Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen

Malerei - Graphik - Plastik

We are deeply saddened by the death of the artist Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen (RSS) toward the end of December 2014 – see our biographical Memoir ( Nachruf ) and external links



Reminiscences of the artist, Klaus Hentschel, ed. (2015)

Reminiszenzen an Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen


format A4, 124 pages, paperback binding with numerous color illustrations; contains 40 contributions by the artist's relatives, friends, professional colleagues, acquaintances, neighbors, Soroptimist Club members, collectors, art historians, and curators. It also includes the pastor's funeral sermon and a memoir by the editor Klaus Hentschel, Price: 19.90 € ISBN 978-3-89728-082-3



A new catalog on imaginary landscapes, Imaginäre Landschaften appeared in April 2012 in celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday


format A4, oblong, 48 pages, paperback binding, with numerous color illustrations of abstract landscapes as well as a few expressive studies inspired by landscapes, Price: just 12.00 € plus shipping ISBN 978-3-89728-072-4


Spuren der Zeit - Beispiele aus dem umfangreichen Lebenswerk. traces of time – samples from the artist’s extensive lifework


format A4, 80 pages, paperback binding, with numerous color illustrations, appeared in a 2nd revised edition 2013. Price: 14.00 € plus shipping, ISBN 978-3-89728-078-6



Multilayer mixing of various color binders to render hues to fullest effect – "Mischtechnik"– is the expressive form for which Ruth has become famous as a painter. She most frequently employed pastel, oil or tempera, occasionally also water color or a combination of these multilayer techniques. A selection of her paintings follows: (link under construction)


Graphic Art


From time to time Ruth left her easel or pasteboard for the drawing table. Here is a small selection out of her quite considerable graphic oeuvre, which has hitherto received little attention. There are drawings in pencil, charcoal and red chalk, as well as frottages and prints. (link under construction)

Barn Studio in Westdorf


Ruth lived and worked since 1983 near the North German coast in a typical East-Frisian Gulfhof, a timber-framed brick farmhouse with attached barn. It is located on the mainland with a direct view to the dike and the lighthouse beacon of her native island Norderney. This building, dating back to the 18th century, includes living quarters on two floors with a basement and a medium-sized barn area that she used as her atelier during the summer months. It permanently houses a number of larger sculptures and more hardy oil paintings. During the colder seasons she worked in the large workroom in her home. These rooms will be preserved for continued public exhibition. (link under construction)



This painter repeatedly reverted to sculpture, which may be explained from her training as an arts and crafts teacher as a young woman. The materials Ruth used for her sculptures and models include plaster, clay and ceramic, concrete, iron, aluminium, as well as organic materials such as twigs, branches, etc., their surfaces finished and/or colored. (link under construction)

A Short Film on RSS


The film crew of Nordsee TV shot a 3-minute film about Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen during a visit to her barn studio in Westdorf, on the outskirts of Dornum, accessible through the links below:

and also here:

Garden Refuge


Ever since childhood Ruth enjoyed being outdoors. She spent much time in her father’s orchard by a lake near Wilhelmshaven and, shortly after World War II, on the extensive grounds of the paternal farmhouse in Stockhausen near Wetzlar. During the 1950s her apartment in Mehlem on the Rhine, by Bonn-Bad Godesberg, opened out onto a peaceful garden, and she cultivated her own plot during her Bad Nauheim days. After her return to the German seacoast in 1983, she lived in the middle of her pretty orchard garden in Westdorf. Under her care it transformed into a flowery haven. Some of Ruth’s own photographs in the link below offer a virtual tour through her garden refuge:

Samples from the unpublished

Beach Wanderings poem cycle

Strandwanderungen ©

by Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen


translated by Ann M. Hentschel




sea anemone


Division –

From parts


a new










On 13 August 2015 the new biographical volume:

Reminiszenzen an Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen

was introduced in her barn gallery in Dornum, suburb of Westdorf (see above)


See also the articles in the Ostfriesischen Kurier and in Ostfriesischen Tagblatt,

published on 15 August 2015 (both on p. 10)


The idea behind this collection of 40 personal essays about the painter, graphic artist and sculptor Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen arose shortly after her death at the end of December 2014: To preserve these recollections, still fresh in the minds of her many relatives, professional colleagues, friends, acquain-tances, Soroptimist Club sisters, art collectors and historians. That's how a colorful portrait of this so fascinating personality could be drawn. It is much more multifacetted and polyphonic than any single author could ever manage. Surprisingly many people responded to this call and the complementarity among the resulting contributions is astounding.


