Early self-portrait, around 1947

Coming of Age, 1940-1953

Ruth Baumgarte grew up in Berlin and decided to study art at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. While she was still studying, she developed into a precise observer of people and their reality and also took up uncomfortable topics.

On the basis of her solid academic training, coupled with an incorruptible eye for her counterparts and her curiosity about meeting people, amazingly lively, immediately appealing portraits were created from 1943 onwards.

During her studies in Berlin, Ruth Baumgarte drew outsider figures, such as the Sinti and Roma persecuted by the National Socialists and murdered in Auschwitz, or researched the working class milieu in her immediate surroundings. These are first tentative but also courageous attempts to find an independent view of their environment.