Else v. Freytag-Loringhoven Chronology

Else Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven
Plötz - Endell - Greve, 1902-1911 - Freytag-Loringhoven, 1913-1927
A Chronology in Three Parts

Death Mask, Dec. 1927
(Transition, Feb. 1928)
©gd, June 2005

compiled, with notes, by Gaby Divay

©2011, rev.  2020

pre-Greve (1890s-1902)   Else & FPG (1902- 1911)    post-Greve (1912-1927)

Else Plötz / Else Endell
  • 1874[1]
    12 July: Else Hildegard Plötz is born in Swinemünde (now in Poland; until 1945 a German seaport)
    - August: Baptism, Lutheran Church
    - Greve will cover her childhood in his second novel about her life in 1907.

  • BERLIN, 1890–1895
    Else moves in Berlin to live with her maternal aunt Elise Kleist, who owns a variety shop in fashionable Leipzigerstrasse
  • 1890/91
    Attends the Königlich-Preussische Kunstschule
    - Models for Henry de Vry's "Living Sculptures" at the Wintergarten in Berlin, and also in Halle and Leipzig
    - Works as a chorus girl at Berlin's Central Theater
    - Meets artist Melchior Lechter and becomes part of his circle orbiting the "Pope of Poets" Stefan George
    - Has a stormy affair with playwright Ernst Hardt
  • 1898-1899
    Travels platonically with Hardt's affluent friend, the sculptor and photographer Richard Schmitz, in Switzerland and Italy
    - Brief affair with Richard's brother, the writer Oscar A. H. Schmitz in Sorrento
  • 1899–1900
    Models, designs, and paints in Rome, with Richard Schmitz' support
  • 1900-1901
    She becomes a student in Dachau's artists' colony
    - Takes lessons with Adolf Hölzel and the Jugendstil architect August Endell
    - With Endell, she frequents Karl Wolfskehl's avant-garde circles in Munich's bohemian district Schwabing
  • Summer 1901
    - Else returns to Berlin
    - 22 August: Marries August Endell; they settle in the affluent Wannsee district
    - November: Opening of Wolzogen's Buntes Theater, designed by Endell
    - December: The Endells travel to Italy (until early 1902)
  • 1902
    - February: On their way back from Italy, Else meets her husband's friend Felix Paul Greve at Wolfskehl's hospitable home in Munich's Bohemian district Schwabing
    She is dazzled by his dandy-like elegance
    - Mid-October: Greve settles in Berlin, where he is soon a frequent visitor at the Endells'
    - November: Else is on her "womb-squeeze excursion" to Dr. Gmelin's sanatorium on the Frisian island Föhr. It had been designed and built by Endell in 1898
    - She writes poetry inspired by Greve, he writes to her, and sends her his translation of Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (Bunbury)
    - At Christmas, Else and Greve become lovers

