Welcome to the Fontaine Archive

For researchers: The Fontaine Archive contains the writings and photography of Virginia Hammersmith Fontaine (1915-1991) and information about the life and paintings of Paul Emile Fontaine (1913-1996). The collection of documents and rare images is an essential primary resource for art historians and historians interested in the role that the arts played in postwar Europe’s…

Exhibition Notice! Modern From the Start at the Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art has an exhibition until August 7, 2021 called Modern from the Start about Alexander Calder’s (1898-1976) long residence with MOMA, their “first and only house artist.” Paul Fontaine exhibited with Alexander Calder in Frankfurt in February 1953, but Virginia Fontaine had already met him in September 1952. She had been…

Exhibition Notice! Degree Zero: Drawing at Mid Century at the Museum of Modern Art

Museum Of Modern Art Degree Zero: Drawing at Mid Century November 1, 2020 – June 5, 2021 New York An international representation of over 80 artists’ drawings 1948-1961 from MoMA’s collection are on view. They cover the most abstract ZERO and CoBrA art groups to more representational works of Georgia O’Keefe. Included among them is…

A Note and Connection From Director Claudia Fontaine Chidester

A shout out to Canan Yetmen for her upcoming third volume of the Anna Klein trilogy, All That Remains (Summer 2021). This enthralling climax to the series has all the trappings of a great summer read: complex WWII history, requited love, and the chance to live through the eyes of a passionate woman as she…

Bruni Falcon and the difficult path of an opera singer

Bruni Falcon was an American opera singer born in Boston to German parents as Brunhilda Pfeiffer. Unable to travel to Europe during WWII, Bruni began her professional career at the age of 22 in Mexico City and then toured the U.S. with the Charles Wagner Opera company in 1950. Aside from singing, she was praised…

Marta Hoepffner in “Sheroes of Photography, Part 1” by Kicken Berlin Gallery

If only we could fly to Berlin – this is a show we wouldn’t miss! The exhibition Sheroes of Photography, Part 1 is on display virtually and physically at the Kicken Berlin Gallery from February 5 – April 23, 2021 showcasing women photographers. One of the photographers exhibited is Marta Hoepffner (1912–2000) who lived in Hofheim, Germany, and photographed Virginia Fontaine in…

Castles and Crimes: The Nazis weren’t the only one’s who looted

While Virginia Fontaine witnessed how the occupation forces helped find and repatriate art stolen by the Nazis during her time in post-World World II Germany, the Nazis weren’t the only ones to burglarize homes. Allied military occupying local homes in Germany during the war were reported by the Stars & Stripes military newspaper of stealing…

Women Spies Part 2: Rose Mary Kunz

Rose Mary Kunz appeared in Virginia Fontaine’s diaries on January 19, 1951, but not as a new friend, but as someone flying up to Frankfurt to the Rhein-Main Air Force base to visit Virginia in particular. Rose Mary worked in the Madrid embassy but came to Germany often, always visiting Virginia. We have no information…

Women Spies Part I: Patricia Van Delden

Patricia Van Delden, (1908-unknown). Alias: Sonneveer. Van Delden was a Los Angeles native who studied biology in Munich, Zurich, and Vienna in the 1930s, and married a Dutch electrical engineer in 1939. After he was captured by the Nazis in 1942 for sabotage, and later died in a concentration camp, she continued his work transmitting…

It’s Women’s History Month! Introducing: Women Spies

Women’s History Month calls us to discover, tell and uplift the history and stories of women across the world and throughout the decades! To celebrate this month, we will be giving you a two part series on women spies and their mysterious identity and impactful legacy in breaking ground for the abilities and accomplishments of…