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Friedrich Hermann Schiff

  • Given name:
    Friedrich
  • Middle name:
    Hermann
  • Last name:
    Schiff
  • Alternative names:

    Freddy Schiff; Fred Schiff; Schiff

  • Date of Birth:
    06-11-1908
  • Place of Birth:
    Vienna (AT)
  • Date of Death:
    23-03-1968
  • Place of Death:
    Vienna (AT)
  • Profession:
    ArtistCartoonistDesigner
  • Introduction:

    Friedrich Schiff was an Austrian-born artist who went to Shanghai in 1930. He became known for his humorous cartoons, which were enjoyed by the colonial bourgeoisie.
    Due to his Jewish origins, he was unable to return to Austria after Hitler’s annexation of Austria in 1938. He left Shanghai for Buenos Aires in 1947.

    Word Count: 51

  • Signature Image:
    The North China Daily News?, S. M. L. Sanzetti, Portrait Friedrich Schiff.
  • Content:

    Friedrich Schiff was born in Vienna in 1908. There, he initially attended the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt for two years and then studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste from 1924. Schiff worked as a graphic artist for various newspapers. In 1930, he travelled to Shanghai to visit his cousin Francis Gmehling, who ran an art and antiques shop there and was able to introduce him to the city’s international community. Schiff established himself as an artist and press illustrator and opened a School of Applied Art. His artistic practice evolved around Shanghai’s nightlife and amusement industry which he not only portrayed in his typical slender cartoon style, but also contributed to through elaborate nightclub decorations and adverstisments. Among these venues were the Maskee, Roxy, The Pelican, Maxim, La Cumparsita, Bolero, Blue Peter Bar, DD's and Silk Hat. His cartoons, portraits and other work were published and mentioned in the local press, such as The North China Daily News, The Shanghai Herald, The China Journal, Shanghai Evening Post & Mercury and the Shanghai Daily Tribune.
    He was a member of the Shanghai Cartoonist Club, founded in 1942. He held many shows and took part in group exhibitions in various art spaces, among them The Studio, which was operated by Richard Paulick. At the Shanghai Art Club at the Alliance Française (French Club) he exhibited with the Russian émigré Victor Podgoursky, with whom he also sat on the jury. Other exhibition venues were the Shanghai Art Gallery, Jean Lindsay’s Studio, Elie Art Room and Elite Work Room – all located on Nanking Road (now Nanjing Dong Lu).
    Together with the photographer and journalist Ellen Thorbecke, he created a series of artistic travel and photobooks, among them: Peking Studies, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In 1947, he emigrated to Buenos Aires, where his sister lived. In 1954, Schiff relocated to Vienna with his family, where he worked as a graphic designer for the Vienna advertising department of Unilever and where he died in 1968.

