DON’T STOP BELIEVING
I recently discovered and have become obsessed with the amazing piece of art (above) that I shared on Facebook. The artist, Liselotte Moser initialed LM60 on her painting, “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” that hangs at JSL’s David & Miriam Mondry building, which houses our administrative offices. It is believed that this inspiring oil painting, influenced by Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals, was donated to Jewish Home and Aging Services in 1962 by the artist’s family, according to former JSL Executive Director, Carol Rosenberg.
TGF Google! I let my fingers do the walking and learned that Liselotte Moser was born in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1906. She and her mother Mrs. Adele Coulin Weibel after moving to Detroit in 1927 lived at 35 Trowbridge. Weibel was the former curator of textiles at “The Institute,” later called the DIA. Both Liselotte and Adele were working artists with a following.
Liselotte Moser was heavily influenced by music, fashion, modern technology, moving pictures, radio, jazz, and dance of the 1920s. She was the subject of an article in the August 14th, 1949, edition of the Detroit Free Press by Arthur Dorazio, who penned a series of articles on notable Detroit artists in the 1940’s.
Dorazio wrote, “During the war, Miss Moser went through a still-life period in which she turned out a series of forceful, graphic studies. One of them “Lights and Reflections,” is in the permanent collection of the DIA.” https://dia.org/collection/lights-and-reflections-55011 “Her chief interest now-as it has been for some four years-is painting nature. These summer days, Miss Moser takes her sketch book to Rouge Park for direct observation of plants and trees. Art taste that runs from oils to embroidery and musical taste that encompasses the piano and ocarina (a wind instrument) stake the wide limits of Liselotte Moser’s artistic life. The Detroit painter has been guided in her work largely by her changing and expanding interests.”
I could visualize this artist creating. Liselotte experimented with oils, block and linoleum printing and watercolors. According to ARTNET, Moser’s unsigned oil painting on canvas, “Shattered Glass,” dated 1945 evoking Kristallnacht, remains the property of the DIA. She created a few self-portraits. One from 1930 hangs in a German museum https://seniorweb.ch/2022/08/29/liselotte-moser-ein-kuenstlerinnenleben/
Here she seemingly gazes into the viewer’s eyes in her midcentury self-portrait. https://www.artnet.com/artists/liselotte-moser/selbstportrait-NMKapgIsiRL6ZZxZIw1pmQ2
A signed lithograph dated 1952 depicts oversized Egyptian desert cats greeting a common house cat, reminiscent of a New Yorker cartoon. This was sold by the DuMouschelles Gallery in 2010. https://www.invaluable.com/artist/moser-liselotte-v3p5buptm4/
Moser’s “Portrait of AC,” a linoleum cut printed in black ink on Japan paper, dated 1952 hangs in the DIA.” https://dia.org/collection/portrait-ac-55009
In 1935, embroidery became an important outlet for her expression. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/125186064619235128/
Moser’s work also appears in the archives of the New York based Frick Collection.
What do I draw from Moser’s life and work? Inspiration. She continued to morph and attempt new media to find purpose in artistic self-expression throughout her years. This is something we all can do as we age. Whether we write, paint, knit, sculpt, draw, design, decorate or garden, we can do it throughout our lives. We have many lives to live and give with our time and talent. We don’t have to stop believing in ourselves and in what we can offer the world as we grow older. I think of our beautiful older adults at JSL and all they do to continue to find meaning and contribute fully to our community. From beadmaking to creative writing, drawing and painting, we don’t have to hesitate to learn new skills and find new and creative ways to express ourselves.
Even if you start now… Don’t Stop Believing.