Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven

Date of Birth:  1874
Date of Death:  1927

Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven (1874-1927) was a writer, sculptor and performer who immigrated to the US from her native Germany.  An ardent dadaist, she was a fixture in downtown Manhattan where she befriended the likes of Peggy Guggenheim, Marcel Duchamp, Jane Heap, Man Ray and Djuna Barnes.  While her writings were frequently published in the Little Review, she supported herself by modeling for other artists.  Elsa was infamous for her antics in Greenwich Village where she could be seen strolling the streets in her outlandish outfits, shoplifting from local vendors and running away from the police.  She made sculpture, including an early ready made called “God” and other, more ephemeral, assemblages.  Elsa returned to Germany after WWI and eventually moved to Paris where she resumed modeling for artists and enjoyed the support of other expatriates living there.  Elsa died, penniless, from asphyxiation when she left the gas on overnight in her room.