• portrait Hannah Höch
    Hannah Höch was born 1889, in Gotha. In 1910 she enrolled in the School of Applied Arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg. She studied glass design with Harold Bengen from 1912 until the onset of World War I in 1914, when the school closed.
  • In January 1915 Höch continued her studies at the School of the Royal Museum of Applied Arts (later known as the State Museum of Applied Arts). In the same year, she met Raoul Hausmann, with whom she had an intense, difficult romantic relationship until 1922. She also developed a close friendship with Kurt Schwitters. For ten years, between 1916 and 1926, Höch worked at the Ullstein Verlag. Employed in the handicrafts department, Höch designed knitting, crocheting, and embroidering patterns for magazines and booklets. In the summer of 1918, while Höch and Hausmann were on vacation at the Ostsee, they claimed to have discovered the principle of photomontage in the form of the cut-and-paste images that soldiers on the front sent to their families. Photomontage became the preferred medium for her shrewd social and political critiques of the 1920s. In addition to mass-media photographs, Höch incorporated lace and handiwork patterns into her montages, thus combining the traditional language of women's crafts with that of modern mass culture.
  • Höch was the only woman involved with Berlin Dada, and she participated in minor and major events alike. Her engagements ranged from playing a tin lid in Jefim Golyscheff's anti-symphony in an April 1919 Dada soirée to exhibiting in the Erste Berliner Dada-Ausstellung, along with Raoul Hausmann, George Grosz, Johannes Baader, Walter Mehring, Jefim Golyscheff, Fritz Stuckenberg, and Erika Deetjen. In the First International Dada Fair of 1920 in Otto Burchard's art gallery, the largest of all the Dada exhibitions, Höch presented her socially critical photomontages as well as her handcrafted Dada dolls, in turn showcasing the plurality of artistic tactics she mobilized for her Dada art. In the same year as the Dada Fair, Höch joined the leftist Novembergruppe, participating in annual exhibitions from 1920 to 1923 and in several years after.
  • Hannah Höch died in Berlin on May 31, 1978.
    More extensive is Sabine T. Kriebel, 'Hannah Höch', published in Leah Dickerman (ed.), Dada. Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris (National Gallery of Art : Washington DC 2005) 474-475 and online available at Dada biographies: Hannah Höch, an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. The article is translated in French and published in Dada / Catalogue publié sous la direction de Laurent Le Bon (Éditions du centre Pompidou : Paris 2005) 134.
    Hannah Höch [Collection unknown]
  • top
  • Biographical
  • Höch and Hausmann
  • Work
    • Collages
    • Photomontages
  • Archives and Collections
  • Writings
  • Secondary Literature
    banner: Hannah Höch in Gotha (detail), 1917 [Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Photographie und Architektur]