Prince Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld

Prince Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld (13 June 1914 – 14 May 1988) was an expert in Chinese painting and Indian sculpture and curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He was the younger brother of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

Prince Aschwin
Aschwin zur Lippe Biesterfeld (1961).jpg
Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1961
Born(1914-06-13)13 June 1914
Jena, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Empire
Died14 May 1988(1988-05-14) (aged 73)
The Hague, the Netherlands
Oud Eik en Duinen, The Hague
SpouseSimone Arnoux
Ernst Aschwin Georg Carol Heinrich Ignatz Prinz zur Lippe-Biesterfeld
HouseHouse of Lippe
FatherPrince Bernhard of Lippe
MotherArmgard of Sierstorpff-Cramm

Life and careerEdit

Aschwin was the second and last child of Prince Bernhard of Lippe and Baroness Armgard of Sierstorpff-Cramm. He was born with the title of count of Biesterfeld and grew up with his elder brother Bernhard at their parents' estate, Castle Reckenwalde (now Wojnowo, Lubusz Voivodeship, Poland). When Adolf Hitler came to power, Aschwin openly supported the Nazis and become a Wehrmacht officer. During the war, Aschwin continued his education in East Asian art. In November 1942, he defended a PhD at the Humboldt University of Berlin on the 13th century Chinese painting Bamboos and Rock by Li Kan, and then worked at the Department of Chinese paintings of the Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne.

In 1945, he left Germany, and in 1949 settled in New York as a research assistant at the Department of Far East of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he worked until retirement in 1973.[1] During those years, he regularly published journal articles on Chinese paintings and Buddhist sculptures from South and Southeast Asia.

On 11 September 1951, Prince Aschwin married Simone Arnoux (1915-2001) in London. Arnoux was French and was previously married to German aristocrat Gottfried Adam Vollrat von Watzdorf. She had two children with von Watzdorf, but none with Prince Aschwin. After the birth of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands on 11 October 1969, Prince Aschwin became one of his godfathers.[1]

Although Bernhard cut off communications with Nazi supporters, including his brother, their relationships resumed after the war. In the 1970s, Bernhard persuaded Aschwin, who was suffering from Parkinson's disease, to return to the Netherlands, where he died in 1988, aged 73.[1]

Main publicationsEdit

  • Fong Chow; Aschwin Lippe (1965). Chinese Buddhist Sculpture. Metropolitan museum of art.
  • Aschwin Lippe (1970). The Freer Indian Sculptures. Smithsonian Institution.
  • Aschwin Lippe (1978). Indian Mediaeval Sculpture. North-Holland Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-444-85086-7.


  1. ^ a b c Stefanie Lampers (13 June 2013) 13 juni jarig: Aschwin zur Lippe-Biesterfeld.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld at Wikimedia Commons