Lyonel Feininger

Signature: "Lyonel Feininger Dessau, Feb. 1932"

In 2022 a book from the library of Lyonel Feininger could be returned.

Lyonel Charles Adrian Feininger was born in New York on 17 July 1871, the son of musicians Karl (later Charles) Feininger and Elizabeth Cecilia Lutz. He studied in Berlin and Paris and became one of the major artists of his time. From 1893 he lived in Berlin and worked primarily as a caricaturist. In 1908 he married the artist Julia Berg. From 1909 he was a member of the Berlin Secession, and in 1919 he became the first Bauhaus master to be appointed to Weimar, where he was head of the printing workshops until 1925.

After the state elections in 1924, the Bauhaus was driven out of Weimar by the new national conservative state government and reestablished in Dessau. Feininger moved into one of the newly built master houses there in the summer of 1926.

After the NSDAP's win in the local elections in Dessau in 1932, the Bauhaus moved out of Dessau as well and settled in Berlin as a privately run school. Lyonel and Julia Feininger relocated to Berlin in the same year. Finally, in 1937, both fled Germany for the United States, losing all their assets in the process. Julia Feininger was persecuted as Jewish.

In Nazi Germany, Lyonel Feininger's works were considered "degenerate art". A few months after his escape, numerous confiscated works by Feininger were shown in the "Entartete Kunst" ("Degenerate Art") exhibition in Munich.

In the United States, Feininger first taught at Mills College in Oakland and then lived and worked in New York. He became president of the Federation of American Painters and Sculptors in 1947 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1955.
Lyonel Feininger died in New York on January 13, 1956.

The book's path into the holdings of the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek is unclear. It was accessioned as a "gift" in the Berlin City Library after the end of WWII in 1945. The supplier named in the accession book is "Kulturamt" which presumably meant the Department for Popular Education at the Magistrate of Berlin. However, this supplier designation was used excessively in the post-war years, among other things also for looted property already in the building, in particular for parts of the ~40,000 books the library had purchased in 1943 from the city of Berlin - books which had been looted from the last homes of Berliners persecuted as Jewish.