<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY – ALL YEARS1957 1958 1960 1962 1964 1968

“Hardly anybody nowadays will deny 
that Heartfield was a great artist – although 
I think there are only a few who could say why. 
That has always been a very difficult question. 
The fact that John Heartfield put all of his skill, 
based upon the great European tradition, in the 
service of daily politics isn’t a difficult 
question, it’s an interesting one. At a 
particular historical moment, there was for him 
no cause more important than socialism. After 
he realized this, the objective for him was easy – 
but hard to make. […] Seen from a distance, 
Heartfield was a simple person; at close range, 
a complicated person – or better still – a person 
with an immense span. He was a wise man and 
a child. An awful, hairsplitting pedant and a very 
successful artist. He was someone who loved 
and someone who hated. […] The world and 
our lives seem very complicated. Heartfield 
made them transparent. His brother lent him a 
hand. His wife made it possible […]”

Werner Klemke, 1968
Werner Klemke, 1968

Heartfield European Exhibitions After Helmut Herzfelde Legally Becomes John Heartfield, 1964

On April 29, 1968, three days after John Heartfield’s death on April 26, 1968, the East Germany’s bureaucracy issues a “Eheurkunde” (Marriage Certificate) for Helmut Franz Joself Herzfeld (John Heartfield) and Gertrud Hedwig Fietz.

This same “Marriage Certificate” states the name Helmut Herzfeld was legally changed to John Heartfield on August 27, 1964.

The image of the document is courtesy of the Heartfield Archiv, Akademie Der Künste. The curator requested the document that legalized John Heartfield’s name change and the archive provided this one.

From 1964 to 1965, Heartfield exhibited work in Warsaw, East Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Rome, and other cities.

From 1966 to 1967, there are Heartfield Exhibitions in West Berlin, Der Punkt auf’s I (The Dot on the I), East Berlin, Der Malik Verlag (The Malik Verlag), Frankfurt am Main, Wartet nur balde.. (Just You Wait…). There also exhibitions of his work in Stockholm and London.

However, the vast majority of Heartfield’s work is never permanently made available to the public in a museum or a gallery. It is stored for “reasons of conservation” in The Heartfield Archiv, Akademie Der Künste, in Berlin.


Marriage Certificate

Post Mortem Documentation
A "Marriage Certificate" between Gertrud and John issued three days after John Heartfield's death on April 26, 1968.

God Punish England

Wiemar Republic Graphic
The slogan that caused Helmut Herzfeld (24 years old) to live as John Heartfield in a country that hated the English.

Family Time

Tutti and Jonny
Gertrud and John Heartfield in their apartment in Berlin, 1967. Gertrud was much taller than the curator's diminutive grandfather.
heartfield european exhibitions after Heartfield Marriage Certificate, 1968

Marriage Certificate, East Germany, April 29, 1968

heartfield european exhibitions after herzfeld legally becomes heartfield Wiemar Republic God Punish England name change

God Punish England, Wiemar Republic Slogan, 1916

heartfield european exhibitions photo John and Gertrud Heartfield, 1967

Gertrud And Jonny In Their Apartment

Professor John J Heartfield is John Heartfield’s paternal grandson. Professor Heartfield presented Art & Politics, Politics & Art at the DADA WORLD FAIR in San Francisco. Please write to him about his live presentation regarding the relevance of his grandfather’s life and work to current events.

Dada Political Artist John Heartfield grandson, John Heartfield, Curator Official John Heartfield Exhibition