Johanna (Hanna) Bekker vom Rath received drawing and painting lessons at an early age, studying under Marie Paquet-Steinhausen in her studio at the Städel in Frankfurt am Main. From 1913 onwards, Bekker vom Rath studied under Ottilie W. Roederstein. In 1921 she bought a house in Hofheim am Taunus that became known as the Blue House on account of its colour, and which later became a refuge for persecuted artists and intellectuals. Bekker vom Rath often travelled to Berlin and was interested in the art of the avant-garde. She built a studio adjoining her house in Hofheim, and many persecuted artists used it as a temporary working space in the 1930s.
After the Nazis assumed power in 1933, Bekker vom Rath remained in her Blue House in Hofheim. In 1934, she began working as a private art dealer in order to help artists denounced as “degenerate” to sell their works. She also became a patron and a collector herself. From 1940 to 1943, she invited people to secret exhibitions of “degenerate” artists in her studio apartment in Berlin, and also organised lectures and house concerts for all those who did not adhere to National Socialist ideology. After the war, in 1947, she opened the Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker vom Rath in Frankfurt, which offered a forum to artists who had been persecuted by the Nazis. In 1963, she was awarded the Plaque of Honour of the city of Frankfurt, and in 1964 was presented with the German Federal Cross of Merit.