About Hilde Vogel-Michalik, 1918–1999

Hilde Vogel-Michalik, a painter, was born in Germany, where she studied English, German, and Art History at both Heidelberg and Berlin Universities. In 1939, she began taking evening lessons in drawing and painting at the Folkwang School in Essen, where she studied painting under Professor Joseph Urbach and worked with fellow artist Anton Felderhoff.

In 1955, Hilde moved to the U.S. with her husband, sculptor and master carver Harold C. Vogel. The structure of Hilde’s life involved painting, reading, making bread, walking with her dog, and traveling with her sister Friedel Michalik. Hilde’s paintings reflected where they had been – in colors, in medium, in light or dark, and in forms, but not in shapes that we could necessarily recognize as being Egypt or Easter Island, the Grand Canyon, Greece, or Guatemala. She played with colors and with forms. There is order, structure, and strength in her paintings, and also mystery. You will see a hint of the reds of Chaco Canyon, of the stone paving of a village in southern France, of brilliant Greek sunlight, or a moonlit landscape.

These Are My Songs, Hilde Vogel-Michalik. Printed in 2002, limited edition.

Hilde painted for herself, and her paintings are abstract and rarely titled. She worked in watercolor, oil, acrylic, or encaustic, a mixture of hot wax and pigment, which was perhaps her favorite medium, with its brilliant opaque colors.

Hilde’s paintings might be seen as her conversation with the world around her, its places, light, color, and forms. This idea is reflected in a letter dated January 21, 1987, in reference to her paintings where she wrote, “These are my jewels, or one could also say, my songs.”

Hilde’s works were a bequest to George Mason University from Harold C. Vogel.