Archive

Start Over

Hans Jacoby

  • Given name:
    Hans
  • Last name:
    Jacoby
  • Alternative names:

    Yang Ku Ba; Hans Jacobi

  • Date of Birth:
    06-11-1900
  • Place of Birth:
    Dresden (DE)
  • Date of Death:
    28-10-1074
  • Place of Death:
    Miami (US)
  • Profession:
    Artist
  • Introduction:

    Hans Jacoby fled in 1938 to the Netherlands, where he was interned by the Dutch government in Hook of Holland. He was able to leave the camp and arrived, together with his wife Emma Jacoby, in Shanghai in 1940 where he continued to work as an artist.

    Word Count: 45

  • Signature Image:
    Photograph, Hans Jacoby, 1940, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
  • Content:

    Hans Jacoby and his doctor wife Emma landed in Shanghai in 1941 where Emma Jacoby’s sister Gertrude Loewenrosen and her husband Siegfried L. Loewenrosen awaited them. Shortly after their arrival they were able to buy a house in a higher standard Shanghainese alleyway settlement. Unlike the majority of the European-Jewish refugees, their first residence was located outside foreign territory, in Columbia Road in the western district extension. The area around Columbia Road, also known as Columbia Circle had been subjected to a generous building development plan in the 1920s and housed many luxurious garden villas of which several were designed by the émigré architect L. E. Hudec. Emma Jacoby continued to work as a doctor and set up her own medical practice in the city centre while Hans Jacoby continued to work as an artist. Thanks to the war and the deteriorating living standards of many Shanghai residents, their first residence, which was beyond the reach of the settlement police, became unsafe. Their second residence was located close to and the third residence was located in the International Settlement. Hans Jacoby’s life in Shanghai is exceptionally well documented and available to the public as he donated his diaries, memoirs and documents, as well as a number of artworks, to the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. Thus, the following short text is largely based on his accounts. He wrote about his artistic routines and subjects and the networks he established in Shanghai, as well as about his encounters with local residents. Hans and Emma Jacoby were among the very few to learn Chinese seriously and establish contacts and friendships from among the Chinese community, who were to provide a great deal of support during the harsh war years and the couple's internment in the so-called Shanghai Ghetto. Before their forced relocation to a small room in Hongkou, they lived at three different addresses. Finding accommodation in Hongkou proved to be very difficult. The "Designated Area" was already densely populated and housing had been scarce before. Among Hans Jacoby's international acquaintances and friends were the architects Rudolf Hamburger and Richard Paulick, the sinologist and Asian language scholar Willy Tonn, who founded and ran the Asia Seminar in Hongkou, the journalist Alfred Dreifuß, Lothar Nagel their Chinese teacher, the later ARTA artists, the art dealer Armand Grosz, the art historian Lothar Brieger-Wasservogel and the photographer Hermann Schieberth. Hamburger and Paulick introduced Jacoby to local artists and students and Jacoby makes mention of his acquaintanceship with Chen Chi (1912–2005), who taught at St. John’s University in Shanghai (1942–1946) and emigrated in 1947 to the United States, where he pursued his artistic career. In his Shanghai records, Jacoby frequently mentioned his friend and student Mr. Wu. For safety reasons he used various aliases for persons he feared to compromise in his private writings. According to Jacobi Mr. Wu’s real name was Koo Bun Sun. According to his notes he had to be a member of the wealthy local elite. It was him who provided Hans Jacoby with his Chinese name. Armand Grosz’s alias was Professor Klein. Jacoby's records, which in part sound like fiction, refer to Professor Klein in the context of dubious art business practices, the British Secret Service and Ignaz Trebitsch Lincoln who was seen in in the so-called Shanghai Ghetto at that time. However, Grosz activities in the art field in Shanghai can be traced. Paulick, through whom Jacobi made Grosz's acquaintance, organised an exhibition of artworks by the artist Lesser Ury (1861–1931) in the rooms of Modern Homes. A Sotheby's auction of Israeli and International Art on 16 December 2008 in New York lists a pastel painting by Lesser Ury called House by a Lake. The following is given as provenance: “Lucie and Leo Meyerheim by descent from the estate of the artist, 1931 Professor Armand Grosz, Shanghai, circa 1939 (purchased from the above) Fritz and Adelaide Kauffman, Shanghai, circa 1944 purchased from the above) Donated to the present owner from the above, 1999.” The exhibition was apparently well received, at least a short time later a newspaper article appeared reporting on the latest fashion to decorate one's living space in the signature colors of Lesser Ury's paintings.
    Hans Jacoby reports that he bought his artistic supplies at the Wing One department store and via a friend who had a small business in Hongkou. This friend's last name was Kuttner and he died on May 14 in 1942 during one of many pandemic outbreaks due to the lack of proper nutrition and healthcare. When art supplies became scarce and the price inflated, Jacoby sometimes was provided with material by his clients, such as Paulick or Grosz, but his commissions became fewer.
    Despite the precarious, constricted and health damaging circumstances in the so-called Shanghai Ghetto, Hans and Emma Jacoby each managed to pursue their professions. With ongoing inflation, food shortages, increasing war activity and air raids, the situation became intense. The climate – heat, humidity, floods and icy winds – also took their toll. Throughout his time in Shanghai, Hans Jacoby’s art reflects his interest in local culture and religion. He observed street life and its social logistics, as well as the social logistics that shaped its protagonists. Like almost all foreign artists he portrayed the Rishka people, monks and street vendors. As an ARTA member and a Jewish artist at the Russian-Jewish Club, he took part in a few exhibitions organised by Paulick. In 1947, Hans and Emma Jacoby emigrated to the United States, to Massapequa, Long Island, and later settled in Miami in 1968.