  • Else & Felix, 1902/3-1911

  • 1903
    - late January: The doubly betrayed Endell accompanies the adulterous pair to Hamburg, where they all embark on a steamer bound for Palermo. In Naples, he is left behind with a consolation bicycle
    - February–March-April: Bliss time in Palermo, Via Lincoln 83
    - May: Greve travels to Bonn on business -- he is arrested on arrival, tried, and sentenced to one year in prison for defrauding his friend Kilian for the enormous sum of M10,000
  • 1903-1904
    - Before and during his prison term, Greve wrote essays on Oscar Wilde. The second marks a clear turning-point in his aesthetic preferences. [2]
    - From now on, the austere Flaubert is his new role model
    - He pursues his career as a literary translator in earnest: Gide, H. G. Wells, Meredith, and Swinburne are among the contemporary authors he introduces to the German public
    - Initially, he translates for Bruns publishers, but soon he makes arrangements with other establishments, like the Insel, as well
    - Else describes her situation in Palermo with these words:
    "I had now, of course, very little money, often none at all. But always Felix contrived to get me some. .... for he started his career as translator that year in jail. He made contracts with his editor, bought himself the rights to do his own work in jail, bribed the keepers cleverly, and came out after a year a man well-started in his career, with a highly promising future." (AB Pt. 15: On Desertion [ts 94/95])
  • 1904
    - January: Endell's divorce proceedings are filed in Berlin. They would not be settled until early 1907
    - Spring: Else settles in Rome, Piazza d'Espagna
    - Late May: She reunites with Greve in Cologne
    She reads drafts of Greve's future books about her life
    - early June: Just a few days after his release, Greve visits André Gide in Paris. Gide records his impressions, and publishes them in 1919 as
            "Conversation avec un Allemand"
    Before leaving. Greve asks Gide where he can get Henna for Else
    - mid-June: Greve - perhaps, with Else? - travels to England to visit H. G. Wells for the first time, and stays in London's Arundel Hotel
    - July: Else and Greve move to Wollerau, near Zürich in Switzerland, where they reside in the beautifully situated Hôtel Bellevue. They will remain there until mid-1905
    - October: Greve writes to Gide, describing his multilayered "Fanny Essler" plans
    Under this joint pseudonym, Greve and Else publish an accomplished Petrarchan poetry cycle in Die Freistatt, 1904/5:
          "Gedichte" (2x) - "Drei Sonette: ein Porträt" - "Gedichte" (2x)
    In a wing-altar structure, Else/Fanny describes in four narrative poems, how she misses her unnamed, absent lover Greve in "Tunis" (Palermo, mid-1903), and "Husum" (the Frisian island Föhr, late 1902). In the center, she erects him a timeless and static "Portrait"-Monument in three sonnets.
  • 1905
    - Greve publishes his first novel about Else's experiences in Berlin and Munich with the title Fanny Essler
    It is a both a roman-à-clef and an imitation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary
    - June: The couple move to Paris-Plage / Étaples in Northern France where they live in the Châlet Odette Alexandre until early 1906
    - Convenient day-trips to England across the Channel are possible from Étaples to the ferry harbour Folkestone
    - H. G. Wells' stately home at Sandgate is a mere mile from there
  • 1906, February:
    - The couple move back to Berlin, Fasanenstrasse 42, Berlin-Charlottenburg, not far from August Endell's address
    - Greve, over the next three-and-a-half years, will produce an enormous amount of literary classics in German translation. He now deals mostly with the Insel Publishers
    - There is much talk about Greve's comedy Der heimliche Adel. It is uncertain if it was ever staged or published
    - June: They have moved to Nachodstrasse 24 in Berlin-Westend, where they will stay for at least two years
    - Greve and Else lead a fairly quiet life. One of their few social contacts is O.A.H. Schmitz, another is the editor of Die Schaubühne, Siegfried Jacobsohn
    - November: Schmitz notes in his diaries, that he gives up on making sense of the conflicting accounts he gets of the Endell's 1902 separation story.
    - December 19: Schmitz and Jacobsohn follow Else and Greve's invitation to the elegant restaurant Ewest to celebrate the good news, that all obstacles to their marriage have finally been removed
  • 1907
    Else's "story of my childhood" appears as Greve's second novel, Maurermeister Ihles Haus
    - August 22nd, 1907: After years of legal wrangling over Else's divorce from Endell, the "scandalous pair" DID tie the knot in Berlin-Wilmersdorf
    Gisi von Freytag-Loringhoven made this sensational discovery in late 2001, and Irene Gammel published this information in Baroness Elsa, MIT Press, 2002, p. 144.
    - Note: This means, that both Else & Greve became bigamists in America in November 1913 & August 1914 respectively!
  • 1908
    January: Else is hospitalized for some kind of nervous breakdown
    - June: In a letter to Gide, Greve hints at his upcoming disappearance act. He also declares that he "will be divorced"
  • 1909
    - March: Greve's mid-1908 travel impressions appear in the newly merged journal Neue Revue und Morgen as "Reise in Schweden."
    - Greve's affluent friend O.A.H. Schmitz was financially involved in the merger
    This is Greve's last known German publication

  • Else Greve, 1909-1911

    1909, late July:
    - Greve leaves Germany with a staged suicide
    He travels second-class on the White Star Liner Megantic from Liverpool to Montreal, exactly as described in Grove's first autobiographical novel of 1927 [3]
  • 1909, September:
    - Six weeks after Greve's departure, the "widowed" Else Greve sends a distraught note to Insel director Anton Kippenberg on
    - Friday, September 17, 1909
    - Tuesday, September 21, 1909:
    Kippenberg replies, elegantly defending himself and his establishment against outrageous charges:
    - HE has pushed Greve over the edge by overworking, underpaying, and furthermore unfairly criticizing her presumably dead husband! [4]
    - Kippenberg points out, as tactfully as can be, that Greve was heavily in debt, and had recently double-sold one of his latest translations. [5]
    -He implies that this might have been a compelling reason for Greve's disappearance, and seems to have doubts about Greve's demise
    - Finally, he excuses Else's impertinent tone with her "understandable agitation" and offers her financial support.
  • Kippenberg's reservations about Greve's death are reinforced, when an employee, sent to retrieve various manuscripts, finds Else in gay summer dress and high spirits, looking less the "grieving" than the "merry widow"
    - In the "Nekrolog" (obituaries) section of Kürschner's 1910 Literatur-Kalender, Felix Paul Greve is listed as deceased. His brief entry is marked by a symbol meaning that the information stems from the postal authorities.

