Spilhaus, Nita (1878 – 1967)

Nita Spilhaus was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1878. After her parents died during her infancy, she was
raised by her grandfather in Lubeck, Germany. She studied art between 1896 – 1900 at Lubeck School
of Art and Germany Kunst Akademie, Munich. According to her unpublished memoirs, she states that in
Munich she studied at the same time and under the same master as Hugo Naude.

In 1907 she came to live with relatives in Cape Town, South Africa and within a few days after her arrival
she met Allerley Glossop. Hugo Naude and his wife also became intimate members of their circle. During
World War I she was forced to paint indoors and therefore took to painting flowers. In 1915 she met
Pieter Wenning and he became a very close friend of hers.

In 1921 Nita married a German Osteologist, Dr Simon and a few years later they moved to Munich. They
came back to South Africa in 1929 at the time of the formationof the New Group where she was present
at the opening of it’s first exhibition. She does however not appear to have been a member. In 1963
despite not being able to paint anymore due to her ill health an exhibition was arranged in Cape Town.

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