Unveiling at 6 Chesterford Gardens, London NW3 7DE 3
pm Friday 24 June 2022
The Heath & Hampstead Society together with the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust are proud to be commemorating the lives and work of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky and Elias Canetti with a plaque. They were émigrés, impelled to leave Vienna because of their Jewish heritage when Hitler marched into Austria on 12 March 1938. Marie-Louise who arrived in 1939 via Holland, became a British citizen in 1948; Canetti who came from Prague in 1938, did so in 1952. Their relationship developed in Amersham during the Second World War, continuing for almost thirty years, with a correspondence over fifty years, testimony to the vital role they played in each other’s lives. Canetti consistently encouraged Marie-Louise as an artist and she gave him a safe haven where he could keep his library and write, most notably one of the works that contributed to his citation for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981: Crowds and Power, 1960.
Elias Canetti lives on through his published work and his papers in the Central Library in Zurich, where he died in 1994. Marie-Louise’s paintings and drawings can be found in museum collections across Great Britain and Europe. In London and its environs these are the Amersham Museum, British Museum, Burgh House, Hampstead, the Freud Museum, the Garden Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and Tate where her archive was donated in 2012. This includes both sides of the correspondence with Canetti, from which a selection was published in 2011. Marie-Louise presented a portrait of Canetti that she painted in 1992 to the National Portrait Gallery to express her thanks to Britain ‘for giving a home to my mother and me’. In 2016 the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust presented her self-portrait of 1959 that had been Canetti’s favourite.
Notes to editors:
See www. motesiczky.org for information on Marie-Louise and the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust.
Ed. Ines Schlenker and Kristian Wachinger, Elias Canetti und Marie-Louise von Motesiczky. Liebhaber ohne Adresse. Briefwechsel 1942-1992, Munich, 2011
Ines Schlenker, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky 1906-1996. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Manchester and New York, 2009
Jill Lloyd, The Undiscovered Expressionist. A Life of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, New Haven and London 2007
Elias Canetti, Party in the Blitz. The English Years, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann with an afterword by Jeremy Adler, New York, 2005
Elias Canetti, The Tongue Set Free. Remembrance of a European Childhood, The Torch in my Ear, and The Play of the Eyes, translated from the German by Joachim Neugroschel, London 1988, 1989 and 1990