Hennings, Emmy

BORN 17 Jan 1885, Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein - DIED 10 Aug 1948, Sorengo, Ticino
GRAVE LOCATION Gentilino, Collina d'Oro, Ticino: Cimitero di Sant'Abbondio, Via in Sacca 1

Emmy Hennings was the daughter of Ernst Friedrich Matthias Cordsen, who worked in shipbuilding. When she was eighteen years old she married an amateur actor and together they joined a wandering group of actors. They had a daughter, Annemarie, who was taken care of by her parents during the first years. In 1904 she divorced her husband and travelled as a performance artist in Germany. From 1906 to 1908 she worked for the acting group of Oskar Ludwig Georg Brönner. In 1909 in Berlin she met the journalist Ferdinand Hardekopf and she travelled with him in France in 1910. They separated soon afterwards and in Berlin she performed with Claire Waldoff. In Munich she worked as a diseuse for the cabaret Simple and there she met Hugo Ball. In 1914 she was convicted of theft and imprisoned for several months in Munich.

After her release she emigrated to Switzerland with Ball. In Zurich they founded the Cabaret Vaoltaire with Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber and others. This is where Dadaism was born and in 1917 they founded the art gallery Dada. In 1920 she married Ball. They turned away from Dadaism and became close friends with Hermann Hesse. Ball died in 1927 and after his death she worked as an author. She died in 1948 in Sorengo and was buried next to Ball.

• Husband: Ball, Hugo (1920-1927)

Related persons
• cooperated with Arp, Hans
• was a friend of Hesse, Hermann
• cooperated with Taeuber-Arp, Sophie


The grave of Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings at the Cimitero di Sant'Abbondio in Gentilini, Ticino.
Picture by Androom (15 Feb 2019)


Emmy Hennings – Wikipedia

Henrietta, princess of Bourbon-Parma

Published: 08 Apr 2019
Last update: 30 May 2020