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Kurz, Hilde

    Full Name: Kurz, Hilde

    Other Names:

    • Hilde Schüller

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 22 February 1910

    Date Died: 26 March 1981

    Place Born: Vienna, Vienna state, Austria

    Place Died: London, Greater London, England, UK

    Home Country/ies: Austria

    Subject Area(s): art theory and Vienna School

    Institution(s): Universität Wien


    Private scholar who worked extensively with husband Otto Kurz to produce publications on a variety of art historical topics. Hilde Kurz was born as Hilde Schüller in Vienna to parents Richard Schüller (1870-1972), a lawyer, doctor, and professor, and Emma Rosenthal (Schüller) (1880-1968). Hilda Schüller studied at Mädchenrealgymnasium in Josefstadt, Vienna, where she received her Abitur in 1928. In the same year, she began her studies in art history and archaeology at the University of Vienna (“Vienna School”), under professors like Julis Schlosser, Hans Tietze, and Karl Swoboda. Schüller took one semester off her studies at University of Vienna to study in Frankfurt. In 1933, she graduated and published her dissertation under Schlosser, titled Die Entwicklung der altniederländischen Tafelmalerei und Tapisserie von 1475 bis 1495 (The development of Old Netherlandish panel painting and tapestry from 1475 to 1495).

    After earning her degree, Schüller completed a traineeship at the Albertina Collection of Prints and Drawings in Vienna. In 1937, she married Otto Kurz, a fellow art historian. Due to her Jewish heritage, Kurz was persecuted on “racial grounds” in the same year, and was thus forced to flee the country and emigrate to England. In the years following her arrival in England, Kurz worked mainly on her husband’s research. She published a larger essay of her own in 1952, titled Italian models of Hogarth’s picture stories

    Kurz experienced a significant health scare in 1952, which resulted in her undergoing brain surgery. She then developed hemiplegia and loss of speech. Kurz was taken care of by her husband in their home, against the recommendations of doctors. Regardless of a drastic decline in her health, Kurz still published works in the years following her brain surgery. In 1958, a joint work of hers written with Otto Kurz, titled “A bibliography of the writings of Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze – Conrat” in Feststhrift  Hans Tietze, was published. Another joint essay between the two was published in 1972, titled The Turkish dresses in the costume-book of Rubens. As of 1979, Kurz lived in London, but her whereabouts afterwards are indeterminable up until her death in 1981.

    Selected Bibliography

    • [dissertation:] Die Entwicklung der altniederländischen Tafelmalerei und Tapisserie von 1475 bis 1495. Vienna, 1933;
    • ”Italian Models of Hogarth’s Picture Stories.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 15 (1952): 136-168;
    • and Kurz, Otto. “A bibliography of the writings of Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze – Conrat.” Essays in honor of Hans Tietze, 1880-1954. New York: Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1958,  pp. 439-359;
    • and Kurz, Otto. “The Turkish Dresses in the Costume-book of Rubens.” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 23 (1972): 275-290;


    • 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. 351-355;
    • Nyburg, Anny.” ’’Dein großer Brief war ein Ereignis’: The Private and Professional Correspondence of the Refugee Art Historians Hilde and Otto Kurz”, in: Hammel, Andrea, ed. Anthony Grenville: Refugee Archives: Theory and Practice. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007, pp. 123-139;
    • ”Dr. Hilde Schüller.” Hohems Genealogy (website)

    Contributors: Helen Jennings


    Helen Jennings. "Kurz, Hilde." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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