    Word Count: 328

  • Media:
    Paula Eskelund and Friedrich Schiff,Squeezing through! Shanghai Sketches 1941–1945, Hwa Kuo Print. Co, 1945, cover.
    Paula Eskelund and Friedrich Schiff, Squeezing through! Shanghai Sketches 1941–1945, Hwa Kuo Print. Co, 1945. The Japanese officer depicted is Kano Ghoya who ruled despotically and cruelly over the affairs of the ghetto residents.
    Friedrich Schiff, "Hong Kong, a sporting paradise," in Hong Kong Baptist University Library Art Collections, accessed 28/05/2021, https://bcc.lib.hkbu.edu.hk/artcollection/91512504h757t3/. Poster for the Hong Kong Travel Association, 101 x 71 cm, around 1938.
    Friedrich Schiff, "Fly to the Far East B.O.A.C," in Hong Kong Baptist University Library Art Collections, accessed 28/05/2021, https://bcc.lib.hkbu.edu.hk/artcollection/91512504h757t4/. Poster advertising the service of B.O.A.C (now British Airways), 73 x 48 cm, 1940–49.
    Schiff, Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. China. Java-China-Japan Lijn. Het geheimzinnige China. Mysterious China. 1937, cover.
    Schiff, Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Hong Kong. Kelly & Walsh, 1938, cover.
    Friedrich Schiff. Maskee. A Shanghai Sketch Book. The Yellow Hall, Shanghai, 1940, fan fold binding, first page.
    359981b1df7997b0e4a53cc68ed05b53.webpSchiff, Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Shanghai, North China daily News & Herald Ltd., 1941, cover.
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Kaminski, Gerd. Chinesische Zeitgeschichte in Bildern Friedrich Schiffs. Drachenhaus Verlag, 1983.
    Kaminski, Gerd. Der Blick durch die Drachenhaut: Friedrich Schiff: Maler dreier Kontinente. 2001.
    Pan, Lynn. Shanghai Style: Art and Design Between the Wars. Long River Press, 2008.
    Schiff Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Three in One. Peiyang Press, Ltd., 1934.
    Schiff Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Peking Studies. Kelly & Walsh, 1934.
    Schiff Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Het geheimzinnige China: Mysterious China, H.D. Leopolos Uitgeversmaatschappij. 1937.
    Schiff Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Hong Kong. Kelly &Walsh, 1939.
    Schiff, Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Shanghai. North China Daily News, 1941.

    Word Count: 90

  • Archives and Sources:

    Estate of Friedrich Schiff, Österreichisches Institut für China- und Südostasienforschung, Wien.

    Word Count: 13

  • Author:
    Mareike Hetschold
  • Exile:

    Shanghai, China (1933–1948), Buenos Aires, Argentina (1948–53)

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    321 Avenue Petain, French Concession (now Hengshan Lu, Xuhui Qu); 204/206 Edinburgh Road/corner of Avenue Haig, French Concession (now Jiangsu Lu/corner of Huashan Lu, Changning Qu); 22 Rue Paul Henri, French Concession (now Xinle Lu, Xuhui Qu); 220 Szechuan Road, Flat 605 (now Sichuan Zhong Lu, Huangpu Qu); Avenue Road, Lane 1220, House 7, Flat 42 (now Beijing Xi Lu, Jing’an Qu) Shanghai

  • Metropolis:
    Shanghai
  • Mareike Hetschold. "Friedrich Hermann Schiff." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2952/object/5138-8100869, last modified: 14-09-2021.
  • Emma Bormann
    Artist

    Emma Bormann was a pioneering artist and printmaker. Her oeuvre gives witness to her extensive travels around the globe and to the agility and versatility of her artistic rendering of the urban sites she encountered.

    Word Count: 35

    Emma Bormann, Shanghai from YMCA, wood or lino cut, around 1940 (© private collection).
    Emma Bormann, Deutsches Eck [German Corner], wood or lino cut, around 1949 (© private collection).Emma Bormann, Ex Libris Fritz Maas, around 1940, Shanghai (© private collection).Emma Bormann, Great Western Road, wood or lino cut, around 1940 (© private collection).Emma Bormann, Mei Lanfang, wood or lino cut, around 1940 (© private collection).Emma Bormann, Garden Bridge, woodcut or linocut, around 1940, Shanghai (© private collection).Emma Bormann, Foochow Road, wood or lino cut, around 1940, Shanghai (© private collection).Church Missionary Society House, 89 Range Road, Shanghai, around 1915 (© 2008 Peter Lockhart Smith, University of Bristol, Historical Photographs of China, www.hpcbristol.net).
    Shanghai
    Shanghai Life
    Book

    Shanghai Life was the first book published by the newly-founded Shanghai Cartoonist Club (March 7, 1942). The club held its first exhibition in June of the same year, at the Shanghai Art Gallery on Nanking Road (now Nanjing Dong Lu).

