1901: Edgar Karl Alfons Ende was born in Hamburg / Altona, on 23 February 1901 the son of Gustav and Auguste Ende.
Edgar Ende: "The paternal line is supposed to be distantly related with the painter Adolf Menzel. The maternal line goes back to Sweden. Both families have rural roots. My paternal grandmother lived as a wise woman somewhere in the Sudeten Mountains".
1902: Brother Helmuth Ende born (died 1986)
Edgar Ende: "Without supervision I was sitting with my brother on the windowsill. Then all my memory cease, up to the moment when my brother was brought back to the flat, covered in blood. But the events in between, the opening of the window and the fall, are completely unclear to me. In any case, I was told that I was to blame for it. Up to this day, I do not know if this is true. My brother made a full recovery, he is alive and only has a few deep scars around his head".
1907-1914: Attending "Volksschule" (school providing basic primary and secondary education) in Altona
Edgar Ende: "I have hardly any memories of how I started school. In any case, it was a time of suffering for me. I wasn't a good pupil".
1915-1919: Apprenticeship as a painter/decorator in Altona. Examination 1919
Edgar Ende: "Eastern 1915, I started my apprenticeship. This was the beginning of a hard time for me. I had very little satisfaction, for what I had hoped for was not going to happen. The apprenticeship meant painting walls, washing ceilings and walls, pushing carts and carrying buckets of paint. Hardly anything artistic could be sensed. And beside that, I was treated badly".
1916-1920: Attending the school for arts and crafts in Altona.
Edgar Ende: "During this time, I discovered Novalis for myself, because he fitted perfectly into my mood, later it was Klopstock, whose pathos caused me great enthusiasm. In the same way, I found in the world of Mombert a feeling of life that suited me very well. Frequently I went to the theatre, and was listening to Georg Kaiser, Hasenclever and others. My work was very much defined through aspects of the composition. Through the publications of Meier-Graefes I came across Marées, who made a profound impression on me. (…) But alone the fact that it was possible to depict something appeared a mystery to me and left me deeply in awe. This feeling last up to this day, and when I depict something, I am often astonished about myself. The whole atmosphere in the arts and crafts school in Altona was filled with solid craftsmanship".
1921: Member of the artist association in Altona and first artistic success
1922: Marriage with Gertrude Strunck
Edgar Ende: "It was rather outer circumstances urging me into this marriage, as the conditions at home would no longer allow me to stay, because my mother would not agree with the way I had chosen (…). The desire to rid myself of the constant accusations caused me to marry as soon as I had come of age. This marriage was to last four years, then we would get divorced".
1924: Ende gradually becomes known. Meets Paul Kemp and Gustaf Gründgens.
Edgar Ende: "My artistic development was hardly shaped by any teacher. I have no recollection of ever having painted differently from how I do now, if no decorations or other commissions forced me to. I would immediately react to any kind of religious-mythical art ".
1927: Participation in the exhibition "Europäische Kunst der Gegenwart" (European contemporary art) in the Kunsthalle Hamburg. Extended stay in Berlin.
1928: Move to Garmisch. At the pension "Nirwana", Ende meets Heinrich Mann and the writer Walter Steffens. A first long essay about Ende's artistic work is published the in the Hamburg culture magazine "Der Kreis" (Hugo Sieker).
1929: Marriage with Luise Bartholomä. She runs a shop with lace and semi-precious stones in Garmisch. Son Michael Ende is born. Exhibition in the Munich gallery Goltz, beginning of the friendship with the art historian Franz Roh. Commissions for portraits.
Edgar Ende: "On 12 November 1929, my son Michael was born. It was a difficult birth; he had to be delivered by Cesarian cut. Due to the enormous costs for this as well as the poor economic situation, which affected everyone back then, and also because we were not good business people, we had to give up the shop. In 1931, we moved to the Munich district of Pasing".
1931: Move to Munich. Journey to Italy, encounter with Renaissance art and the pittura metafisica (metaphysical painting) by Giorgio de Chirico. Ende meets the painters Gilles and Kuhn and becomes a member of the Münchner Neue Sezession (Munich New Secession). Friendship with painters Georg Schrimpf and Josef Scharl. In a fire at the Munich glass palace, three paintings and five drawings are destroyed.
Edgar Ende: "My circle of friends kept growing, we had always a lot of visitors. Schrimpf, Roh, Scharl, Franke and many others were visiting frequently. We extended the impromptu coffee meetings into the night, serving potato fritters for dinner".
1931: Exhibitions in Munich and Stuttgart, first purchases by museums and start of an international reputation.
1933: Art-historical Essay by Franz Roh "Edgar Ende: Ein ‚surrealistischer' Maler in München?" (Edgar Ende: A 'surrealistic' painter in Munich?) published.
Edgar Ende: "This relatively happy time came to an abrupt end in 1933. All my chances to take part in exhibitions were destroyed. Only behind closed doors, would some art sellers dare to show my pictures. Once again I was left with nothing".
1935: Move from Pasing to Schwabing. On the occasion of an exhibition at the "Neue Pinakothek", an article by Major Huch, highest judge of party, was published, threatening Ende with arrest, if he chose to stick to his painting style.
Edgar Ende: " My wife was given the opportunity, by Mrs Roth, to take massage classes at the clinic. The period of these classes was very hard for us. With this work, she tried to make ends meet. I for my part was very melancholy and for a long time unable to work. As we could no longer afford the rent in Pasing we were looking for a cheap study in Munich".
1936: Ende banned from his profession, as he is denied the coupon for painting materials by the Reichskulturkammer (Nazi authority in charge of culture and the arts). Forbidden to exhibit his work.
1937: First confiscations of paintings owned by museums as "degenerate art". Samuel Beckett visits Ende in his study.