  • AMERICA, 1910-1923
    1910, late June:
    - Else joins Greve in Pittsburgh, having crossed the Atlantic from Rotterdam to New York on the steamer Rijndam
    When she clears immigration on June 29, she is:
    - a 35 year-old author from Swinemünde
    - five-foot seven inches tall, with copper hair and grey eyes
    - on her way to meet her brother-in-law, a certain T. R. Greve
    His address: Pittsburgh, 57 - 4th Ave

    - For the short year Else spent with Felix before he left her for the third and last time, there is little documentary evidence.
    - She joined Greve in Pittsburgh, because he was a New York publisher's agent there.
  • 1910 City Directory:
    - Greve is listed as "F. P. Greve, mgr [= manager], 524, 4th Ave."
    As such, he was likely involved in the daring book-selling scam described in Grove's 1927 autobiographical novel A Search for America (ASA, Bk.II, Ch.V, I Join a New Company) [6]
  • September 16, 1910:
    - The New York Times reports, that "Elsie Greve" was arrested for cross-dressing and smoking in public, while walking with her husband on Pittsburgh's busy 5th Avenue.
    - The police set the couple free, when they threaten to file a complaint with the German embassy in Washington [7]

    - Else's Autobiography contains many vivid anecdotes about her life on a small farm "in the wilderness" of Kentucky. Unfortunately, her recollections are usually mute on time and place details.
    - However, we have learned from a unique note on her poem "Schalk" (Jester) in her archival collection at the University of Maryland, College Park, that the precise location was "Sparta, Kentucky, on Eagle Creek" [8]
  • 1911, Fall:
    - In a note on her poem "Wolkzug" (Passing Clouds), she states that after Greve disappeared, he sent her a measly $20 from wherever he was hiding
    - Interpreting her note that Greve was lingering nearby, I searched for him on the Kentucky side of the Ohio, all the way from Covington/Cincinnati down to Louisville
    - Eventually, I found him on the opposite side of the river, in Madison, Indiana
    - There, he was working in a furniture factory until mid-1912, as described in his 1927 book (ASA, Bk. III, Ch.V, I become a 'Hand') [9]

  • Else's post-Greve Years, 1912-1927
    Cincinnati - Philadelphia - New York - Berlin - Paris

    - Left alone to fend for herself after Greve's final and perhaps worst "desertion" (AB 73), Else moves to near-by Cincinnati, which had a large German-speaking community at the time
    - There, she starts posing at the local Art Academy, where most of the faculty were of German-American origin
    - Notably, Frank Duveneck had trained in Munich himself, and taught notable students like Robert Henri, who would become influential in Philadelphia and New York
    - Two of Else's German poems - "Herr Peu à Peu" and "Herzlich" - show that Else also worked in some kind of Music Hall setting [10]
  • 1912-1913:
    - She moves East over the next year or so, some times sleeping on park benches, and once, in West Virginia, "in a tent, with Negoes without shoes" (Djuna Barnes, mss Note)

    - It is more than likely, that Else passed through Philadelphia before settling in New York, and modeled for both Morton Schamberg and Charles Sheeler in their Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts studios.
  • 1912-1913:
    - She certainly posed for George Biddle then and there, while he was in town between two trips to Europe: in 1927, she reminds "dear Orje" that he still owes her a posing fee, with accumulated interest ... [11]

