* 5 December 1918 in Rastenburg (East Prussia); † 26 May 1984 in West Berlin
Waldemar Grzimek's sculptural oeuvre continues the great tradition of the figurative Berlin school of sculpture. He is one of those artists who have had a significant influence on realistic German sculpture after 1945. Numerous sculptures by him, including memorials, can be seen in public spaces. In addition to depictions of human distress and threat, Grzimek also created sculptures in which the beauty of the human body is communicated with vitality, naturalness and radiance.
At the age of seven, Waldemar Grzimek produced his first sculptures of animals in the Berlin Zoological Garden. The sculptor Richard Scheibe, who bought an animal sculpture from the 18-year-old, became a pioneering mentor for him. On his advice, Grzimek studied sculpture at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin from 1937 to 1941 and became a master student under Wilhelm Gerstel. Within his circle of friends, which also included Fritz Cremer, Gustav Seitz and Gerhard Marcks, Grzimek participated in anti-fascist activities from 1938. In 1942 he was awarded the Rome Prize of the Prussian Academy of Arts for his extraordinary artistic abilities. After the Second World War, Grzimek took up teaching posts at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle/Saale and at the art academies in West and East Berlin from 1946. In 1949 he became a member of the artists' cabaret "Die Badewanne" in West Berlin, to which his artist friend Katja Meirowsky also belonged. In 1960, the East Berlin National Gallery shows a comprehensive exhibition of the sculptor's works. With the building of the Wall in 1961, Grzimek moved to West Berlin. Here and in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance he worked as a freelance artist until his appointment as Professor of Sculpture at Darmstadt Technical University in 1968. In Kassel he took part in documenta III in 1964. In 1979, a major retrospective of his work was held in Berlin's Charlottenburg Palace. In 2013, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin exhibited sculptures by the sculptor, which were donated to the gallery. Works by the artist can also be found in other important museums.