HANNELORE BARON

German/American (1926-1987)

UNTITLED (C78 170), 1978
mixed media collage
10 ¾ x 8 ½ inches

BIOGRAPHY

1926
Hannelore Alexander born in Dillingen, Germany on June 8 to Julius and Friedel
Alexander. The family lives at 9 Huttenwerkstrasse where her parents have a small
fabric shop.

1928
Brother Hans is born.

1936
Jewish children were expelled from the local school, Hannelore and her brother attend
a special Jewish school in Saarbrucken.

1938
November 9 (Kristalnacht) German citizens, responding to a national campaign,
formed vigilante groups and destroyed Jewish homes and shops. Baron witnessed
the destruction of her home and the beating of her father with a hammer. The family,
fearful of the mob’s return hid in their attic. Later the same night police took
Hannelore's father into custody and he was later imprisoned in Dachau.
At the suggestion of the local police Baron's mother with the two children joined
other Jews to cross the border into France by foot on a designated night. The same
police, waiting at the border, arrest the group and Baron's mother is jailed in Saarlouis.
Baron and her brother are sent to stay with the one remaining Jewish family
in Dillingen.

Later Baron is allowed to re-enter the house with an S.S. officer to get a wintercoat.
The sight of the house with it's furniture destroyed and her father's bloody handprints
on the walls is traumatic.

Mid December both parents are released by showing fake Greek visas and
promising a quick emigration. Baron and her brother are sent to stay with an Aunt in
Luxembourg, their parents join them later.

1940
Hannelore completes primary school in Walferdange, Luxembourg.

1941
Family travels by bus to Paris, then by train to Lisbon. In June, family boards the ship
Mouzinho in Lisbon to sail to New York. Upon arrival, the family lives with Baron's aunt
and uncle in the Bronx. Her father works as a dish-washer, then a carpenter. Her
mother works in an orphanage as a seamstress. Hannelore is enrolled in Straubenmuller
Textile High School in New York.

1945
Graduates high school. She began painting in casein and oil paint, and making pencil
drawings. She also becomes very interested in Chinese philosophy, Buddhism and Taoism
for the next five years.

1946
Hannelore is employed by Hearn's department store. Beginning of her claustrophobia
which leads to first nervous breakdown.

1947
Meets Herman T. Baron (who she will marry 3 years later). She began painting still life
and landscape paintings, first abstract paintings.

1950
Marries Herman T. Baron on 16 April. He is the proprietor of a small bookshop in the
Bronx. They move into an apartment nearby.

1952
Daughter Julie born.

1956
Son Mark born. Father dies.

1960
Begins to work with collage.

1962
Begins to receive reparation money from the German government.

1964
Begins to make collages with watercolor, found paper and ink.

1965
Became increasingly interested in Italian culture and eventually learns to speak Italian
fluently. Immersed in Italian literature, music, movies, cooking, etc. She develops an interest
in Catholicism and occasionally visits the local church to light candles for Saint
Anthony who she considers her patron saint.

1968
Produces first wood assemblages.

1969
Produces large cloth collages (most of which were later destroyed), collages with crumpled
paper. Exhibition at Ulster County Community College.

1970
Moves to house in Riverdale where Baron will live the rest of her life and where, in the
attic, she establishes an art studio for the first time.

1972
Produces small collages with watercolor on canvas. Hudson River Museum purchases
a work.

1973
First cancer operation (mastectomy) and beginning of third nervous breakdown. Solo
exhibition at Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY.

1977
First of four solo exhibitions at Kathryn Markel Gallery, New York, NY.

1978
Second cancer operation (removal of part of one lung) and began three years of
chemotherapy.

1981
Solo exhibition at Albright-Knox, Buffalo, New York. First solo exhibition at
Gallery Schlesinger-Boisante where Baron would have ten exhibitions between

1981 and 1990.

1982
Solo exhibition in Moderne Galerie des Saarland-Museums, Saarbrucken, Germany.
Third cancer operation (hysterectomy). Baron rejects her doctor’s suggestion
of one year of chemotherapy and begins strict macrobiotic diet in an
attempt to cure her cancer.

1984
Cancer returns and Baron ends macrobiotic diet and resumes chemotherapy.

1987
Dies of cancer in April.

1989
Retrospective Exhibition at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.