    Else settles in New York, and seems to survive with a variety of jobs, including posing, occasional stealing, and working in a cigarette factory
    At one time, her fortunes turn for the better, and she reportedly lives at the Ritz Hotel with Baron Leo
  • 1913, November:
    - Leopold Baron von Freytag-Loringhoven and Else are married in Manhattan
    She uses her maiden-name Plötz, and adjusts her age - she is 39 - to match the Baron's, who is 28<
  • 1914, August:
    - Baron Leo leaves for Europe to fight in World War I   He soon is interned as prisoner of war in France
    - In 1919, he commits suicide in St. Gallen, Switzerland
    Else now supports herself again with posing, and is soon a model much in demand
  • 1915, December 5:
    - In a sizeable New York Times article, the Baroness is described as being "lithe in figure, and as graceful as a leopard"
    She reveals that she is posing at
    - the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts [where the interview takes place]
    - the Art Students League
    - the Modern Art School, and
    - the Independent Art School
    She also paints, designs and sews her own "bizarre" costumes
    In a painting "recently shown here" she is depicted as "Semiramide, the turbulent queen of the East"
    - She has just, as the lonely wife of a war prisoner, filed a request for financial aid with the German Consulate
    - The reporter has confirmed in "the German Who's Who" that Else's father-in-law is indeed a General in the Kaiser's army
    - The Consulate declared, that it was considering the Baroness' application, but had questions regarding "a previous marriage and other details" [1]
  • 1916-1923:
    - Else moves in wide-ranging artistic circles, and meets many influential artists, writers, journalists like Djuna Barnes, painters, sculptors, editors, etc.
    - Her own creativity during this period reaches an all-time high
  • 1916, May:
    - The Baroness models for the artist D. G. Dixon, and starts a lengthy love-affair with him
    - He becomes so attached to his "model in art and in life" that he asks his wife for a divorce [2]
  • 1917:
    - Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap move the Little Review to Greenwich Village
    - They "discover" the Baroness, whom they will adopt as a prominent participant until 1922/23
    - In Walter and Louise Arensberg's avant-garde salon, she mingles notably with Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, as well as Sheeler and Schamberg.
    - A contemporary painting of this setting shows her arguably most famous "sculpture" on the mantle-piece:
          GOD, a proto-dada "objet trouvé", is a pleasantly curved metal plumbing tube, mounted on a wooden block
    It is believed that she "found" it at the latter two artists' country studio near Philadelphia - Schamberg likely assembled it for her, and made it famous with his accomplished 1917 photograph
  • 1921, April:
    - Renowned artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp publish the one and only issue of New York Dada. It contains two photos of the Baroness
     - One shows her in half-bust profile with her hair shorn short
    Earlier, she had gone even further, as she reportedly shaved her head altogether and lacquered it blue and green
    - Thus, Else was making body-art out of necessity: it was a lice infestation she swiftly dealt with in such novel, creative ways
  • 1921, June:
    - Else, identifying herself as F .P. GREVE's wife, sends photographer Berenice Abbott to approach the staunchly anti-modernist author André Gide
    - "In crude, exalted, and pretentious words" she proposes, that he have her come to Paris, for the greatest benefit of the town.
    - Numerous samples of her expressionist, dadaist, and surreal is work in three American journals are meant to cement this preposterous claim [3]
  • 1921, July:
    - Man Ray writes to Tristan Tzara, complaining that "dada cannot live in New York." Above the opening words "Cher Tzara ... " is a very witty pun on "L'Amerique"
    - The Baroness, in the nude, poses prominently as the capital letter "A"
    It is a still-frame of an otherwise lost film by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, entitled:
          "The Baroness shaving her pubic hair"[4]
  • 1922:
    - The Liberator publishes her poems "Chill" and "Loss"
