My inexhaustible search for the obscure and bizarre teaches new lessons every day, as I discover things I shoulda known about but didn’t. The title’s reference nods to the birthname of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, neé Else Hildegard Ploetz, who came up in Charles Simic’s very diverting review of Dada (Making It New in the current NYRB):
…the legendary Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Lori[n]ghoven, who walked around New York with a wastebasket on her head, postage stamps stuck to her face, and her dress ornamented with children’s toys, tea balls, and other trinkets she swiped from Woolworth’s or found in the streets.
…so of course I went looking for more and found these:
Christopher Lane’s A Short Biography of…,
Valery Oisteanu’s The Dada Baroness from artnet.com,
Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven Digital Library,
and of course a Wikipedia article
all of which just goes to show that my Education continues.