander Eiling (Head of Modern Art, Städel Museum), Eva-Maria Höllerer (Research Assistant, Modern Art, Städel Museum)
Archive: Dr Iris Schmeisser (Head of Provenance Research and the Historical Archive, Städel Museum)
Sponsored by: Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain GmbH
With support from: Friede Springer Stiftung, Ernst Max von Grunelius Stiftung, Damengesellschaft des Städelschen Museums-Vereins
The Roederstein-Jughenn Archive is being indexed with support from: Rudolf-August Oetker-Stiftung, Damengesellschaft des Städelschen Museums-Vereins, and a private donor
Media partner: Frankfurter Rundschau
Cultural partner: hr2-kultur

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Wall texts
SELF. DETERMINED: THE PAINTER OTTILIE W. ROEDERSTEIN
20 JULY TO 16 OCTOBER 2022

Introduction
The German-Swiss painter Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937) was one of the outstanding women artists of the period around 1900. She was firmly established in the male-dominated art world and gained recognition for her work in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad. Roederstein produced a multifaceted oeuvre mirroring many of the stylistic trends of early modernism in art: from academic painting to symbolist and impressionist means of expression to a reductive, objective approach. She never ventured into the realm of abstraction, however, but remained indebted to reality as her model. As a freelance artist, Roederstein deliberately disregarded the societal norms of her time, which left women no scope for personal or professional development. The self-portraits she executed in great number throughout her long career testify to her critical stance on traditional gender roles. From 1891 onwards, after training in Zurich, Berlin, and Paris, Roederstein lived with her partner, the physician Elisabeth Winterhalter, in Frankfurt am Main. The painter was well connected in local artist circles and cultivated extensive contact to many leading Frankfurt families whose members she portrayed prolifically. Roederstein’s work is closely intertwined with the history of the Städel Museum and the city of Frankfurt. Her studio in the Städelsche Kunstschule was just a few steps away from the museum, which she visited regularly, its collection being an important source of inspiration for her art. In 1909, Roederstein and Winterhalter moved to the neighbouring town of Hofheim am Taunus. There, towards the end of her career, the painter was able to devote herself to new artistic experiments in her own studio building and found her way to her ‘eigene Handschrift’, as she called it: her own personal style. The exhibition retraces Roederstein’s stylistic development and her exceptional and successful career.


Press images

Ottilie W. Roederstein
(1859–1937)
Self-Portrait with Red Cap
1894
Tempera on wood
36 × 24 cm
Kunstmuseum Basel
Photo: Martin P. Bühler

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Self-Portrait with Red Cap, 1894

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Self-Portrait with a Hat, 1904
Oil on canvas
55,3 × 46,1 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Self-Portrait with a Hat, 1904

Ottilie W. Roederstein
(1859–1937)
Self-Portrait with Brushes
1917
Tempera on canvas
48 × 39 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich
Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde, 1917

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Self-Portrait with Brushes, 1917

Ottilie W. Roederstein
(1859–1937)
Miss Mosher or End of Summer
ca. 1887
Oil on canvas
201 × 80 cm
Private collection
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Miss Mosher or End of Summer, ca. 1887

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Portrait of a Painter in a Parisian Studio, 1887
Oil on canvas
86,1 × 49,5 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Portrait of a Painter in a Parisian Studio, 1887

Ottilie W. Roederstein
(1859–1937)
Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Winterhalter
1887
Oil on canvas
102,1 × 82 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Winterhalter, 1887

Ottilie W. Roederstein
(1859–1937)
Helene Roederstein with Umbrella
1888
Oil on canvas
115 × 84.5 cm
Private collection, Zurich
Photo: Kunsthaus Zürich

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Helene Roederstein with Umbrella, 1888

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Madonna with Flowers or Month of Mary
1890
Oil on canvas
130 × 89 cm
Pfarrei St. Peter und Paul
Hofheim-Kriftel
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. RoedersteinMadonna with Flowers or Month of Mary, 1890

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Engaged Couple
1897
Tempera on wood
39.5 × 46.5 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, 1897

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Engaged Couple, 1897

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
The Victor
1898
Oil on cardboard
91 × 69.8 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, The Victor, 1898

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Portrait of the Painter Jakob Nussbaum
1909
Oil on canvas
86.5 × 61.5 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Portrait of the Painter Jakob Nussbaum, 1909

Ottilie W. Roederstein
(1859–1937)
Tilde Battenberg
1917
Tempera on paperboard
49.5 × 32 cm
Private collection
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Tilde Battenberg, 1917

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Clärchen Pfeiffer or Green Necklace
1920
Oil on canvas
64 × 49.5 cm
Stadtmuseum Hofheim am Taunus
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Clärchen Pfeiffer or Green Necklace, 1920

Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937)
Hanna Bekker vom Rath in Profil
1923
Oil and tempera on cardboard
51.5 × 40 cm
Stadtmuseum Hofheim am Taunus
Photo: Städel Museum

Ottilie W. Roederstein, Hanna Bekker vom Rath in Profil, 1923

Ottilie W. Roederstein in her studio at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, ca. 1894
Photograph
Roederstein-Jughenn Archive in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Roederstein-Jughenn-Archiv im Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

Ottilie W. Roederstein in her studio at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, ca. 1894

Roederstein and Winterhalter
Photograph Roederstein-Jughenn Archive in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main Photo: Roederstein-Jughenn-Archive in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

Roederstein and Winterhalter, Fotografie, Roederstein-Jughenn-Archiv im Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

Ottilie W. Roederstein with Bicycle, 1890s Photograph Roederstein-Jughenn Archive in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main Photo: Roederstein-Jughenn-Archiv im Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

Ottilie W. Roederstein with Bicycle, 1890s

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"
Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein" Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein" Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein" Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein" Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein" Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"
Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"
Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"
Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein" Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"
Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "SELF. DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein"
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