The German fiction writer and surrealist artist Ellida Schargo von Alten epitomizes the strong postwar woman, advocating for herself while balancing traditional family and caregiving roles with participation in modernity as an artist and entrepreneur. As a New Woman, independent seamstress, and contributor to the artistic community in Worpswede between 1934 and 1962 and resident of Posteholz between 1962 and 1996, von Alten not only thrived in her own creative and entrepreneurial pursuits but also helped relaunch the postwar career of her second partner, the surrealist painter Richard Oelze. Von Alten's experience as a writer, fashion designer, and pastel artist allowed her to excel within the confluence of domestic responsibility, entrepreneurship, and creativity. This essay explores the artists' automatist studio practices and distinguishes von Alten's methods and abstract motifs from Oelze's to reassess art-historical assertions that artistic influence is gendered along strictly patriarchal lines.


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pp. 75-100
Launched on MUSE
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