    - Editor Claude McKay was her friend since ca. 1915, when they both appeared in a photograph, posing in luxurious oriental costumes
  • 1922, December:
    - vol. 4, issue 1 of Broom features as frontispiece the dancing ballerina Fanny Elssler in an 1840 Lithograph by G. Leybold
    This is a sly reference to Greve & Else's 1904/5 "Fanny Essler" poems
    - The next issue of January 1923 printed her poem "Circle"
    Broom's editor was Peggy Guggenheim's cousin Harold Loeb
  • 1922/23:
    - On the opening pages of its "Winter Issue" the Little Review publishes as a frontispiece a photograph of the Baroness' art object called "Portrait of Marcel Duchamp"
    - This is especially striking, since the next page features a traditional sketch by Joseph Stella, also entitled "Portrait of Marcel Duchamp"
  • 1923, April:
    - The Baroness sails from New York to Bremerhaven on the Norddeutscher Lloyd ship S.S. Yorck
  • BERLIN, 1923-1926
    Else arrives in Berlin at the worst possible time: the country is in near-permanent crisis-state, due to wide-spread unemployment, political instability, social unrest, and rampant inflation
    Not amazingly, the Baroness lives most of the time in abject poverty, and moves in and out of various shelters, institutions, and once even, briefly, an insane asylum
  • 1923, Spring:
    Almost immediately, she sends out a flurry of half begging, half blackmail letters to all possible and impossible old acquaintances, friends, lovers like Ernst Hardt, and even ex-husband August Endell, as well as the deceased Baron's prominent family
    - More recent American friends or perceived foes are not excluded
  • 1923, ca. May-Nov.:
    Despite bleak circumstances, the Baroness seams to have secured sporadic modeling jobs
    - One intriguing German letter fragment even mentions sharing an atelier with Böske (Markus) [5]
    - Böske would marry German-American avant-garde composer George Antheil, who had moved to Berlin in early 1922
    - He is best-known for his Ballet Mécanique "composition," performed on June 19, 1926 in Paris
    In another of her many threatening letter drafts to an unknown addressee, Else demands some kind of payment, and closes with the following words:
        " ... You know where to find me. My address is: Else Freifrau von Freytag-Loringhoven / 13 Gervinusstr. / Charlottenburg  / Atelier. E. v. F.L."
    - At this address, there not only lived several artists, but also a number of actors, dancers, or singers related to the flourishing film industry [6]
    On yet another note, Else recorded the address of "Prof. Georg Kolbe, Von der Heydt Str. 7, Berlin-West"
    - Perhaps, she had hoped to model for the well-known sculptor of "classical modernity"
  • 1923, June:
    - The Antheils move to Paris, just in time for Stravinsky's new ballet staging of Les Noces
    - They settle in an apartment above Sylvia Beache's famous bookstore Shakespeare & Company at 12, rue de l'Odéon
  • 1923, July:
    - Else learns, upon her father's death, that she has been disinherited
    - This prompts her to draft a long, abusive letter to her only sister, Charlotte
  • 1923, Aug. 15th - Oct. (ca. six weeks):
    The splendid 1923 international Bauhaus Exhibition opens in Weimar
    - The theme: "Art and Technology: A New Unity"
    - Apart from architecture, all "arts & crafts" creations are on various displays during this six-week event
    - Included are Oskar Schlemmer's piece for the mechanical Bauhaus stage, Triadic Ballet (performed on Aug. 16, 1923, but conceived as early as 1912), and his pupil Kurt Schmidt's Mechanisches Ballett (Aug. 17th, 1923, with music "inspired by George Antheil" [7]
  • 1923, October:
    Else's new Passport records her name as "Freifrau von Freytag-Loringhoven" - indicating a demotion from the title "Baroness"
    - She is described as being of average height, having an oval face, green eyed, and brown hair
    - Her hair was deemed "copper" in 1910, when she arrived in New York, and reportedly "the color of a bay horse" when she appeared in the Washington Square office of The Little Review in 1917
    - "Profession" is ""None" - "Author" was noted in 1911 [8]
  • 1923, ca. Sep./Oct.:
    - In one of her letters to Djuna Barnes, Else mentions that she "... can have posing again, here, or even better, in Weimar" [9] - There is evidence, that she kept well-informed of various Bauhaus festivities in that city
