glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy






Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) (1895-1978)  
page: 1  2  3  

This work was painted in celebration of what Gluck called her marriage to Nesta on May 25, 1936. The visual statement of two lovers merging into one being expressed an ideal that proved impossible for the women to sustain. The couple was together until 1944, when Nesta decided that she had to break off their relationship because Gluck had become too demanding and possessive.

Soon after England declared war against Germany in 1939, the Auxiliary Fire Service commandeered Bolton House. The War Artists Commission turned down Gluck's application for enlistment. Given the losses she had experienced and the rejection she felt, Gluck understandably began to sink into a deep depression.

Her suffering is already evident in a self-portrait she painted in 1942, two years before she and Nesta parted company. The artist depicted herself with her head tilted back, looking grimly down on the viewer with a defiant and combative expression.

Gluck could not bear to be alone and, after the break-up of her relationship with Nesta Obermer, she immediately pursued Edith Shackleton Heald, the first female reporter in Britain's House of Lords. The women had met at an exhibition of Gluck's work held for Plumpton villagers in February 1944.

The relationship soon developed into one of mutual need, and Edith invited Gluck to live with her and her sister Norma on her family estate, Chantry House, in Steyning, Sussex. When Gluck moved in on October 6, 1944, neither woman realized that it would begin a troubled thirty-year companionship.

The triangular living arrangement caused a permanent rift between Edith and her sister, who moved out two years after Gluck joined the household. The relationship between Gluck and Edith also soon soured. Edith allowed Gluck's economic and emotional needs to dominate her home; and since Edith did not have enough money to purchase a new home, the disharmony led her to travel frequently with friends.

Gluck never recovered from losing Nesta or from the war's devastation. A permanent rift between her and the brother who managed her trust fund also developed after her mother died in 1958. In addition, both Edith and Gluck began to suffer from a variety of illnesses as they aged.

During the years Gluck was with Edith, she allowed her painting to suffer and she faded from the public eye. She did, however, become a life member of the Royal Society of Arts and was commissioned to paint some portraits of judges between 1955 and 1968, including one of her second cousin, Sir Cyril Salmon (1957-1960).

While Gluck was depressed and relatively inactive during her years at Chantry House, she did indulge her love of quality painting materials. Long frustrated with the quality of paints and canvases, Gluck began a decade-long battle with the British Board of Trade and commercial paint manufacturers. Fortunately, the Arts Council of Great Britain, British Colour Manufacturers Association, and two important museums backed her efforts.

Gluck's tireless work resulted in the formation of the British Standards Institution Technical Committee on Artists' Materials. For the first time, there were published standards regarding the naming and defining of pigments, cold-pressed linseed oil, and canvas.

The artist finally returned to her easel during her old age and one of her works from this period, a painting of a dead fish head, its flesh mostly eaten away, was a great success. The title Rage, Rage against the Dying of the Light (1970-1973) was taken from the poem Dylan Thomas wrote about his dying father. The artist knew that she was painting death, the loss of love, and the loss of years that had been wasted.

In 1970 Gluck decided to have another exhibition of her work. The three-year process of organizing the exhibition was hard work, and Gluck suffered a heart attack in November 1972. The exhibition at the Fine Arts Society in London opened six months later and was a great success. The fifty-two pieces that Gluck included in the exhibition were highly praised and also sold well. It was, however, to be the last exhibition of Gluck's lifetime.

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3   next page>  
Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about The Arts
Popular Topics:

Social Sciences

Stonewall Riots
Stonewall Riots

Gay Liberation Front

The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980

Leather Culture

Anthony, Susan B.
Anthony, Susan B.

Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence



Computers, the Internet, and New Media





This Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.