Project title
Iris Hahs-Hoffstetter
Object description

 *16 July 1908 in Tuttlingen n. Stuttgart; † 12 August 1986 in Königs Wusterhausen
German paintress and graphic artist
In 1924, Iris Hahs-Hoffstetter starts a course of studies at the Stuttgart college of arts and crafts. She meets the painter and graphic artist Erwin Hahs who, as a professor at the art college Burg Giebichenstein, is in charge of a painting class in Halle. In 1927 she follows him to his place of activities where, as his student, she finishes her studies in 1930. Afterwards she works as a commercial artist for the Halle traffic bureau. In 1932, Iris Hoffstetter and Erwin Hahs get married. From that time on the artist works freelance. In subsequent decades, she creates a great number of works – in oil, watercolours, pastel and charcoal.  After the National Socialists‘ seizure of power, Hahs is one of the first professors who are dismissed from their teaching posts at the ‚Burg‘. The couple face hard times. Hahs‘ art is defamed as ‚degenerate‘, and they are disqualified from their profession. Only from 1946 on, Erwin Hahs is allowed again to teach as a professor at Burg Giebichenstein. The two artists take part in exhibitions. Soon, however, Hahs‘ understanding of art gets into contradiction with the Social Realism that is officially propagated in the GDR. As a result of the anti-formalism campaign, Erwin Hahs is forced to retire. In 1952, the couple move to Zernsdorf. Here, works on paper are created, mainly wax-chalk works and woodcuts, covering a wide range of themes and styles. When in 1960 - for flimsy reasons - Iris Hahs-Hoffstetter is excluded from the professional association, the couple will only find opportunities to exhibit their works in private rooms or with the assistance of the Protestant Church. In 2011, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the artist’s death, a commemorative plaque is unveiled in Zernsdorf, and in 2012, a street is named after her.