A plaque to commemorate the life and works of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

The Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust has supported the British Museum’s International Training Programme (ITP) since 2011 and their generosity has enabled the ITP to plan both the annual programme and our legacy projects with increased confidence and creativity.

So, we were delighted to read that on Friday 24 June 2022, a plaque to commemorate the life and works of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky was unveiled at 6 Chesterford Gardens, London NW3 7DE where Marie-Louise lived from 1960 until her death in 1996.

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky commemorative plaque

Here is the press release from the Heath & Hampstead Society and the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust which marked the occasion­:-

The Heath & Hampstead Society together with the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust are proud to be commemorating the lives and work of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky and Elias Canetti with a plaque. They were émigrés, impelled to leave Vienna because of their Jewish heritage when Hitler marched into Austria on 12 March 1938. Marie-Louise who arrived in 1939 via Holland, became a British citizen in 1948; Canetti who came from Prague in 1938, did so in 1952. Their relationship developed in Amersham during the Second World War, continuing for almost thirty years, with a correspondence over fifty years, testimony to the vital role they played in each other’s lives. Canetti consistently encouraged Marie-Louise as an artist and she gave him a safe haven where he could keep his library and write, most notably one of the works that contributed to his citation for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981: Crowds and Power, 1960.

Elias Canetti lives on through his published work and his papers in the Central Library in Zurich, where he died in 1994. Marie-Louise’s paintings and drawings can be found in museum collections across Great Britain and Europe. In London and its environs these are the Amersham Museum, British Museum, Burgh House, Hampstead, the Freud Museum, the Garden Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and Tate where her archive was donated in 2012. This includes both sides of the correspondence with Canetti, from which a selection was published in 2011. Marie-Louise presented a portrait of Canetti that she painted in 1992 to the National Portrait Gallery to express her thanks to Britain ‘for giving a home to my mother and me’. In 2016 the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust presented her self-portrait of 1959 that had been Canetti’s favourite.

Commemorative plaque opening

The Heath and Hampstead Society plaque unveiling (Photo credit: John Weston via https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/lifestyle/heritage/marie-louise-motesiczky-heritage-plaque-hampstead-9093080)

We hope you’ll join us in congratulating the Heath & Hampstead Society and the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust and you can read more here https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/lifestyle/heritage/marie-louise-motesiczky-heritage-plaque-hampstead-9093080