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Paradise Journal

Irma Stern: Page from “Paradise” journal

1919–1924. Gouache and ink in hardcover book, 21 x 29.7 cm


From the team

Nadja Daehnke, Director of the Irma Stern Museum:

This image shows one page of a private journal Irma Stern kept between 1919 and 1924, a journal that delights with its fresh and experimental artistic approach, but also gives us a a deeper sense of how Irma Stern saw her role as an artist.

I find the written journal entries in turn endearing and psychologically revealing: on the one hand filled with imaginative phrasing that speaks of a searching and passionate young woman, on the other hand tending to over-the-top metaphors.

There is no doubt however that the images in the diary reflect a great artistic inventiveness, skill and excitement. How fitting then that this journal became itself an object of great excitement when it was discovered by pure chance, lodged at the back of a disused cupboard in Irma Stern’s studio, by Neville Dubouw (then director of the Irma Stern Museum) some seven years after her death.


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