Antonie Brandeis (1868 - 1945)

Gatherer public, Sammler


Antonie Thawka Brandeis was born in Hamburg on March 25, 1868 as the daughter of the merchant Rudolph Heinrich Ruete and the Zanzibari princess Emily Salme, née bint Sa’id Al-Sa’id. She spent a cosmopolitan adolescence between Hamburg, Berlin, Zanzibar, London, Jaffa and Beirut, where she grew up in the bourgeois circles of her famous mother. In 1898 she married Eugen Brandeis, with whom she went to Jaluit on the Marshall Islands in the same year, when her husband took up his post as Imperial Governor. On Jaluit, she began to collect ethnographic objects, taught herself to take photographs and made ethnographic observations. During a home leave in 1901/02, she studied anthropology with Felix von Luschan. Upon her return to Berlin in 1906, she was busy publishing ethnological and pro-colonial literature, contributed to numerous colonial exhibitions and took up a decade-long commitment to the colonial women’s movement. After the couple’s divorce in 1913, Antonie Brandeis lived in Berlin for several years and then returned to her hometown in 1920, where she continued to devote herself to the colonial cause. Among other things, she played a key role in founding the colonial women’s school in Rendsburg in 1926. Antonie Brandeis died on April 24, 1945 in a British air raid on Bad Oldesloe. Objects from her collection were donated to the museum in 1900/01; sizable collections can be also be found in museums in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart and Cambridge.

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