Project title
Dorothea Behrens
Object description

*1912 in Berlin; † 2000 in Fredersdorf n. Berlin
German collage artist
Dorothea Behrens‘ outstanding creativity in the creation of collages is discovered by her husband, the painter Herbert Behrens-Hangeler, when she helps him to make collages for Christmas cards. Apart from her professional work she produces a huge number of her own collages, using periodicals and magazines as material. Thus, on the glued illustrations there emerge surprising plays of colours and shadows, transitions and breakthroughs, as well as picture stories.From 1928 to 1931 Dorothea Behrens, née Schönfeld, passes through a training as chemo-technical assistant. In 1934 she gets married to Werner Kersten and gives birth to two children. In the Second World War, her husband is killed in the battle of Stalingrad. In the years that follow, she works in various jobs to earn a living for her small family. From 1949 on she is able to work again in her learned profession, but in 1950, because of a misjudgement by the GDR justice, she is taken into custody.  After her release she remains for a while unemployed. In 1951 she finds a job at the art college of Berlin-Weissensee, where she works until 1962. At the college she meets Herbert Behrens-Hangeler. After their marriage, the couple in 1963 moves into a house in Fredersdorf near Berlin, where the two, leading a secluded life, create their extensive artistic work. From 1963 to 1972, Dorothea Behrens works as a chemo-technical assistant at the Humboldt University Berlin. After her husband‘s death in 1982, she supports the exhibitions of his works in Neuenhagen, Dresden, Berlin and Amsterdam, and she exhibits her own works in Berlin and Dresden. In 1994, she is bestowed the honour grant of the City of Berlin, and in the following year she has a part in the documentary film „Fluchtburg Fredersdorf“, a Film devoted to the life and work of Herbert Behrens-Hangeler.