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Städel Museum presents SELF.DETERMINED: The Painter Ottilie W. Roederstein

July 20–October 16, 2022

One of the top female artists of the era about 1900 was the German-Swiss painter Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859–1937). A thorough retrospective of 75 paintings and sketches will be on display this summer at the Städel Museum. It will give viewers a look at the artistic growth of a painter known for her stylistic adaptability. Roederstein began residing in Frankfurt am Main in 1891 after completing his training at Zurich, Berlin, and Paris. She moved to the neighboring town of Hofheim am Taunus in 1909 with her partner, the gynecologist Elisabeth H. Winterhalter. As a self-employed portraitist, Roederstein was well-established in the largely male-dominated art community and confident enough to disregard the social mores of the day. She became well-known among her contemporaries thanks to the various exhibitions of her work that took place in Germany and abroad, from Frankfurt, Zurich, and Paris to London and Chicago. The painter, however, has virtually vanished into obscurity despite her prodigious exhibition schedule and her notoriety.

“For years we have devoted ourselves to broadening the canon of art history with exhibitions on trailblazing women artists. With the retrospective on the great portrait painter Ottilie Roederstein, we are now adding yet another new chapter to the history of art. Roederstein was an important figure in art and culture in Frankfurt. Yet the fame she enjoyed here during her lifetime has faded for the most part. She thus shares the fate of many other women artists who sank ever deeper into oblivion after World War II. It is a matter of very special concern to us to reacquaint a broader public with her work,” comments Philipp Demandt, Director of the Städel Museum.

The history of the Städel Museum and the city of Frankfurt is inextricably entwined with Roederstein’s work. She frequently visited the museum, which was close to her Städel School studio, and drew inspiration from its collection on a regular basis. During her lifetime, her personal works were already included in the Städel holdings. Old Woman Reading by Roederstein was the museum’s first piece created by a female contemporary artist, and it was purchased in 1902. As a result, the exhibition expands upon the Städel Museum’s holdings, which, with 28 of the artist’s works, rank among the most significant Roederstein collections outside of those of the Kunsthaus Zürich and the Stadtmuseum Hofheim am Taunus.

The exhibition at the Städel Museum was realized in collaboration with the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Städel Museum
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt am Main

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