Margarethe Held

Germany, 1894 - 1981

Margarethe Held was born in 1894, in Mettingen near Stuttgart. After graduating from commercial college, she supported herself by office work. In 1921 she got married, but after only four years she lost her husband, and shortly afterwards her father also died. From that time, she began to communicate with spirits including those of the deceased members of her own family. In 1950, at the age of fifty-six, she began drawing: four hundred drawings in four months – all dictated by spirits. Graphite and color pencil portraits of deceased people, gods, gnomes, fairies, demons, and extraterrestrials, as well as a series of primeval animals and celestial flowers. In 1954, portraits of Jesus, Mary, and also of Siwa emerged. The individual portraits were executed primarily in left profile, a few were executed frontally. In only one small series depicting lovers, did two figures appear on a single sheet. Initially, Margarethe Held drew in pencil, later she used pastel crayons. In 1954, she abruptly ended her activity as an artistic medium. She has recorded her visions in the book Unkontrollierbares Universum [Uncontrollable Universe]. Furthermore, under Siwa’s guidance voluminous texts about travels to Jupiter and to other planets in addition to a History of Creation.

Source: Delmes & Zander / Outsider Art Now

Courtesy of Christian Berst | Art Brut Gallery; Daria Semco