Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen
Malerei - Graphik - Plastik
Under the auspices of the
some 70 works by Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen will be on exhibit from June 3rd to 14th August 2020 in the Aurich City Hall gallery on the theme
or "mud-shoal moods"
The play of light on intricate structures and color transitions in northern German seascapes inspired her free abstractions of an ever-changing coastal world. Large paintings in a variety of techniques bear titles like 'dusk light,' 'silt-up,' 'algae,' 'contemplation,' 'suspended iridescence,' 'sediment,' 'ebbing flow,' 'primordial tones,' 'stillness,' or 'illuminated sandbars.'
The barn gallery is open to visitors during the first two weekends of September 2020. We are participating in the
12 - 13 September 2020
focusing on sculptures and nude sketches, was our special exhibit 31 Aug./1 Sep. & 14/15 Sep.2019
The monumental column "Water Column" conceived for a German spa, is a prominent example of Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen’s fountain designs. The small green Venus figure from 1980, by contrast, represents her many smooth figurines with round contours that fit comfortably into the palm of a hand. About 200 nude studies – which are considerably less well-known in this oeuvre – distill the subject down to its very essentials. Many of the exhibits here in East Frisia were shown for the very first time.
We were part of
Atelier-Route Ostfriesland 2019
Two of Ruth's many nude sketches from the mid-1950s were on display in the Historisches Museum in Aurich 8 Sep.-8 Dec. 2019, as part of the special jubilee exhibition for the 15th Atelier-Route in this region.
Twelve-month art calendar (Annette Kanzenbach, ed.)
Ostfriesischer Kunstkalender 2018: Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen - Wattstimmungen
format 43 x 42 cm, spiral binding, c. 565 g; 12 coastal landscapes; conception and author: Dr. Annette Kanzenbach; publ. by Ostfriesische Landschaft in collaboration with Ostfriesische Brandkasse, Aurich 2017. Reduced: 9.95 Euro ISBN 978-3-940601-43-8
Figuration and abstraction, as the title of one newspaper report about the issuance of this new art calendar implies, would only partly describe this artist's oeuvre spanning some seven decades. Nevertheless, these twelve samples lend an impression of the great variety of East Frisian mudflat and marine landscapes, by the North Sea. They also demonstrate the strength of translation, depth and compositional qualities of some of Ruth's works painted during some of the later stages of her career.
The theme of the 2018 exibition, showing during the first 2 weekends of September was:
The play of light and shadow on water in its various forms—as mist, clouds, rain, weak trickles, gushing currents or the vast expanse of the sea—was a constant source of inspiration for Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen. The way water reshapes materials like sand and silt, earth and rock fascinated her. Its work is particularly evident on the German coastline in East Frisia, where Ruth spent the first 18 and last 30 years of her life. Waves, ripples, currents and the inlet streams along the coastal mudflats continually remodel the landscape. This year’s exhibition by the Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen – Stiftung presents a selection of her paintings and prints on the topic “watery structures”
The barn gallery was open to visitors during the first two weekends of September 2017. The special exhibit theme was "Rocks, Stones and Light"
"Hexensteine," the large oil on board from 1978, was painted after a longer trip through Luxemburg, where Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen had been struck by the towering rocks that river waters had cut into a deep valley and that rain and erosion had fantastically shaped. In that same year, the artist told a journalist: "Stones and rock walls are what fascinate me, their metamorphosis." Old walls with pealing plaster and paint, crumbling groups of mortared stones set in mossy old walls or slowly eroding rock faces in the mountains thus join coastal silty mudflats and ever-changing cloud formations as among the artist's many favorite motifs with their play of light and shadows.
A few selected examples from among the sixty-four exhibits, including sculptures and associated mineral specimens, were introduced to the visitors, and their composition discussed in detail by Prof. Klaus Hentschel, chairman of the Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen Foundation, on 2 Sept. 2017.
Ruth's poem "Endlos der weite Strand" was shown together with a photograph by Michael Schildmann "Strand" at an exhibition "Lyrik & Grafik" in Galerie Sezession Nordwest in Wilhelmshaven (1.12.2016 - 31.5.2017). A portfolio of the exhibits is available there.
Open days with a special exhibition on "Portraits" featured for two weekends in July 2016
Next to the large paintings and sculptures, which have found their permanent places in the main gallery spaces of the former old barn, portraits and self-portraits by the artist were arranged in the rooms for temporary exhibitions – ranging from very early, fine pencil drawings in the naturalistic manner of the old school from the period of her classical training under Prof. Berger and Prof. Kranz during the 1940s, to gradually freer portraits made on commission from the 1950s and 1970s in charcoal and red chalk, to the boldly stylized self-portraits of her final years.
One special highlight is a collection of 20 sketches of musicians, executed with a rapid and sure hand in front of the television while watching filmed performances by Arthur Rubinstein, Claudio Arrau, Glenn Gould and Friedrich Gulda, among others, in the 1980s. The results are good caricaturistic likenesses of these coryphaei of the musical world. Thus one largely unknown facette of her large oeuvre was elucidated.
On Sunday 31. July 2016 Susanne Augat, M.A., director of the Kunsthaus Leer and chairman of the foundation's board of trustees, held the inaugural speech.
Reminiscences about 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
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.
Reproductions of her 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
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.
Please note that we do not sell original artwork. The purpose of our website is to inform the public about this artist's oeuvre.
Ruth’s works from the Walter Baumfalk Collection are intermittently on display at the Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum in Emden, in their New Gallery, which features East Frisian fine art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
A dozen paintings by Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen were part of an exhibition
"Winter Paintings in East Frisia"
conceived and organized by the director of the Kunsthaus Leer, Susanne Augat M.A. The venue was Evenburg Castle in the Leer environs, from 11 November 2018 until 10 January 2019. The exhibits painted by Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen were: one canvas, two sgraffitos, two monotypes, two pastells and five other diverse techniques.
Three paintings by Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen were on exhibit
2nd November 2017 until 22nd April 2018 at
Galerie Luzie Uptmoor in the Industriemuseum Lohne
Stille, 2006, Aquarell und Jaxon Ölkreide
Wolke und Düne, 1982, Aquarell
Thema Strand, 1980, Aquarell
Scheduled to reopen on 15 September until 8 December 2019
in the Palais in Rastede
The exhibition catalog Luzie Uptmoor und Künstlerinnen ihrer Zeit aus dem Oldenburger Land is available at the gallery and in bookshops in Lohne for 15.80 € ISBN 978-3-945579-08-4
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)
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:
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)
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
by Ruth Schmidt Stockhausen
translated by Ann M. Hentschel
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 of the Board of Directors
Ann M. Hentschel B.A., Stuttgart/Dornum, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors
Alfred Janssen, director of the City Atelier of Oldenburg Art School.
Advisory Board (Kuratorium)
(confirmed members to date, in alphabetical order)
Susanne Augat M.A., art historian and museologist, Kunsthaus Leer, Chairman of the Advisory Board
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 February 2020
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