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Newsletter December 2018

An unexpected donation from the US

In early May 2018, we received this message:

«To whom it may concern, I am cleaning up my parents estate and have found some items relating to Elisarion. On the cover of the envelope containing these items my father had written ‹a close family friend›. Unfortunately I do not read either German or Dutch and all the printed material are likely in German. I thought you might have some interest in these things as perhaps they have some historical value. There is some correspondence signed by Elisar and by v. Mayer, some photos, a small original oil painting signed by Elisar and other printed material. Please let me know if you or any one else you know of may have some interest in these items. If so I can send you some pictures. Thank you very much, Frances Tromp van Holst.»

Of course, we were immediately full of enthusiasm and requested photos of the documents mentioned. The shots followed promptly and did not disappoint our expectations. In the following correspondence it turned out, that Mrs. Tromp van Holst would be staying with friends in Riehen in June and she would like to hand over her bundle to us. Thanks to the efforts of our member Rolf Thalmann, who lives in Basel, the meeting took place on 16 June 2018 and we received the valuable documents as a donation. At this point we would like to thank Frances Tromp van Holst for this generous donation and Rolf Thalmann for the organization and realization of the meeting!

Frances Tromp van Holst and her husband

Unfortunately, the letters do not reveal when, how and where EvK / EvM came in contact with the trumps, but they do contain two important insights:

EvK / EvM had no later than 1929 contact with Margarete Müller-Senftenberg. (Fabio Ricci gives the year 1933 in his book).

We now know exactly when the round picture was completed: in February 1929. (Fabio Ricci vaguely mentions the year 1930 on page 218 in his book.)

Inventory of the donation

Letters and postcards to the couple Tromp van Holst:

  • Typewritten letter, September 5, 1920
  • Handwritten letter, May 9, 1928
  • Handwritten letter, June 20, 1928
  • Postcard, September 22, 1928
  • Handwritten letter, February 21, 1929
    (with 14 small-sized photographs of the just finished cyclorama)
  • Postcard, April 4, 1930
  • Postcard, November 25, 1931
  • Postcard, 11th July 1932
  • Postcard, December 21, 1940
  • Postcard, December 23, 1947
  • Typewritten Statutes of the Elisarion Society Eisenach
  • 1 oil sketch of a youth on canvas (19 x 15cm)
  • 16 photographs of various sizes of the house (Elisarion in Minusio) and works of art
  • 1 photograph by Eduard von Mayer in a hospital bed, dated 2. X. 1957
  • 8 postcards from the house Elisarion, its residents and works of art
  • 1 small art print of a detail from the cyclorama


Brochures and advertising leaflets for the Elisarion:

  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion (Italian, French, German, English)
  • Sanktuarium Artis Elisarion (reprint from "Die Schönheit")
  • Elisarion-Gespräche der Klarwelt (Elisarion talks about the clear world)
  • Santuario d’Arte Elisarion, Weihe-Burg schöner Kunst (brochure)
  • Santuario d’Arte Elisarion, Weihe-Burg schöner Kunst (leaflet)
  • Santuario d’Arte Elisarion, Weihe-Burg der Schönheit (advertising card German / French)
  • Santuario d’Arte Elisarion, Weihe-Burg schöner Kunst 1927–1937 (leaflet)
  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion, Aus Urteilen der Presse bis Januar 1930 (leaflet judgments of the press until January 1930)
  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion 28/X. 1927
  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion No. II, 15/XI. 1928
  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion, Kunstbericht einer Tessinerin (art report of a Ticino woman)
  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion, ein Symbol von Locarno (a symbol of Locarno)
  • Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion, poem from Hedi Suter, Aargau
    (reprint from the "Fremdenblatt" of 4 March 1933)
  • Four poems (reprint from the magazine "Zum Edelmenschen!", July 1932)
  • Journal “Zum Edelmenschen!“ from July 1930 with an appreciation of Eduard von Mayer
  • Tessin und die oberitalienischen Seen (excerpt from a german magazine)
Undated oil sketch of a youth from the donation