Erna Nonnenmacher (née Rosenberg) was born into a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany 12 December 1889. She studied design at the Reimann Schule in Berlin and ceramics in Bunzlau. Afterwards, she was employed by the Rosenthal porcelain factory as a modeller, and at Fraureuth as a sculptor, sharing a studio with her husband and fellow sculptor, Hermann Nonnenmacher. Following the rise of Nazism, the Nonnenmachers fled to England in 1938. When internment for so-called 'enemy aliens' was introduced in 1940, Erna was briefly interned in Holloway prison, then in Rushen camp on the Isle of Man (men and women were held separately and Herman was interned in Onchan camp). After release, they exhibited with the Artist’s International Association (AIA) and Free German League of Culture (FGLC) in 1941, and at Ben Uri Gallery. Erna also assisted Hermann in teaching modelling and pottery at Morley College for adult education (1949–70). Most of her later English exhibitions were confined to London Jewish community contexts. Her sculpture and portraiture, produced in various materials, was displayed regularly at Ben Uri, including a three-person show with Walter Trier and Elsa Fraenkel in 1947, annual shows in 1958 and 1963, and Ben Uri' inaugural shows at new premises in Berners Street (1961) and Dean Street (1966). At the age of 75, she was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1964. Erna Nonnenmacher died in London, England in 1980.