    Word Count: 38

    Shanghai Cartoonist Club, Shanghai Life, fist page, 1942.
    L. M. Wann (Wan Laiming), Beggar, detail, Shanghai Life, 1942.Mawoo (Ma Wu/Chen Xiazuo), Twilight comes to Fochow Road,detail, Shanghai Life, 1942. Fochow Road (now Fuzhou Lu) was in the International Settlement, running in East-West direction south and parallel to Nanking Road (now Nanjing Dong Lu), Still today the street is known for its book and calligraphy shops.Minosuke (Kato Minosuke), Nationalist & Internationalist, detail, Shanghai Life, 1942. This cartoon also uses the means of juxtaposition and makes use of the differently connoted variants within one form of dress which is the qipao here. Attributes, body posture and gestures differ accordingly.Noa (Miura Noa), Encounter in Shanghai, detail, Shanghai Life, 1942. The cartoon juxtaposes Japanese and Chinese clothing styles with different connotations. The cartoon juxtaposes Japanese and Chinese clothing styles with different connotations. The gestures and postures of the two figures differ. A concealed and covered body meets an openly posed and uncovered body.Schiff (Friedrich Schiff), Rain, detail, Shanghai Life, 1942. This cartoon shows a highly stylised version of a tall and underweight ‘modern Shanghai girl’ wearing a fashionable very fitted and very high slit qipao. Her body parts are extremely exposed and flaunted by her gesture. She carries small shopping parcels, wears high heels and bright red lipstick instead of clothing appropriate to the climatic conditions.
    Shanghai
    Modern Homes
    Architecture and Furniture Company

    The three firms The Modern Home, Modern Home and Modern Homes existed from 1931 until 1950. Run by the Paulick brothers together with the Jewish emigrant Luedecke, the firms provided work for many emigrants.

    Word Count: 32

    Rudolf Hamburger, interior decoration for The Modern Home, photography (© Hamburger family).
    Advertisement, The Modern Home, 1931.Modern Homes, letterhead, around the late 1940s (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Modern Homes, Tango Bar, interior, photography (© Architekturmuseum der TU Munich, Estate Richard Paulick).Modern Homes, interior, photography, around 1941, pauli-22-1002 (© Architekturmuseum der TU Munich, Estate Richard Paulick). The landscape painting was made by the Austrian artist Friedrich Schiff.
    Shanghai
    Richard Paulick
    ArchitectDesigner

    After studying with Hans Poelzig, Richard Paulick worked in Walter Gropius’s office and frequented the Bauhaus in Dessau before emigrating to Shanghai in 1933. After his return, he became an influential planner and architect in the GDR, from 1950 until his retirement

    Word Count: 41

    Richard Paulick on board ship, en route to exile, photography, 1933. (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick on a weekend boat trip around Shanghai, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick sketches in the landscape, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick (with a pipe) in his office. His brother Rudolf is standing in front of the plan cupboard, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Ye Qianyu, cover print, The Second-class Rail Carriage, Modern Sketch, July 1935.
    Shanghai
    Victor Podgoursky
    ArtistDesignerTeacher

    Victor Podgoursky spent more than twenty-five years in Shanghai, working as an artist, teacher and designer. As a long-standing member of the Shanghai Art Club, he acted as the resident art critic and an instructor in life drawing and painting for the members.

    Word Count: 43

    Victor Podgoursky, photography (© Nikolay Kradin).
    Street plan of the corner of Avenue Dubail and Avenue Joffre, where Podgoursky’s studio was located (© Institut d’Asie Orientale).Interior showing the card room of the French Club, postcard, collection of the author. The murals were made by Victor Podgoursky.Victor Podgoursky, Peking Street Scene, oil painting, 1938 (© Podgourski Family Club).Musicians, oil painting, photographed in Podgoursky’s studio, Shanghai, 1940 (© 2012 Mei-Fang Elrick and Tess Johnston, Historical Photographs of China, www.hpcbristol.net).Victor Podgoursky's studio at 6 Avenue Dubail, 1940, Shanghai (© 2012 Mei-Fang Elrick and Tess Johnston, Historical Photographs of China, www.hpcbristol.net).
    Shanghai