In 1987, this bronze sculpture of a Girl Walking was presented to the curator of the Jewish Department of the Berlin Museum with the proviso that the sculpture be returned to the owner if she ever came forward.
On Temporary Loan
During the Nazi era, a young woman entrusted the sculpture to a Berlin couple – in the hope of someday retrieving it. But the young woman never returned and the sculpture eventually wound up in the collection that evolved from the Jewish Department of the Berlin Museum.
Rotating Trophy for the Winners of the Girls' Relay Race
The sculpture is a rotating trophy. It was sponsored by the newspaper of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith for the first sporting festival held by the Reich Committee for Jewish Youth Associations. On 19 August 1934, on the playing field in Grunewald, Hilde Finkelstein accepted the trophy as the winner of the girl's relay race on behalf of her team and her club, Ring – Federation of German Jewish Youth. Unfortunately, we don't know whether the young woman who lent the sculpture for safekeeping a few years later was Hilde Finkelstein, for she never returned.
The Artist, Elisabeth Wolff
The sculpture was created by Elisabeth Wolff (1898–probably 1969), who was part of the first generation of female artists to be trained at state art academies in Germany. In the 1920s she became known for her small sculptures and portrait busts. Sometime between 1935 and 1940 she emigrated to England, where she regularly showed her work at the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts in London beginning in 1934. All trace of Wolff was lost after 1947. Today we know about more than twenty of her works from catalogs and magazines, but none have survived except for Girl Walking.
|Artist||Elisabeth Wolff (b.1898, d. probably 1969)|
|Location and year of origin||Berlin, 1934|
|Dimensions||78 x 44 x 23 cm|
Selected Objects: Fine Arts Collection (11)
Fine Arts Collection
Glance through our art holdings featuring modernist works by Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth, and commercial graphic art by Louis Oppenheim. The motifs span from biblical and Jewish themes to intimate portraits and Felix Nussbaum’s haunting response to his experience of persecution.
Albertine Mendelssohn-Bartholdy as a Bride by August Theodor Kaselowsky
In this painting, Albertine Heine appears to be a Christian Madonna. She holds the ring near her heart, wearing a white dress with her gaze modestly lowered.
Biblical map of the Holy Land
This "New and Original Biblical Map of the Holy Land" from 1893 was probably never intended to be used by pilgrims or travelers on the ground.
Loneliness by Felix Nussbaum
Nussbaum is nearly unique among artists for his striking examination of his plight as one of the persecuted. He painted it in Brussels, where he was in hiding, in 1942.
The Plesch Family Portrait by Max Slevogt
Max Slevogt created this painting of his friend's family in 1928. It captures the intimacy of family life while fulfilling a group portrait's representative function.
Composition by Otto Freundlich
Otto Freundlich painted this abstract composition in 1938 – one year after another artwork of his had been branded "degenerate art" in Nazi Germany.
Moses Looks upon the Promised Land by Lesser Ury
For artist Lesser Ury, the painting marked the end of a lifelong preoccupation with the figure of Moses. Unfortunately, only a pastel sketch for the painting survives.
S. Adam Advertising Poster by Louis Oppenheim
With this poster by the well-known graphic artist Louis Oppenheim, the S. Adam clothing store advertised its products to male and female sports enthusiasts in 1908.
Passage through the Red Sea by Jakob Steinhardt
This woodcut by Jakob Steinhardt illustrates a 1920s Haggadah. The people barely escaped with their lives—as is revealed in the expression on Moses’ face.
Girl Walking by Elisabeth Wolff
The sculpture by Elisabeth Wolff was a trophy at the first sporting festival held by the Reich Committee for Jewish Youth Associations, in 1934. The artwork has only been entrusted to our collection for safekeeping.
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat by Max Liebermann
In this late self-portrait, the artist presents himself as bourgeois in a dark suit and a Panama hat. Two years after his eightieth birthday, he painted himself here with a touch of resignation and melancholy.
Petermannchen by Lovis Corinth
Lovis Corinth painted this portrait of his student and wife-to-be during a beach vacation on the Baltic coast. It contains a secret romantic message.
Selected Objects and Highlights from the Collection
At a glance ...
Fine Arts Collection
Focal points, media, subjects, and what the artwork says about Jewish history
All About ...
The History of the Jewish Museum Berlin
All About ...
The History of Our Collections
Initial inspiration and transition to the Jewish Museum Berlin
Provenance Research at the Jewish Museum Berlin
Where do the artworks and ceremonial objects in our collection come from?
European Maccabi Games
In a series of portraits and interviews, we profile twelve Berlin athletes from the Maccabi Games.