Documents associated with this person:

The first wife of Viktor (Victor) Hammer, the Viennese painter, engraver, and typographer who made a mezzotint portrait of Heinrich Schenker in 1925.

The couple were married in 1909 and had two children, Jacob (born 1913) and Veronica (born 1918). They emigrated to the USA in 1939 and lived in Aurora, NY, then later in Lexington, Kentucky.

Viktor wrote to Schenker in 1913 (OJ 11/36, [1]) saying that his wife wanted to take "proper piano lessons," and asking Schenker to take her on. After Hammer tried to negotiate a lower fee, the matter seems to have lapsed.

In a letter of March 23, 1922 (OJ 11/36, [5]), Hammer remarked: "my wife, who understands Schubert’s 'Ihr Bild' simply and clearly from your 'clear'ification [in Tonwille 1], [...] literally 'flounders around' when she attempts to sing Mendelssohn's 'Altdeutsches Lied' or the 'Frühlingslied' (with Ulrich von Lichtenstein’s text)." This may have occasioned Schenker to work with Hans Weisse on the "Altdeutsches Lied," for a lessonbook entry under Weisse reads "Mendelssohn: 'Altdeutsches Lied' (line [i.e. Urlinie sketch] mailed off to Hammer)," and Schenker writes Hammer on May 25 (JOB 94-3,[2]) that he is enclosing to "you and your 'floundering' wife the small Urlinie of Mendelssohn's 'Altdeutsches Lied' by mail" on a separate sheet inscribed "to the still floundering Hammer couple." (On this sketch and the accompanying letter, see Siegel (2006).)

The Hammers and Heinrich and Jeanette Schenker came to be on quite close terms in the 1920s, visiting each others' homes. There is no known correspondence directly between Rosl Hammer and the Schenkers.


  • Hammer, Carolyn R., comp., Victor Hammer: Artist and Printer (Lexington, KY: The Anvil Press, 1981), p. 33 (Plate 5) [Hammer's mezzotint portrait of his first wife]


  • Rothenstein, John, Victor Hammer: Artist and Craftsman (Boston, MA: David R. Goodine, 1978)
  • Scutchfield, F. Douglas and Holbrook, Paul Evans, eds, The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014), esp. p. 9: see online partial preview of text
  • Siegel, Hedi, "Looking at the Urlinie," in Structure and Meaning in Tonal Music: Festschrift in Honor of Carl Schachter, ed. Poundie Burstein and David Gagné (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon, 2006), pp. 79‒99, esp. 82‒86


  • Ian Bent and Hedi Siegel

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