Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The artist is a princess

January 25, 1927

On the eve of a private viewing of her oil paintings and water colors, the artist, a German woman named Mrs. Ruemann, disclosed her real identity. Although she prefers to be called Mme. Ruemann, she is, in her own right, Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein.
The exhibition is under the auspices of Art Patrons of America, Inc., at 9 East 57th Street.
The Princess has been living in an apartment on 41 West 54th Street with her husband, Captain Alexander Ruemannm who once served in the German Imperial Navy.
According to the New York Times, the Princess said she has "spent much of her life studying the graphic arts," and she has held exhibitions in Berlin and Munich.

"I do not want to be regarded as a noblewoman, but merely as an artist," the princess said. "The difficulty of being a Princess and an artist at the same time lies in the anxiety of persons to pick flaws in one's art for no other reason than that one is not known primarily as an artist.
"Before the war it was considered 'nice' for young ladies to paint, but they were not permitted to take this occupation too seriously. That is too say, while my friends of the court were appreciative of my work and encourages me in it, it was never regarded as anything more than a pastime.
"I studied under Otto Kamp, director of the Berlin Academy, and later under other teachers at Potsdam and Munich. I have traveled a great deal of late years with my husband, whom I married after the war. Last year I spent in Egypt and painting many of the scenes there, as well as portraits of Egyptian types. Now my great ambition is to paint an American Indian chief. I am going to Hollywood. but I don't want to be a film star - oh never!  then I shall travel to Mexico.
"Here in New York I have been engaged to to paint portraits of the Princess Braganza and of Mrs. Cosmo Hamilton, among others.  Mrs. Hamilton is such a sweet woman, don't you think?"
Princess Alexandra Victoria has a very enthusiastic view of American women.  "They are so free," she said. "They can choose  from so many walks of life.  But in my own country they are becoming that way, too, but not so free as the American women yet.  Do I think the women of New York dress well?  Yes, indeed. But women all over the world dress well today."
She also spoke of her son, Prince Alexander Ferdinand of Prussia,  whom she describes as a "lovely boy, 14 years old and much taller than his mother."  The prince, the only of her first marriage to Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia, is a student at the Potsdam Gymnasium.   Her sister, Princess Helena, who is married to Prince Harold of Denmark, "paints on porcelain and binds books," she said.
The exhibition of Princess's paintings - six water colors and eight oils -- will open to the public tomorrow and remain open for twelve days.
The German consulate noted that the Princess arrived "several weeks ago".  She and her husband signed their passports as Mr and Mrs. Ruemann.    The Princess's mother was a sister of the late Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria.  
Mrs. Ruemann said she "preferred not to discuss the Hohenzollern family" or the war.  She and Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia were divorced shortly after the end of the war.

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