Historical method also motivated the editor to produce this volume in the present form. The historian of science Prof. Klaus Hentschel has already published a paper about Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen, which demonstrates the advantages of approaching history polyphonically. Historians are increasingly moving away from the illusion that "the" definitive biography can ever reflect a personality fully. Such "definitive" biographies of famous or infamous heros such as Einstein, Gandhi or Hitler, succeed each other in 2-year intervals. National, cultural or religiously differing perspectives on an individual are far too great. This polyperspectivity is essential and inescapable in history and biography; and this volume makes a serious attempt at a composite sketch of the artist from 40 different perspectives.



On the weekend of 5-6 September 2015 the doors to Ruth's barn gallery were reopened for public viewing and on the following weekend 12-13 September 2015 it premiered as part of the Atelier Route Ostfriesland.





The Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen Stiftung (RSSS)

a nonprofit cultural foundation was established in 2015



The Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen Stiftung was founded in 2015 under the legal advice of the CMS Stuttgart office.


The seat of this foundation for the artist's estate is her former home and atelier in Dornum-Westdorf by the North Sea, in East Frisia, Germany. The Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen Stiftung is mainly dedicated to the preservation of the memory of this artist and her oeuvre within the context of its creation, her art studio, barn gallery, garden, and living quarters. Another element of the foundation’s purpose is the promotion of the arts and culture in general, in the following areas:


- the creative arts (esp. abstract painting, graphic art, and sculpture),


- literature (esp. poetry), and


- music (esp. chamber music),


hence those forms of artistic creativity that Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen herself practiced and which had meant particularly much to her.


Another of the foundation’s areas of activity are the historical and cultural exploration of the meeting points between art and science, of special interest to its founder, the historian of science and son of the artist, Prof. Dr. Klaus Hentschel, as well as his wife Ann M. Hentschel B.A.


Toward this aim, all the works of art on the artist’s premises, along with a considerable original capital, are being invested in the foundation. The Hentschel couple will also dispose to the foundation stock the other works of art by the artist that are currently at their home in Stuttgart, along with other portions of their private capital. This includes, most particularly, their residence in Stuttgart, the posthumous sale of which will add substantially to the foundation’s original capital, in order to establish a secure basis for the foundation to continue to operate under “external” management beyond the deaths of its founders.


For the furtherance of the foundation’s purpose, the Hentschel couple are personally involved and managomg the foundation on a volunteer basis as members of its Board of Directors. Their motivation for this personal engagement is the preservation of the oeuvre and memory of the artist Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen. The management of the foundation should also profit by the expertise and experience of other outside persons, however. At least one other person besides the Hentschel couple is always involved in the direction of its operations: Mr. Alfred Janssen (a foundation specialist at the bank Oldenburgische Landesbank in Oldenburg) is assuming this task and has joined the Board of Directors.


The Hentschel couple are aware that the foundation’s ambitious goals can only be achieved in the long run if important personalities can be persuaded of the foundation’s aims, who share their passion for the arts and are prepared to support the foundation. In order to create a suitable forum for these personalities so important to the foundation, the foundation has beeen provided with an Advisory Board to advise on the management of operations, publically represent the foundation, and promote the foundation’s aims. The foundation’s statutes are designed to limit the functions of the Advisory Board to a purely advisory capacity and dispense its members of any responsibility for the operative management of the foundation.


The foundation’s official operations commenced with the official signing on 10 December 2015, legal confirmation of the foundation occurred on 14 December 2015, and official approval of the nonprofit status of the foundation by the local authorities was also issued prior to the close of that year. The transfer of the artist's real estate at Cankebeerstr. 97, in Westdorf will take place in early 2016.





Board of Directors (Vorstand)

Prof. Dr. Klaus Hentschel, Stuttgart/Dornum, Chairman


Ann M. Hentschel B.A., Stuttgart/Dornum, Vice-Chairman


Alfred Janssen, bank specialist on foundations, Oldenburgische Landesbank, Oldenburg.



