Hannes Richter

Lisel Salzer (1906 - 2005)

Hannes Richter

Lisel Salzer, Austrian-born artist, died on December 6, 2005 at the age of ninety-nine. Recognition became her due when she was rediscovered at the age of ninety-six. She was not only honored with a museum exhibition in Austria but received the Cross of Merit in Gold.

As the only child of a German-speaking father from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and a Turkish-born mother, Lisel Salzer began her life in Vienna as a professional artist at the age of twenty-three with two of her paintings accepted in the Vienna Secession. During that time, her paintings were exhibited at the Würthle Gallery, which also represented Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Together with other artists, she was part of the Zinkenbacher Artist Colony, a group of painters from the 1920s and 30s, representing some of the most famous painters in Austria from 1925 to 1938. Many years later, she was discovered by an Austrian art historian who claimed her to be the last survivor of the group. In 2002 several art historians from her native country founded a museum in St. Gilgen, Austria, to pay homage to that special group that fled the Nazis, the so-called “lost generation,” as Salzer called them - “because most of them had to leave the country.”

Lisel Salzer worked as an enamellist, recreating the formula, Limoges Enamel - fused glass on copper, a lost art revived again in the 1930s. She was also known for her portraits and had a number of solo exhibitions, including two at the Frye Art museum in Seattle.