British artist Hannah Gluckstein was born on August 13, 1895 in London into a deeply conservative Jewish family. Her father Joseph Gluckstein is the owner of the J. Lyons
The young woman then travels to Cornwall, where she forms an artists' colony with other artists from the "Newlyn School", a group of landscape painters, in the town of Newlyn. She lives there with her fellow student and partner Effie Craig, who goes by the surname Craig. In Cornwall, Gluck discovers her true identity. She changes her appearance, wears short hair and men's clothing, and begins smoking a pipe. In addition, from now on she only wants to be called Gluck, "without a prefix, suffix or quotation marks". A move of conviction: When an art society of which Gluck was vice president referred to her as "Miss Gluck" in a cover letter, she resigned from her post.
She buys a studio with part of her trust money, which her father gives her for her birthday. Gluck's works were critically acclaimed and commercially successful in the 1920s and 30s. During 1925 Gluck painted a series of works depicting theatrical scenes, which were shown in the 1926 Fine Art Society exhibition Stage and Country in London.
In the late 1920s, Gluck's father increased her capital so she could buy a larger house in Hampstead. She lives there with a housekeeper, a cook and a maid. In 1932, Gluck designs and patents the popular Art Deco style Gluck frame - a three-tiered design that is painted or wallpapered to match the wall on which it is hung, giving the illusion that the painting is part of the architecture of the room .
Eventually, she meets decorator and forester Constance Spry. It is she who inspires Gluck to create several flower paintings. She also influenced Gluck's clothing style and transformed her androgynous look into haute couture with fashion designs by Victor Stribel and Elsa Schiaparelli. In 1936 Spry ended the relationship after three years because Gluck had become too demanding and possessive for her. But by then the artist had already fallen in love with Nesta Obermer, who was in a marriage of convenience with American businessman Seymour Obermer. She captured Gluck's feelings for Nesta in the double portrait she painted entitled "Medaillon". The painting was also later used by the English Virago Press publishers on the cover of the novel "Fountain of Solitude" by Radclyffe Hall, which was written by a lesbian relationship.
The great love of the two lasts until 1944, when Nesta ends the relationship. Because she cannot bear to be alone, Gluck immediately throws herself into the next liaison with Edith Shackleton Heald, the first female reporter in the British House of Lords. The two had met in February 1944 at an exhibition of Gluck's work for the villagers of Plumpton. In October of that year, Gluck moved to Sussex on the Shackleton Heald family estate. The couple shares the house with Shackleton Heald's sister Nora, but after a falling out with the two, she moves out two years later.
In the 1970s, Gluck and Edith's health deteriorated. In 1970 she begins her last major work, a painting of a decomposing fish head on a beach entitled Rage, Rage against the Dying of the Light. Gluck suffers a heart attack in November 1972, but she is still able to complete her picture in 1973. Edith dies in a nursing home on November 5, 1976. Two weeks later, Gluck suffers another heart attack and has a stroke the following year. On January 10, 1978, Gluck died at the age of 82. In her honor, Google dedicates a Doodle to her this Sunday.
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Quellen: "The New York Times Style Magazine", glbtq Project, “The Art Newspaper", "The Guardian"