Biography
1909

Born in Berlin as the son of the famous Italian singer Mafalda Salvatini (1888-1971) and the German scientist Walter Gérard (1883-1965)

1928

Beginning of an apprenticeship at Osram, Berlin; studies for one semester in Roman Law and Court Medicine at the University of Berlin; drawing lessons at the Academy, Berlin; first encounter with Lilli Palmer in Berlin

Since 1929

Pre-Clinical Medicine studies in Göttingen, encounter with Lilli Palmer in Göttingen

1932

Physics Exam in Göttingen

1933

Escaped from the Nazis to Paris, took a small apartment with Lilli Palmer, and continued his medical studies at the Sorbonne; inspired by the city, he also devotes himself intensively to his artistic work

1934

Finished his medical studies at the University Basel

Since 1935

Travels again and again to Venice, where for him painting and stage design is combined

1937

Doctorate of medicine; relocated to London, where Lilli Palmer is waiting for him; may not practice as a doctor as he is a foreigner; thanks to the contacts of his mother a connection to the world of music and the theatre emerges, this gives him assignments as a painter, draftsman and caricaturist

1939

Is allowed to work as a medical doctor, because due to the war there is a medical deficit

1940

First stage designs in London

1941

Separation of Lilli Palmer in friendship

1943

Assistent doctor in a laborer district of London

1944/45

Doctor at St. Mary Abbots Hospital in Kensington, London

1946

Encounter with the director Peter Brook, there follows a longer collaboration

1947

Rolf Gérard becomes a British citizen, first trip to New York and Hollywood

1948-71

Regular stays in New York

1950-70

Responsible for costumes and stage sets at the Metropolitan Opera, New York under the direction of Rudolf Bing

1951

Marriage with the Russian Kyra

1951-54

Work for American television in New York

1952-60

Designs for Chanel and Dior packaging in Paris

1955-71

Stage sets and costumes for ballets

1974

Move to Geneva

1976

Kyra dies after severe illness

1977

Reconciliation with Fritzi Weiner and move to Ascona

2002

Establishing of the Foundation Rolf Gérard, Ascona

2011

dies in Ascona