Mathilde Franziska Anneke
Mathilde Franziska Anneke (1817–1884) German-born, Mathilde married Fritz Anneke in 1847 and settled in Cologne, Germany. Together they founded a newspaper for the working class promoting socialist ideals. Fritz’s political activism resulted in a prison sentence, during which time Mathilde single-handedly edited, managed and printed the paper. Eventually, the paper got shut down by authorities, and the Annekes emigrated to Milwaukee. In 1852, Mathilde went on to start the first feminist journal published by a woman in America, the Deutsche Frauen-Zeitung, and began a close collaboration with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. An eloquent speaker, she lobbied in Washington for women’s rights, and was a vocal opponent of slavery in America. In 1869 Mathilde Anneke became vice president of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, and later she founded a school for girls in Milwaukee, which she ran until her death on November 25, 1884. She was posthumously recognized in Germany following the women's movement of the 1970s and there is currently a school and a street named for her in Sprockhövel, the town of her birth.
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About this piece
I included Mathilde Anneke in the 11 piece installation, "Portrait of Milwaukee Progress," as an inspiring character of 19th century feminism and progressivism in Milwaukee. She moved here in the 1850s, and started the first feminist journal in the United States. A folk hero in Germany, she has been commemorated on a postage stamp. I included an image of the stamp on the canvas, embedded into the front page of newspaper she published, the Frauen-Zeitung. The portrait of Mathilde is an amalgam of the few photos I found of her, taking her later visage and combining it with a younger version of herself, pen and book in hand, glancing over her shoulder.
PORTRAIT OF MILWAUKEE PROGRESS
The following 11 pieces comprise the installation, "Portrait of Milwaukee Progress", commissioned by Milwaukee Area Technical College.