    Word Count: 914

  • Media:
    Hans Jacoby, Chinese Theatre Masks, oil on canvas, 66,6 x 58 cm, Shanghai, 1941, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Portrait of Willy Tonn, painting by Hans Jacoby, photography, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Hans Jacoby, Portrait of Bao Bao, oil on canvas, 60.2 x 50 cm around 1940 [probably 1943 or later], Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Asia Seminar, programme, winter semester 1943/44, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Asia Seminar, card of Hans Jacoby, winter semester 1943/44, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Hans Jacoby, drawing of religious figure, Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Ernst Handl, Self Portrait, drawing, 15 September 1943, Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
  • Archives and Sources:

    Leo Back Institute, New York, Hans Jacoby Collection

    Word Count: 8

  • Author:
    Mareike Hetschold
  • Exile:

    Shanghai, China (1941–1947), USA

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Columbia Road, Western District Extension, (now Panyu Lu, Changning Lu); Yu Yuan Road, Western District Extension (now Changning Qu); Seymour Road, International Settlement (now Shaanxi Bei Lu, Putuo Qu); 519 Tongshan Road, Hongkou (now Tangshan Lu, Hongkou Qu), Shanghai (residence, studio, doctor practice) Shanghai

  • Metropolis:
    Shanghai
  • Mareike Hetschold. "Hans Jacoby." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2952/object/5138-8103922, last modified: 15-09-2021.
  • David Ludwig Bloch
    Artist

    David Ludwig Bloch is known for his paintings and watercolours revolving around the Holocaust and his exile. With the woodcuts from his time in exile in Shanghai, Bloch created an artistic account of everyday life in the city, while harvesting the simplicity of form and colour of the medium.

