Lotte Laserstein

Lotte Laserstein


Artist Details

Birth Place
Preussich Holland, East Prussia (now Pasłęk, Poland)
Death Place
Kalmar, Sweden
Phonetic Spelling
LOH-tuh lah-ow-zerr-SH-(T-EYE-N)
Decorative and utilitarian works; Drawings and prints; Painting
Places of Residence
Berlin; Stockholm
Akademische Hochschule für die bildenden Künste, Berlin, 1921–27; Private lessons, Berlin, 1920–21; Friedrich Wilhelm University, Berlin, ca. 1918–19
Retrospective Exhibitions

Lotte Laserstein 1898–93: Meine einzige Wirklichkeit / My Only Reality,; Das Vernorgenen Museum e.V. in cooperation with Stadtmuseum Berlin, Museum Ephraim-Palais, Berlin, 2003–04; Lotte Laserstein: Paintings and Drawings from Germany and Sweden, 1920–1970, Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd. and the Belgrave Gallery, London, 1987

NMWA Exhibitions

Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987–1997, 1997–98
Four Centuries of Women's Art: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1990–91

About the Artist

Painter Lotte Laserstein, who moved to Sweden when her career in Germany was thwarted by Nazism, gained prominence in the European art world for her realist portraiture style.

After her initial art training in a school run by one of her aunts in Berlin, Laserstein became one of the few female students at the prestigious Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. She studied there from 1919 through 1925.

Laserstein became an accomplished realist painter, winning the Academy’s gold medal for her work. She soon had her own pupils, and her first solo exhibition at a Berlin gallery in 1930 garnered critical praise. To supplement her income, Laserstein took various jobs making decorative art and, most significantly, illustrating an anatomy text.

Despite her increasing success, the rise of Nazism in Germany began to affect Laserstein’s life. Because her paternal grandfather had been Jewish, Laserstein’s mother’s apartment and many of her valuables were confiscated by the state. It became difficult for Laserstein to find artists’ materials, and in 1935 she was forced to close her studio.

In 1937, Laserstein moved to Stockholm, where she remained for the rest of her life. She became a member of the Swedish Academy of Arts and developed a reputation as a popular and respected portraitist. 

National Museum of Women in the Arts