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Siegward Sprotte

Siegward Sprotte

*  1913 Potsdam
† 2004 Kampen/Sylt

Siegward Sprotte was born in Potsdam in 1913. At seventeen he was already taking lessons in painting from Karl Hagemeister, whose master class he joined in 1932. In 1931 Siegward Sprotte enrolled at the Berlin Art Academy, where he studied under Emil Orlik. Orlik's practice of linking European and Far Eastern painting made a lasting impression on the young Siegward Sprotte. Sprotte went his own way at a safe remove from 1930s and '40s isms. While serving in the military and recovering from a protracted illness in the early 1940s, Sprotte collaborated with Hermann Kasack 'Über das Chinesische in der Kunst' ['On the Chinese Element in Art']. From 1944 Sprotte worked on Sylt ['The Dune world of the North Frisian Islands looked at me in a West-Eastern way'], doing a series of portraits, 'Köpfe der Gegenwart', devoted to distinguished contemporary men of letters and artists including Hermann Hesse, Anna Muthesius, Karl Foerster and Ortega y Gasset. From the early 1950s Sprotte's studio was a forum for his fellow artists: Käthe Kollwitz, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Eduard Bargheer, Hans Purrmann and Emil Nolde. Sprotte worked in both northern and southern Europe each year and also went to the US. Numerous international solo and group shows from 1929 mark milestones in Sprotte's career. In 1970 Sprotte was made an honorary member of the International Academy of Literature, Art and Science in Rome and an honorary member of the Potsdam Kulturbund. Further distinctions followed, including a gold medal for services to art from the International Congress for Security and Peace (US) in 1983 and the 1984 World Prize for Culture from the Centro Studie Ricerche delle Nazioni in Calvatone. Siegward Sprotte died on Sylt on 7 September 2004.