The Berlin Dada artist and collagist Hannah Höch (1889–1978) kept an address book for over six decades – from 1917 to 1978. Composed like a collage, she created an approximately 350-page compendium listing her numerous contacts to fellow artists and gallery owners, architects, writers, art critics and philosophers. Her address book contains more than 1,400 names, e.g. Hans Arp, Max Ernst, Lyonel Feininger, El Lissitzky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Hans Scharoun, Oskar Schlemmer, to name a few. Her address book accompanied her throughout her long life and through some of the most tumultuous chapters of German and European history. The first entries originated during the era of the German Empire and were followed by new addresses in the 1920s. She kept the book up to date during the Nazi regime, during which time she was vilified as a cultural Bolshevist, and continued building on it in the post-war years of inner emigration on the northern outskirts of Berlin until her death. The publication of the elaborately restored address book is the final missing piece of the otherwise entirely published Höch estate. The Berlin-based Transit-Verlag has published excerpts of her address book containing some 500 names along with descriptions of their personal connection to Höch, supplemented by 77 facsimiles of the original address book pages, as well as photos, letters and images of various artworks.
Höch lived in the Netherlands for several years during the 1920s, for which reason the project organised an art-historical symposium at the Dutch Embassy where scholars have discussed Hanna Höch’s life and works, as well as the restoration and significance of her address book.
Author: Harald Neckelmann
Participants: Jula Dech, Christine Fischer-Defoy, Eckhard Fürlus, Wolfgang Ruppert, Tanja Samrotzki, Danny Verbaan (NL)