Bele Bachem

Biography

Illustrations, posters, book designs, stage designs, textile and ceramic designs. Born Gabriele Renate Bachem 17 May 1916 in Düsseldorf. Her parents were artists. 1934-7: trained at the Gablonz Akademie and the Gebrauchsgraphische Schule Berlin-Schlesischer Bahnhof: teachers included Rössner and Max Kraus ( or Kaus ). 1937-9: first commissions from the journals Die Dame, Elegante Welt and die neue linie; book illustrations for the Baden-Baden publisher Woldemar Klein. From 1940: designed stage sets for the Kammerspiele, Munich, and other theatres. 1941: father killed in an air raid; Bachem lost many of her works.

1943: her work was forbidden by the Nazis to be shown; moved from Berlin to Sonnenburg after her house was bombed. 1944/5: moved to Feldafing, southern Germany, to avoid the Red Army.

1947: moved to Munich. From 1950: designed tapestries and fabrics, designed tableware for Rosenthal, worked on film and theatre sets. 1954-6: taught illustration at Werkkunstschule, Offenbach a.M. From 1965: worked as a painter. Awarded the Toulouse-Lautrec Prize, Paris (1959), Seerosen-Prize, Munich (1966), Premier Prix internationaux, Prix des femmes, Cannes (1968) and the ‘München leuchtet’ Prize, Munich (1987). Died 6 May 2005, Munich.

Writings by

  • WWGA, 1962
  • Eine übliche Kleine Bosheit, Düsseldorf: Eremiten, 1980
  • Walter Amstutz (ed.), Who’s Who in Graphic Art, 2nd ed., Dübendorf, 1982., 1982.

Writings about

  • A comprehensive reference is Gärtner, 1986.
  • Die Frau, 1946
  • L.E. Reindl, ‘Bela Bachem’, Das Kunstwerk, 1946/7, II, p. 8 (plus 8-p. supplement) Ruth Klein, ‘Das Korsett’, Das Kunstwerk, 1949, H. 9, pp. 37-42 (illustrations by BB)
  • Der Spiegel, 1949
  • Erwin Käufer, Der Buchdruck, Munich, 1949
  • Revue, 1950
  • Eberhard Hölscher, ‘Advertising art in post-war Germany’, Graphis 34, 1951, pp. 58-79
  • ‘Aus den Rosenthal-Ateliers’, Die Kunst und das schöne Heim, Dec. 1951, p. 120
  • Reader’s Digest, 1952
  • Overseas Weekly, 1956
  • Bunte Welt, 1957
  • Graphik, Oct. 1957, p. 19 (New Year’s cards)
  • Das Schönste, 1958
  • Revue moderne, 1959
  • Kristall, 1959
  • Münchner Leben, 1959
  • Westermanns Monatshefte, 1960
  • Ausverkauf in Wind. Geschichten und Zeichnungen, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1960
  • Gespensterballade, Baden-Baden: Woldemar Klein, 1960
  • Bele Bachem (exh. leaflet), Düsseldorf: Galerie an der Düssel, 1980
  • note on BB’s Eine übliche Kleine Bosheit, in Illustration 63, April 1982, p. 33
  • Ulrike Camilla Gärtner, Bele Bachem. Werkverzeichnis 1935-86, Munich: Ketterer, 1986 (includes extensive list of BB’s exhibitions, and bibliography)
  • Annemarie Verweyen, ‘Die tausendundein Träume der Bele Bachem’, Illustration 63, April 1990, pp. 2-6
  • brief autobiography: www.bavaria.com/bele
  • E. Hölscher, ‘A new dawn for the film poster’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., April 1959, p. 47
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 1992
  • Anton Sailer, ‘Bele Bachem’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Nov. 1950, pp. 38-48
  • brief biography, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., June 1953, p. 55
  • E. Hölscher, ‘New picture wallpapers’ (Rasch & Co., Bros.), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1958, pp. 28-33

Exhibitions

  • Hamburg, Düsseldorf, 1948, 1952
  • Zurich, 1948
  • Galerie an der Düssel, Düsseldorf, 1980
  • Galerie Markt, Bruckmühl, 1995
  • Olching, 2001.