    - She likely was never able to travel there or anywhere else, given her precarious living conditions
  • 1923/1924, Winter:
    The Baroness is reduced to selling newspapers on Berlin's fashionable shopping boulevard Kurfürstendamm
    - Some of her stationery stems from a near-by Bank, and the famous Sturm Gallery
  • 1924, ca. May:
    Else expands her correspondence with Djuna Barnes into a steady flow of lengthy autobiographical letters
    They are invariably interspersed with urgent pleas to get her out of Germany, and laments regretting of her New York heydays
    - Barnes occasionally sends the Baroness money from Paris, which, alas, is of little help:
        "Yes, I got the money. Thanks! / But shit! The poor Franc! / It's like with the Mark." [10]
  • 1924, June 20th:
    - With reference to recent threatening letters from Berlin "and from New York," Leo's father, General Hugo von Freytag-Loringhoven, has his lawyer Werga inform the "Baroness" Else, that her request for a widow's pension was denied
  • 1924, July 12th:
    Despite this devastating blow, she is soon flying high again:
    - On occasion of her 50th birthday, the Baroness, as her American friends continue to call her, pays a visit to the French consulate
    - A birthday cake, complete with 50 candles, adorned her head
    - The purpose of this event: to lend further weight to her relentless efforts to obtain a French visa [11]
  • 1924, August:
    - Djuna Barnes, who by now has taken on the role of Else's agent and chronicler, pays the Baroness a visit in Berlin
    - The current monthly issue of the short-lived Paris-based journal Transatlantic publishes two of Else's poems
    - Chief editor was Ford Maddox Ford in London, but assistant editor Ernest Hemingway was solely in charge of the August number
  • 1924, September 24:
    - Vienna: Fernand Léger's dada film Ballet Mécanique (19 mins) is presented - without Antheil's "music" - by Friedrich Kiesler, the organizer of the "Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik"
    - Man Ray is credited with "cinematographic input"
    - His model and lover Kiki (Alice Prin) makes an appearance as a "smiling girl" [12]
    - Else may have been aware of this event, since Kiesler published numerous articles, including one on "Das Theater der Zeit" In the Berliner Tagblatt (June 1, 1923), and "The Theatre is Dead," in The Little Review's Special Edition on The International Theatre Exposition (v. 11/2, Winter 1926)
  • 1924, December:
    - Djuna Barnes drafts a tentative preface for a planned autobiography by the Baroness
  • 1925, Jan.-Apr:
    - Else continues working on her projected autobiography for Djuna Barnes
    - She often complains about the constant "chatter of the girls" who are her fellow-residents at the Bodelschwing Asylum for Women
  • 1925, April 13:
    - Endell, who had been Director of the Academy of Art in Breslau since 1918, dies one day after his 54th birthday
    - Another very personal event occurs a few months later: FPG publishes his first Canadian novel, The Settlers of the Marsh (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1925. 341 p,)
    - In it, he sets her a mean monument in the depraved Clara Vogel, who tricks the virtuous Niels (FPG himself) into marriage, thus hampering his Rousseau-like struggle with the soil in rural Manitoba (Kentucky)
  • 1925, Apr.-May:
    - Else suffers some kind of "nerve collapse" and is briefly confined in an insane asylum
    - She seems to have drastic mood-swings, her letters sounding discouraged at times, then overflowing with enthusiasm
  • 1925, July:
    - Else sends Djuna Barnes "another" clipping, this one from the arts and culture magazine Der Querschnitt
    - On p. 20 of her upbeat letter, she writes that it shows "Georgette Leblanc, too purposely 'ravishingly' dressed, together with Brancusi and Léger." [13]
    - The photo in question stems from F. Kiesler's coverage of the "Exposition internationale des Arts décoratifs et industriels modernes" which took place in Paris from April 28 to 0ctober 25, 1925. [14]
  • early 1926:
    After a number of unsuccessful applications, Else is finally granted a French visa
    - She eagerly makes preparations for turning her back on Germany

