1898, Preussisch-Holland, (now Pełsak in Poland)1993, Kalmar, Schweden



Lotte Laserstein was born on 28 Nov in Prussian Holland (East Prussia today Pełsak, Poland). She is the eldest daughter of the wealthy pharmacist Hugo Laserstein and his wife Meta, née Birnbaum.


After the death of her father, Lotte Laserstein moves to Danzig with her mother and sister Käte. From then on, they lead a joint household with her grandmother Ida Birnbaum and her aunt, the painter Elsa Birnbaum.


Lotte Laserstein has her first art lessons in the private painting school of her aunt Elsa Birnbaum.


The family moves to Berlin.


Lotte Laserstein graduates from high school and enrols at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Berlin to study philosophy and art history. At the same time, she attends a school for applied art.

1920 - 1921

Private art lessons with Leo von König.

1921 - 1927

Studies at the Akademische Hochschule für die bildenden Künste (from 1924 Vereinigte Staatsschulen für freie und angewandte Kunst) in Berlin with Erich Wolfsfeld, from 1925 to 1927 as his master student.

1922 - 1924

The family loses a large part of their fortune during the inflation years. To finance her studies Lotte Laserstein works temporarily as an illustrator and commercial artist.


Lotte Laserstein receives the so-called Minister's Medal of the Prussian Ministry for Science, Art and National Education for special artistic achievements. She meets her future model Traute Rose.


Lotte Laserstein moves into her first own studio at Friedrichsruher Str. 33a, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, where she also sets up a private painting school.

1928 - 1931

Lotte Laserstein takes part in 22 exhibitions in Germany and successfully participates in various competitions.


The magistrate of the city of Berlin purchases the painting "Im Gasthaus".


Lotte Laserstein becomes a member of the Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen (Association of Berlin Women Artists), where she is also a member on the board and the jury.


Solo exhibition at the Gurlitt Gallery, Berlin.

1931 - 1935

In the summer months Laserstein travels extensively with her students to the countryside.

From 1933

As a Jew, Laserstein is no longer given exhibition opportunities. She is dismissed from the board of the Association of Berlin Women Artists.


As she is not a member of the Reich Chamber of Culture, she has no access to painting materials; her private painting school is closed. She is employed as an art teacher at Helene Zickel's Jewish private school. Private exhibition at the home of Gertrude Weil, Berlin, organised by the Jewish Cultural Association.


Lotte Laserstein emigrates to Sweden. December: solo exhibition at the Galerie Moderne, Stockholm


In order to obtain Swedish citizenship Lotte Laserstein enters into a marriage of convenience with Sven Marcus, with whom, however, she does not live.


Meta Laserstein dies in the Ravensbrück concentration camp; Laserstein's sister escapes persecution by going into hiding and survives in a Berlin hiding place.


Acquisition of a summer cottage on the island of Öland.


Moves from Stockholm to the southern Swedish town of Kalmar/Småland. In the late 1950s and 1960s Laserstein travels extensively to France, Italy and Spain as well as Switzerland and the USA.


Lotte Laserstein becomes a member of the Swedish National Organisation of Artists, the Konstnärernas Riksorganisation.


Awarded the Culture Prize of the city Kalmar.


Solo exhibition "Lotte Laserstein. Paintings and Drawings from German and Sweden, 1920-1970" at Agnew's and The Belgrave Gallery, London 4 Nov. - 4 Dec.


Group exhibition at Agnew's, London together with the works of her teacher Erich Wolfsfeld and her pupil Gottfried Meyer.


Lotte Laserstein dies on 21 January in Kalmar at the age of 94.

Solo Exhibitions


"Lotte Laserstein – Meine einzige Wirklichkeit“, Das Verborgene Museum Berlin, in cooperation with the Museum Ephraim Palais, Berlin 07 Nov. 2003 - 01 Feb. 2004


"Lotte Laserstein. Face to Face", Städel Museum, Frankfurt 19 Sep. 2018 - 17 Mar. 2019 / Berlinische Galerie, Museum für moderne Kunst, Berlin 5 Apr. - 12 Aug. 2019 / Kunsthalle zu Kiel 21 Sep. 2019 - 19 Jan. 2020

Public Collections

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

Fondation Beyeler

Das verborgene Museum, Berlin

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin

Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

National Portrait Gallery, London

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, GB

Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Malmö Konstmuseum, Schweden

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Schweden

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Nationalmuseum, Stockholm