<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY - ALL YEARS
1891 1899 1905 1908 1912 1913

“The important man is not the artist, 
but the businessman
who, in the marketplace 
and on the battlefield, holds the reins in his hands.”  
German Dada & Anti-War Activist Artist John Heartfield
German Dada & Anti-War Activist Artist John Heartfield

Helmut Herzfeld Born. Berlin-Schmargendorf, Germany, 1891

Helmut Franz Josef Herzfeld (John Heartfield) was born on June 19, 1891, in Berlin-Schmargendorf, Germany.

His father, Franz Herzfeld (AKA Franz Held, 1862-1908), was a socialist writer. Heartfield’s mother, Alice (maiden name: Stolzenberg, 1867-1911), was a textile worker and political activist.

Heartfield was the second of of four children (younger brother: Wieland; younger sister: Lotte; older sister: Hertha).

Both of Heartfield’s parents suffered from mental issues. Heartfield’s mother, Alice, spent the final years of her life in Berlin, shuffling between a boarding house and mental institution.

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Alice Stolzenberg

Mother of Helmut Herzfeld (later known as John Heartfield)
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Alice Stolzenberg gave birth to Helmut Herzfeld (later known as John Heartfield) on June 19, 1891. Eight years later, Heartfield's parents abandoned him and their three other children in the woods. Photo: John J Heartfield Collection.
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Franz Held

Father of Helmut Herzfeld (later known as John Heartfield)
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John Heartfield later designed a dust jacket for a book of his father's poems.
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Family Portrait

Alice Stolzenberg And Her Children
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Alice Stotzenberg with her children, Hertha and Helmut. Photo: John J Heartfield Collection.
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Grandmother

Helmut Herzfeld With His Grandmother
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The infant Helmut Herzfeld in Berlin-Schmargendorf, Germany. Photo: John J Heartfield Collection.
Helmut Herzfeld born of mother Alice Stolzenberg

John Heartfield's mother, Alice Stolzenberg.
Credit: John J Heartfield Collection

Helmut Herzfeld born of father Franz Held

John Heartfield's father, Franz Held.
Credit: John J Heartfield Collection

Alice Stolzenberg, Hertha, Helmut

Helmut Herzfeld with mother, Alice, and sister.
Credit: John J Heartfield Collection

John Heartfield's Grandmother

Heartfield's Grandmother. Credit: John J Heartfield Collection

John Heartfield’s grandson, Professor John J Heartfield, offers an Art & Politics, Politics & Art presentation to audiences in all types of venues. He was a featured presenter at 2016 DADA WORLD FAIR (The Collage Museum, San Francisco). Please write to him for more information.

Helmut Herzfeld born, year John Heartfield born