    If the three German years were far from pleasant for the Baroness, the last twenty months of her life would hardly be any better
    - Her financial situation is more precarious as ever, and her lack of French limits her social circles more or less to expatriate Americans of the "Lost Generation"
  • 1926, April:
    - The Baroness arrives in Paris and initially stays at the Hôtel Danemark, Rue Vavin
    - She soon frequents Jan Slivinski (1884-1950) and his Au Sacre du Printemps Gallery at 5, Rue du Cherche-Midi
    - Her friend Berenice Abbott's first exhibition of photographs was on display there in May/June
    - Abbott's early work included portraits of Djuna Barnes, Marie Laurencin, Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim and James Joyce [15]
    - The Austrian-born owner had moved to Paris and opened a bookstore in 1922, which he expanded into a popular gallery in late 1925 [15a]
    - With Slivinski, Else had no French language barrier to overcome, and was also safe from picking fights with any of his multicultural friends (many were Russian, like Stravinsky)
  • 1926 late Spring
    - Else has an embarrassing chance encounter with George Biddle, with whom she had been infatuated a decade earlier
  • 1926, June 19:
    - George Antheil's premiere of his Ballet Mécanique causes a much publicized uproar in the audience
    - It was "scored for 16 player pianos, two grand pianos, electronic bells, xylophones, bass drums, a siren and three airplane propellers." [16]
  • 1926, Summer:
    - A photo shows her with Djuna Barnes on a beach in Normandy
    - The location is close to Étaples / Paris-Plage on the Channel coast. where she had lived with Greve from mid-1905 to 4arly 1905
  • 1926/27, Winter:
    - In several letters, she mentions having posed "for a pittance" - likely, for her artists friends in the Montparnasse area
    - A note fragment shows Brancusi's address in her own hand, rather than her usual writing in all capitals:
          "Constantin Brancusi / Impasse Ronsin / Rue du Vaugirard / Paris"
    - This suggests, that she may have tried to pose for the influential Romanian sculptor as well
  • 1927, March:
    - Man Ray's famous model and lover, Kiki de Montparnasse, has an exhibition of watercolors at Slivinski's Sacre du Printemps Gallery
    - The advertisement specifies:
          "KIKI (Alice Prin) / Vernissage / 25.3.-9.4.1927"
    - On the verso, the Baroness wrote an English version of her sonnet "Herzlich"
    - Though it was based on one of her 1911/12 "Cinci" poems, she claims that it was "inspired by "J. J.'s Ulysses"
    - She considers the German original funnier, because there, "HERZ" rhymes with "UNIVERZ"
    - The real inspiration of this poem was the target of her affection, an unknown orchestra conductor in "Cinci, the City of Pork:"
  • 1927, Spring:
    - An ambitious plan to open a modeling school takes shape, and she launches a veritable letter campaign to make it real
    - A good example is a rambling letter to "Dear old Orje...", (George Biddle), who had left Paris in the Fall of 1926
    - Her pleas for help are a curious mixture of cajoling, demanding, and threatening
    - They also reflect mood-swings, moving back and forth from extreme elation to suicidal dejection
    - It is not known, if Biddle ever sent her the money she claimed he owed her, with or without "accumulated interest" [17]
    - Many other friends did come to her rescue: despite the "ridiculously high rent" she is able to secure studio space at the fashionable Montparnasse art complex at 7, Impasse du Rouet
  • 1927, late July:
    - In an upbeat mood, she asks Marcel Duchamp's lover Mary Reynolds to contribute 100 francs
    - She also reports, that gallery owner Jan Slivinski is helping out with model-stands
    - Djuna Barnes, however, who had promised a clock, has "again disappeared addressless ... "
  • 1927, August 1st:
    - Against all odds, the Baroness is able to make her "last dream" come true, and opens her own modeling school
  • Late August:
    - Collector and patron Peggy Guggenheim writes warmly, that she and her husband Lawrence Vail have typed her "wonderful manuscript"
    - She adds, that she is "delighted to own the original" - a sprawling document of nearly forty pages, part begging letter, part surreal play, part dada poetry
    - The Baroness concludes it with "please, give me lift / your troubled - troublesome - devoted / Else v. FrL" [18]
    - Peggy Guggenheim must have lent generous support more than once: her Museum in Venice owns a fair number of Freytag-Loringhoven's art objects
  • 1927, October 1st::
    - The Baroness is forced to give up her modeling school
  • mid-October:
    - Transition rejects most of Else's recently submitted aphorisms and poems, keeping four "for possible future use"
    - The journal had already published two of her poems - "Café du Dôme" and "X-Ray" - in its most current volume (v. 7, Oct. 1927)
  • 1927, November:
    -The Baroness has moved for the last time: she lives in a miserable one-room "apartment" at 22, Rue Barrault, in the 13th Arrondissement
  • 1927, December 14th:
    - She commits suicide by gassing herself

