Mini Biography: Gerda Wegener

Birth: March 15, 1886
Death: July 28, 1940
Nationality: Danish
Movement: Art Nouveau and Art Deco
Wegener, born Gerda Gottlieb, was the daughter of a Lutheran vicar and lived in a small, conservative town in Denmark until leaving to attend the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen at the age of 17. She married at age 19 to a fellow art student. Wegener and her marriage to Lili Elbe AKA Einar Wegener was immortalized in the fictitious novel The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. The Danish Girl was later made into a movie in 2015 and directed by Tim Hooper. Wegener had a successful career in fashion illustration in Copenhagen but after she and Elbe moved to Paris and became more involved in avant-garde circles Wegener’s work became more erotic in nature. Her marriage to Elbe was annulled by the King of Denmark in 1930 and she was married to an Italian diplomat briefly before divorcing and returning to Denmark in 1938 or 1939. Wegener’s last show was in 1939 and she died, poor and alone, in 1940 at the age of 54.
Notable Work: At the good tones altar (unknown), Two women on a balcony (ca. 1931–1936), and Lili Elbe (1928) which is pictured below and was altered for the header.

Lili_Elbe_by_Gerda_Wegener

To read more about Gerda Wegener or to see more of her work visit:
Biography
Artnet
The Guardian

 

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