Title: Lilly von Webern Papers,
Date (inclusive): [ca. 1850]-1944
Collection number: ARCHIVES WEBERN 1
Webern, Lilly von, 1886-1944
Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Victoria Hamlin, San Francisco, September 18, 1985.
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Head of the Music Library.
[Identification of item], Lilly von Webern papers, ARCHIVES WEBERN 1, The Music Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
Lilly von Webern (b. Judenburg, Austria, August 25, 1886; d. (?) Malverne, New York,
after January 3, 1944).
Lilly von Webern was the first cousin of the composer, Anton von Webern (b. Vienna,
December 3, 1886; d. Mittersill, Austria, September 15, 1945). This collection represents
the personal memorabilia of Lilly, much of it probably was passed on to her by her
mother, Elsa Kleinpell von Webern. Only a few peripheral items (see nos. 77 and 108)
pertain to Anton, the composer. Nevertheless, these materials constitute primary
genealogical documentation of the Webern family in Austria and the United States from the
mid-1850s to 1944.
Hans Moldenhauer and Rosaleen Moldenhauer in their definitive study
Webern: A Chronicle of his Life and Work
(London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1978),
803 pp., trace the genealogy of the Webern family in detail. The authors report (p. 651,
fn. 3) that The Webern Archive, a division of the Moldenhauer Archives in Seattle,
Washington, retains the memorabilia of Guido von Webern (1888-1962), the beloved brother
of Lilly (see folders 16-25, a collection of 114 letters from Guido to Lilly). Thus, the
archival materials at Seattle and Berkeley are literally "brother and sister"
This inventory takes as its point of departure Lilly's position within the Webern family,
and it radiates outward to other members. There are a few documents pertaining to her
mother's side, the Kleinpell's; most relate to her father's side persons who bore the
name of "von Webern."
Among these documents Lilly's name is variously spelled: "Lyly," "Lily," "Lillian," and
"Lilly." The most recent letter in the collection (no. 26) uses the form "Lily."
Lilly's mother was Elsa (Kleinpell) von Webern (b. July 17, 1856; d. in the United
States, probably Brooklyn, New York, date unknown). Her father was Josef Edvard von
Webern, b. March 5, 1852; d. Neustadt, December 24, 1896. Elsa and Josef were married in
Salzburg on January 26, 1880, and they had three children: Lilly, Guido, and Erich. After
Josef's death in 1896 Elsa and her three children moved from their home in Neustadt, near
Vienna (Schloglgasse Strasse 6) to Vienna (Tigergasse Strasse 14), then to Drosendorf,
Austria in 1906. In 1907, a relative, Dr. Henry Kleinpell, sponsored the family's move to
America (see Moldenhauer, p. 652). According to letters addressed to Lilly, she lived in
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1908), Waterloo, Iowa (1909), Ballyheather, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
(1910), Brooklyn, New York (at least four addresses 1910s and 1920s), and Malverne, New
York (at least three addresses during the 1930s and 1940s).
Lilly never married. Apparently she lived with her mother, then her brothers much or all
of her life. The nature of her professional career is unknown.
The papers include memorabilia (personal letters and photographs, diaries of her father,
family photographs, etc.)