  • 1928, February:
    Transition publishes an obituary written by Djuna Barnes, with Berenice Abbott's photograph of the Baroness' Death Mask
    - Appended are ten pages selected from Else's correspondence



Berlin, 1890s - Italy - Munich - Palermo - Berlin, 1906-1910 - Sparta,Ky, 1910/11

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all primary and secondary sources consulted for this chronology are part of the FPG (Greve/Grove) and Freytag-Loringhoven Collection in the University of Manitoba Archives' Special Collections
[2] Axel Knönagel has demonstrated, that the complete turn-around of Greve's "dandy" to austere (would-be) "sage" attitude is manifest in these two documents.
The same change of heart is also documented in Gide's Conversation avec un allemand: after prison, Greve opts for the "Life" pole in the decadent "l'art-pour-l'art" equation which favours "Art" over "Life." (Greve, June 1904: "Je péfère la vie.")

[3] This most important discovery since D. O. Spettigue found the Gtove/Greve identity in 1971 was not made until November 1998, shortly after the International Anniversary Symposium "In Memoriam FPG: 1879-1948-1998" took place in Winnipeg.
[4]Because of Kippenberg's letter, which is published in German and English in Desmond Pacey's 1976 edition of Grove's Letters on pages 548-552, Pacey assumed that Greve's alleged suicide took place in September 1909 (p. xxvii). This being a perfectly plausible conjecture, most scholars - including me (gd) - have believed that Greve's disappearance occurred then, and not in late July.
[5] Probably, v. 1 of Swift's Prosawerke, Berlin, Oesterheld, 1909. Note that v. 2-4 were issued "posthumously" by Reiss Verlag in 1910.
[6] Since November 1999, we know the title of this multi-volume venture (History of the World), the New York publishers (National Alumni), and Greve's role as their Pittsburgh agent in 1910. -- The Directory entry was found in April 1995 at the Pittsburgh Historical Society.
[7]"She wore men's clothes"
[8]At the top: "An FPG, Sparta, Kentucky, am Eagle Creek." At the bottom, Else states, with reference to the 1904/5 central "Fanny Essler" sonnets, that the poem is "ein Porträt Felix Paul Greves."
[9]I found the biographically important poems "Schalk" and "Wolkzug" in April 1991 on my first trip to the University of Maryland, College Park (FrL Collection, UMd). They were included as facsimile 49a and 49b in my post-doctoral M.A. Thesis Poems/Gedichte [by] Greve/Grove & 'Fanny Essler', 1993.
[10]Both "Cinci" poems in FrL Coll., UMd, Box 2, Fds. 34 & 59
[11] FrL to Biddle, Letter Draft, Spring 1927, FrL Coll., UMd, Box 1, Fd. 9. -- Also in: Baroness Elsa, Autobiography. With selected letters, edited by P. Hjartarson and D. O. Spettigue. Ottawa: Oberon, 1992, 224-225. (FrL, Autobio. & Letters, 1992)

New York 1912/13-1923 - Berlin, 1923-1926 - Paris, 1926/27
[1] "Refugee Bareness poses as a model"
[2]Gammel, Irene. Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada, and Everyday Modernity, a Cultural Biography. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002, 199
[3]Rysselberghe, Maria van. Les cahiers de "La Petite Dame" : notes pour l'histoire authentique d'André Gide. Gallimard, 1973, v. 1, June 1921, p. 85
[4] Man Ray to Tristan Tzara, 8. 6. 1921. -- The witty pun on "L'Amérique" stems no doubt from Man Ray's first wife Adon Lacroix
[5] Both "Atelier" fragments and Kolbe's address below found in FrL Coll., UMd, Box 1, "Unidentified German"
[6]Universal-Filmlexikon, Berlin, 1932.
[7] Stuckenschmidt, H. H. "Musik am Bauhaus." In: Bauhaus Archiv, ed. by H. Wingler, Berlin, 1978, p. 6
[8]FrL Passport, Berlin, Oct. 1923
[9] FrL to Djuna Barnes (DjB), red ink on three long yellow pages, in FrL Coll. , UMd, Box 1, Fd. 12 (DjB, Drafts, Undated)
[10] FrL to DjB, in FrL Coll., UMd, Box 1, Fd. 13 (DjB, Notes, Undated), last of ca. 50 pages
[11] For a full account of this remarkable performance, see FrL, Autobio. & Letters, 1992, 216-217. -- Also in Gammel, 2002, 475.
[12] The Film "is considered one of the masterpieces of early experimental filmmaking"
[13] FrL to DjB, cited in Gammel, 2002, 473.
[14] Kiesler cheekily replaces "Exposition" with "Ménagerie" - "Ménagerie des Art Décoratifs et Industriels. Modernes, Paris 1925," Der Querschnitt, v. 5/7, July 1925, 609-612.
[15] The 2016 book Berenice Abbott: Paris Portraits 1925-1930 (Eds., Ron Kurtz and Hank O'Neal) features "115 portraits of 83 subjects."
[15a] The illegitimate son of the landscape painter Robert Slivinski, he was adopted and raised in Vienna as Hans Effenberger
[16] See "Antheil" Wikipedia entry, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Antheil/>
[17] FrL to Biddle, in FrL Coll., UMd, Box 2, Fd. 9
[18] FrL to Peggy Guggenheim, in FrL Coll., UMd, Box 2, Fd. 19

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