    Word Count: 49

    David Ludwig Bloch, Rickshaw, book of woodcuts, cover, ink on paper, 20 cm x 14 cm, 1945, Taiping Yinshua Gongsi, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    David Ludwig Bloch, Invitation to Bloch's exhibition of watercolors, linotype, 16.5 x 25 cm, 1941, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).David Ludwig Bloch, Shanghai Soldier, woodcut, ink on paper, 53.3 cm x 76.2 cm, 1942, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).David Ludwig Bloch, Chinese Street Scene–Shanghai, hand colored woodcut, matted with Chinese silk, Shanghai 1945 (© United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of David L. Bloch).David Ludwig Bloch, Shanghai Street, woodcut, hand tinted, matted with Chinese silk, framed in gilded bamboo, 105 x 27 cm, 1945, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York). This print was signed for Hans Jacoby.David Ludwig Bloch, Shanghai, Street Scene, watercolor on paper, 39 x 57 cm, 1949, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).David Ludwig Bloch, Yin and Yang, book of 48 woodcuts, street scene, ink on paper, 21,1 x 18,4 cm, 1948, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).David Ludwig Bloch, Yin and Yang, book of 48 woodcuts, Wing Hon Coffin Co., ink on paper, 21,1 x 18,4 cm, 1948, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).David Ludwig Bloch, Yin and Yang, book of 48 woodcuts, Race Course, ink on paper, 21,1 x 18,4 cm, 1948, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York). While many of Block's prints show details and small sections of street life, this is one of those that capture a wide urban space from an elevated perspective. This print is reminiscent of those by Emma Bormann.Sax-Darnous. "Houang Pao Tch'ô." Revue National Chinoise, vol. 22, no. 156, 1946, pp. 56–57. This article was published on the occasion of Bloch's book Rickshaw.Future, vol. 1, no. 12, January 1948, series 5, printed materials, 1939–1988, Future, 1948, John and Harrier Isaack papers (© United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of John and Harriet Isaack). Published by the Shanghai Jewish Youth Community Center. Cover lettering print by John Isaack, cover print by David Ludwig Bloch. Last issue “our magazine has served as a binding link between those of our members who have gone abroad and those who will remain in Shanghai.”
    Shanghai
    Hermann Schieberth
    PhotographerArt dealer

    Hermann Schieberth was a successful photographer who had two studios in Austria (from 1909/10? onwards): one in Vienna and the other in Kaltenleutgeben. Due to his Jewish background he had to flee in 1938 and arrived in Shanghai in 1939.

    Word Count: 37

    Advertisement, Photo-Studio Prof. H Schieberth, Shanghai Jewish Chronicle, 1943, p. V.
    Die Schönheit – mit Bildern geschmückte Zeitschrift für Kunst und Leben, vol. 3, no. 3, cover.Peter Landow. Natur und Kultur. Das Weib. Buchverlag der Gesellschaft zur Verbreitung klassischer Kunst, Berlin 1925.Hermann Schieberth, Akt, photo heliogravure, 23 × 31 cm, 1925.Hermann Schieberth. Oskar Kokoschka als Kriegs-Freiwilliger im k. u. k. Drag.-Reg, Nr 15 (Oskar Kokoschka as a war volunteer), silver bromid.Hermann Schieberth, Photographer Karl Schenker in aviator outfit, 1919.Rosholt Malcom, Hamilton House, around 1937 (© 2012 Mei-Fei Elrick and Tess Johnston, Historical Photographs of China, University of Bristol, www.hpcbristol.net).Rosholt Malcom, Metropole Hotel from the window of Hamilton House, around 1937 (© 2012 Mei-Fei Elrick and Tess Johnston, Historical Photographs of China, University of Bristol, www.hpcbristol.net).Emma Bormann, Foochow Road, wood or lino cut, around 1940, Shanghai (© private collection).Advertisement, Kunst-Salon, Shanghai Jewish Chronicle, 28 May 1943, p. 4. This advertisement informs that the Art Salon still has the same address. The deadline for the forced move to the so-called Shanghai Ghetto was 15 May 1943, the advertisement appeared in the Shanghai Jewish Chronicle on 28 May 1943.
    Shanghai
    Association of Jewish Artists and Fine Art Lovers (ARTA)
    Association

    Seven Jewish artists living in the so-called Shanghai Ghetto joined together to form an art association in 1943. The founding members were: David Ludwig Bloch, Paul Fischer, Fred Fredden Goldberg, Ernst Handl, Max Heimann, Hans Jacoby and Alfred Mark.