1938: Meets Paul Heise, Franz Rauhut, Stefan Andres, Friedhelm Kempf.
1940: Call-up to arms at Christmas.
Edgar Ende: "In the meantime the war had started. On Christmas 1940, I had my call-up and had to report for duty as a recruit at the tank artillery in Bonn one day after New Year. Here I was to suffer the worst time of my life. It was horrible as an introvert person to be suddenly dragged outwards, as a respected man to be abused in the usual Prussian commanding tone."
1944: During a British air raid on Munich, in April, huge parts of Ende's works are destroyed. Ende is at that time in Poland, on the Eastern front.
1945: In Liezen at the river Enns, Ende becomes a prisoner of war of the US army. After six weeks, he is released and returns to Munich. Ende becomes a member of the Munich community of Christians. In Munich shares a flat and a study with the landscape painter Richard Ferdinand Schmitz.
Jörg Krichbaum: "How does an artist cope with the fact that almost 70 percent of his work are destroyed? (…) Michael Ende: "Indeed, that was hard for him. Those were real blows for him. But in a strange way he was not very attached to his pictures. I mean, usually he was only interested in his pictures as long as he was working on them ".
Edgar Ende: "In Liezen at the river Enns we met the first Americans who did not want to allow us to cross the bridge, since everyone on that side of the river was supposed to fall into Russian captivity. So there was nothing left for us to do than to cross the river, what caused many people to drown. I was very happy, to escape to the Americans unscathed, even though without a piece of clothing".
1946: Co-founder of the trade organisation of Munich artists, together with Rudolf Schlichter, Ernst Geitlinger, Adolf Hartmann. As the first German painter after the war, he has an exhibition in the Carnegie Institute. New artistic upswing.
1947: Friendship with painters Fabius von Gugel and Mac Zimmermann, who is clearly influenced by Ende.
Michael Ende about his father: "I still know, shortly after the war, there was this art seller who had been lending intensive support to him. His name was Booth, from Munich. And even this man used to say all the time: "You know, Mr Ende, I'll more likely sell 20 Baumeisters before I can sell a single Ende".
1948: Autobiography and art theoretical essays. Participation in Biennale in Venice.
1949: Elected into the exhibition management of the Großen Münchner Kunstausstellung (Great Munich Art Exhibition) in the Haus der Kunst (House of Art). Afterwards three times its president, working for it until 1961, participation in the exhibitions until his death.
1950: Co-founder of the German Artist Association, participation in the exhibitions until his death. Co-founder of the International Association of Surrealists, which exists until 1953, standing outside the group around Breton.
Michael Ende: "After the war he was in the new group, together with Mac Zimmermann. But nevertheless, especially with Mac Zimmermann he could not get on very well. Zimmermann had a completely different approach, he came from another direction. (…) But to get together within a group where everybody is looking in the same direction, that was important to him. Maybe, however, he expected too much from it..."
1951: Ende is leading the German president Theodor Heuss at the opening through the Große Kunstausstellung in the Haus der Kunst, Munich. Meets Prinz Heinrich von Hessen.
1952: Exhibitions in Düsseldorf and Konstanz. Meets the Vienna artist Arnulf Rainer. Essay about Edgar Ende by the Heidelberg art historian Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub is published under the title: "Romantic Surrealism: Edgar Ende".
Michael Ende: "Back then quite a lot of poems were written, in which I tried to use subjects as my father had them in his drawings or his paintings and to play them like music with my words. Not by describing the picture, but by simply trying to do the same thing that he had done in the picture just in another way. Thus, we have mutually inspired each other very much, yes, he thought it was very inspiring".
1953: Separation from his family; until his death he lives with his student Lotte Schlegel.
Michael Ende: "...it went even that far, when I was just over twenty and suddenly about to have my own ideas, that I started to harass him a bit, because back then I was developing a fairly different opinion about art, which had nothing to do with his views. That was unbearable for him, that was one of the reasons why he left home, at least that was what he said. That he could not bear it any longer".
1954: Participation in the Biennale in Venice. During this year and the following years, several study trips to Italy. Visits the Quadrinale in Rom.
1956: Ende meets the writer Alix du Frênes.
1958: Member of the CIAFMA (Centre International de l'Actualité Fantastique et Magique), founded in Brussels.
1960: Meets Oskar Kokoschka.
1962: Edgar Ende receives the "Seerosenpreis der Stadt München" (prize awarded by the city of Munich).
Michael Ende: "A few years later, we had gone back to getting on very well with each other. By then I had understood what a unique personality he really is".
1963: Heart infarct and hospital stay. Ende becomes an honorary member of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (Academy of Visual Arts Munich). Move to Netterndorf near Antholing, into a former school.
Michael Ende: "In spite of all this, he never got what he really wanted, namely to become a lecturer at the academy, with a class of his own. Instead they appointed some other painters who were much less relevant than he was".
1965: On 27 December 1965, following a second heart infarct, Edgar Ende dies in Bettendorf. The funeral takes place on 30 December 1965 at the churchyard of Antholing/Northern Bavaria.
Michael Ende, when asked by Jörg Krichbaum about his father's art historical significance: "(…) I would really like to say that in my view it would be right to give Edgar Ende a place within Middle European art that equals roughly the one held by Margritte. Also regarding the significance, which his pictures had back then for the development of art. Because many have learned from him without admitting it. Some, however, do admit it. I have for example spoken with several painters from the Vienna School, and they said of course, Ende is a father to us. Ernst Fuchs for example who knew my father's work very well and had the highest esteem for him. With Fuchs I have personally spoken about this for a whole evening and he said, we all know Ende, to us Ende is an enormously important precondition for our own work".