* 25 April 1896 in Danzig-Langfuhr; † 25 February 1982 in Munich
German sculptress, costume and stage designer
Ilse Fehling is supposedly the only sculptress among the Bauhaus movement’s female artists.
In order to become a sculptress and costume designer, she, from 1918 on, attends the private Reimann School in Berlin and the Berlin School of Arts and Crafts. In 1920 she changes to the Bauhaus in Weimar, where she studies under Paul Klee, Lothar Schreyer, Oskar Schlemmer and Gertrud Grunow. In 1922, the Museum Lübeck buys one of her terracotta sculptures. From 1923 on, she works in Berlin as a freelance sculptress and a stage and costume designer. Her first solo exhibition of 1927 in the Galerie Gurlitt is a success. In 1931, the Prussian Academy of Arts awards her the Rome prize for her sculptural work. In 1933, the same academy rejects the Bauhaus-disciple’s works as “degenerate”. The National Socialists forbid her to take part in exhibitions. As a result, Ilse Fehling cuts down on her activities as a sculptress. She earns her living by creating costume and stage designs for cinema and theatre. In 1943, the National Socialists confiscate her Berlin flat and the studio. An air raid on the city destroys a large part of her sculptural works. After 1945, Ilse Fehling lives in Switzerland and works as a press illustrator. In 1952, she moves to Munich, where she works again as a sculptress, as well as for cinema, theatre, and the press. In 1963 the Galerie Gurlitt in Munich dedicates her a solo exhibition.
A large-scale solo exhibition in the Galerie Bernd Dürr in Munich in 1990 and an exhibition at Bauhaus Dessau in 1992 pay posthumous tribute to her work.