    Word Count: 38

    Advertisement, First ARTA Exhibition,Jüdisches Nachrichtenblatt, 4 March 1944, vol. 5, no. 9, p. 4. Entrance was free of charge. An entrance ticket authorised the residents of the designated area to leave it in order to get to the exhibition venue at the S.Y.Y.A. School at East Yuhuang Road, which was only a short distance away.
    ARTA, ticket, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).C. H. Gonda, Shanghai Jewish School, drawing, 1931, Seymour Road, Shanghai. Venue of the first ARTA exhibition in 1944.C. H. Gonda, Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co., drawing, 1930, Nanking Road, Shanghai. Venue of the second ARTA exhibition in 1944.Jewish School, photograph, 14 January 1931, Seymour Road, Shanghai.Ernst Handl, Self Portrait, drawing, 15 September 1943, Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Advertisement, Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co., Shanghai Woche, no. 1, 5 April 1939, p. 4.W. F. (Wolfgang Fischer) “Das Werden der Emigrantenwirtschaft und ihre Pioniere. Fred Fredden-Goldberg – Ein juedischer Maler.“ Shanghai Woche, no. 13, 4 September 1942, p. 4.Catalogue, ARTA 2nd Exhibition, front, Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co., 22–27 May 1944, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Catalogue, ARTA 2nd Exhibition, double page, Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co., 22–27 May 1944, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Catalogue, ARTA 2nd Exhibition, back, Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co., 22–27 May 1944, Shanghai, David Ludwig Bloch Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Shanghai
    Asia Seminar
    University / Higher Education Institute / Research Institute

    The Asia Seminar was run by the scholar Willy Tonn (1902–1945), who founded it in 1943 and enriched the cultural and scholarly life in the so-called Shanghai Ghetto during the harsh wartime period.

    Word Count: 31

    Portrait of Willy Tonn, painting by Hans Jacoby, photography, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Hans Jacoby, Portrait of Bao Bao, oil on canvas, 60.2 x 50 cm around 1940 [probably 1943 or later], Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Asia Seminar, programme, winter semester 1943/44, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Asia Seminar, card of Hans Jacoby, winter semester 1943/44, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).“Eroeffnung des ‘Asia Seminar’.“Juedisches Nachrichtenblatt, 18 February 1944, vol. 5, no. 7, p. 5.“Eroeffnung des Asia Seminars.” Shanghai Echo, 25 August 1946, p. 7.
    Shanghai
    St. John’s University
    University / Higher Education Institute / Research Institute

    In the first half of the 20th century, St. John’s University in Shanghai was an important Protestant university under American leadership. During the 1940s, German emigrants also taught there, after British and American university lecturers were interned in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Word Count: 48

    St. John’s University S.Y Hall with clock tower, photography (© Eduard Kögel 2004).
    Former administration building of St. John’s University, photography (© Eduard Kögel 2004).Mary Lamperton. St. John’s University Shanghai. New York, United Board of Christian Colleges in China, 1955. An overview of St. John’s University around 1950.Student exhibition put on by Richard Paulick’s architecture class, photography, 1947 (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick, letterhead 1948, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).
    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
    Hubertus Court
    Print

    The print was made by the artist Emma Bormann during her exile in Shanghai in the 1940s.The title suggest that the print offers a bird’s eye view from the Hubertus Court building.

    Word Count: 34

    Emma Bormann, Hubertus Court, lino cut or wood cut, around 1940, Shanghai (© private collection).
    Emma Bormann, Deutsches Eck [German Corner], wood or lino cut, around 1949 (© private collection).Emma Bormann, Great Western Road, wood or lino cut, around 1940 (© private collection).Schiff, Friedrich and Ellen Thorbecke. Shanghai. North China Daily News & Herald Ltd., Shanghai, 1941.
    Shanghai