Dörte Clara Wolff

Biography

Dörte Clara Wolff, born in 1907, was a German painter and illustrator. Her nickname was Dodo. She was raised in a middle-class Jewish home and clearly was a product of the Weimar Republic. She initially gained fame during the 1920’s for her fashion illustrations in Ulk magazine and her acerbic images of the glittering twenties in Berlin. Her images saw the duality of the sexes at this time. It was during this time that Dodo experienced her greatest fame, 1926 to 1930. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Ulk magazine was labeled by the Nazis as “too Jewish” and was shut down in 1933.

Dodo married Dr. Hans Bürgner in 1929 and they had two children. In 1933 Dodo became enchanted with Carl Gustav Jung and followed him to Zürich where she fell in love with one of his disciples, Dr. Gerhard Adler. During her time in Zürich, Dodo created “unconscious paintings”. These paintings were water colors that she had no memory of creating. Dodo and Adler emigrated to England where they soon married. Two years later, they were divorced. At this time her work consisted of illustrations for children’s books, greeting cards, still lifes, landscapes, tapestries and nude studies. In 1945 she remarried her first love, Dr. Bürgner. She died in 1998.

Interest in her work waned until a resurgence occurred in 2012 with exhibitions at the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, the Ben Uri Gallery and the London Museum of Art.

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