Advisory Board (Kuratorium)

(confirmed members to date, in alphabetical order)


Susanne Augat M.A., art historian and museologist, Kunsthaus Leer


Dr. Annette Kanzenbach, art historian and museologist, Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum Emden, managing director of Stibiku


Eva Requardt-Schohaus, journalist, Norden


Ute Schmidt, Erzhausen near Frankfurt, and her deputy:

Barbara Schmidt-Abbey, Dublin, Ireland (both nieces of the artist)


Doris Schumann, member of the administration of the Town of Dornum and longtime delegate of the Dornumer Kunsttage, Dornum Town Hall



Translated by Ann M. Hentschel Last edited on 10 January 2016


Biographical Sketch

born on April 4, 1922 on the Island of Norderney, North Sea


teacher training in arts and crafts


stipend from the German national fund for the specially gifted; studies under Prof. Berger and Prof. Kranz


since 1946 countless exhibitions in Germany and abroad (see below)


1961 birth of her son Klaus


1976–79 lectureship in painting at the Westend Art School (College of Design, Frankfurt am Main)


1988 atelier visit by 3sat television team, broadcast on June 2, 1988 in Aspekte extra (3sat)


2002 retrospective exhibition for the artist’s 80th birthday at the Telematik Zentrum in Norden, East Frisia

2012 jubilee exhibition for the artist’s 90th birthday at her atelier in Westdorf


Ruth died on December 22, 2014 in Dornum, East Frisia


Burial at sea off the sandbanks of Spiekeroog on January 3, 2015




Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria; Belgium: Brussels; Chile: Santiago de Chile; France: Avignon, Caen, Paris (Biennale 6 in the Palais de Louvre, Pavillon de Marsan), Versailles, Evian; Greece: Athens (1967 & 1973 Palais Zappion); The Netherlands: Ameland, The Hague (Rittersaal), Groningen (Allersmaborg); India: New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta; Israel: Tel Aviv; Italy: Trieste, Bologna, Milan, Rome; Canada: Montreal Biennale; Austria: Laxenburg Vienna; Switzerland: Zurich; Spain: Madrid; Taiwan: Hsinchu; USA: Tuscon Arizona, New York, Danbury Connecticut, Phoenix Arizona;

in Germany:

Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Emden, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Giessen, Hannover, Leer, Ludwigshafen, Mainz, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Wetzlar, Wiesbaden, Wilhelmshaven, etc.





exhibitions of the German artists association, Deutscher Künstlerbund 1958 & 1959


Paris Biennale 6 in the Palais de Louvre, Pavillon de Marsan 1957


honorable mention in Rome 1972;


medal award by the Parisian Fédération Internationale Culturelle Féminine, at exhibitions in Athens 1973 & Madrid 1974


award of Kunstpreis Dornum 2003



Künstlergruppe Bonn

Berufsverband Bildender Künstler (BBK) Ostfriesland


Soroptimist International, Club Ostfriesland - Norden


Kunstverein Norden


Kunstverein Dornum



Publications (selected)


Vollmer Künstler-Lexikon des 20. Jahrhunderts, vol. IV


Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (Saur) Ziese et al. Künstlerdokumentationen

Chronik der Künstlergruppe Bonn, 1984


Präsentation Künstlergruppe Bonn 2010


Ostfriesischer Kunstkalender 1990, 2005


BBK Ostfriesland (ed.) Kunst und Kochen, 2004


Künstler • Orte • Ost • Fries • Land, 2008


65 Jahre BBK Ostfriesland 2011


"Spuren der Zeit" : Beispiele aus dem umfangreichen Lebenswerk, hrsg. von Klaus Hentschel, Göttingen 2002


Imaginäre Landschaften, Diepholz 2012


Landesmuseum Emden: Moderne und Tradition. Bildende Kunst in Ostfriesland Die Sammlung Walter Baumfalk, 2011


Klaus Hentschel (ed.) Reminiszenzen an Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen (1922-2014), Diepholz 2015.


Walter Baumfalk, Bildende Kunst in Ostfriesland im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert. Ein Künstlerlexikon, Aurich: Ostfries. Landschaft, 2016, pp. 399-401..


External Weblinks (selected)


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Unless otherwise indicated, all material on this website are subject to copyright by the artist‘s estate.

© Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen – Stiftung