Foerster, Lotte Brand

Full Name: 
Foerster, Lotte Brand
Other Names: 
Lotte Philip Brand Foerster
Date Born: 
1910
Date Died: 
1986
Place Born: 
Altona, Germany; [later greater Hamburg]
Place Died: 
New York, NY, USA
Home Country: 
Germany
Gender: 
female
Institution: 
University of Hamburg
Overview: 

Netherlandish art scholar. Brand was the daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm Brand (1875-1913), a ship owner, and Anna Majud (Brand) (1876-1943). She studied art history, archaeology and history between 1930-34 at the Technische Hochschule in Munich, at Heidelberg (where she attended the lectures of Martin Heidegger) and finally Hamburg. Brand one of a group of a Ph. D. students at the recently founded university in Hamburg studying under Erwin Panofsky, whose number also included William S. Heckscher, Horst Woldemar Janson, Walter W. Horn and Ursula Hoff. In addition to Panofsky, the faculty included Edgar Wind, medievalist Hans Liebeschütz, (1893-1976) and Charles de Tolnay. When all the Jewish faculty of this group were dismissed, Brand remained. A Christian of Jewish extraction, Brand was nevertheless pressured to leave Germany. She moved to Freiburg am Breisgau, writing her dissertation at the Albert-Ludwigs University under Kurt Bauch on the altarpiece of Stefan Lochner, in 1938. Brand worked as a volunteer at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum under Otto H. Foerster, who would become her second husband late in life. In 1941 she emigrated to the United States where she married Herbert L. Philip (b. 1909), a lawyer, who had emigrated to the United States the year before. In the United States, Brand got work as a jewelry designer in Providence, RI. Though well remunerated, she made "design research trips" to Germany after World War II in order to research at history. In 1955 she published the book on Hieronymus Bosch by the publisher Harry N. Abrams. She secured a Fulbright research stipend and in 1957 was a guest lecturer in the Netherlands, a position made possible by her former Hamburg student-colleague, Heckscher. She lectured at Bryn Mawr College in 1959 and then the New School for Social Research in New York. Another Hamburg student-friend, Janson, who now chair at New York University, gave Philip a position teaching survey courses. In 1960 she accepted an appointment at Queens College in Flushing, New York, advancing as associate professor in 1964 and full professor 1969. In 1970 Philip married Foerster, director of the Wallraff-Richartz Museum in Cologne. She became emeritus at Queens in 1980. Her undergraduate students at NYU included the (later) art historian Gary Schwartz. Heckscher described her as a "master scholar."

Selected Bibliography: 

[complete bibliography:] Tribute to Lotte Brand Philip: Art Historian and Detective. New York: Abaris Books, 1985, p. 8; [dissertation:] Stefan Lochners Hochaltar von St. Katharinen zu Köln. Ph.D., Albert-Ludwigs Universität zu Freiburg im Breisgau, 1938, published, Hamburg: Druck A. Preilyper, 1938; Bosch. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1955; The Ghent Altarpiece and the Art of Jan van Eyck. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971; Das neu entdeckte Bildnis von Dürers Mutter. Nuremberg: Stadtgeschichtliche Museen Nürnberg, 1981.

Sources: 

Wendland, Ulrike. Biographisches Handbuch deutschsprachiger Kunsthistoriker im Exil: Leben und Werk der unter dem Nationalsozialismus verfolgten und vertriebenen Wissenschaftler. Munich: Saur, 1999, vol. 1, pp. 64-6: Contemporary Authors: 77-80: 147; Tribute to Lotte Brand Philip: Art Historian and Detective. New York: Abaris Books, 1985, pp. 9-13.

Contributors: 
Lee Sorensen