Journal Article

‘A true Siberia’: Art in Service to Commerce in the Dresden Academy and the Meissen Drawing School, 1764–1836

SARAH RICHARDS

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 11, issue 2, pages 109-126
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/11.2.109
‘A true Siberia’: Art in Service to Commerce in the Dresden Academy and the Meissen Drawing School, 1764–1836

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A relationship between the Dresden Academy of Art and the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory was formally established as part of Saxon State policy to improve the quality and competitive edge of the region's manufactures following the Seven Years War (1756–63). The Meissen School was perceived to be significant among the satellite drawing schools in Saxon manufacturing centres, but it was a difficult institution to manage with clarity of purpose. Conflicts emerged when the Academy's concern to uphold ‘good taste’ ran counter to Meissen's commercial interests, especially at a time when the latter encountered severe setbacks in a turbulent period between two major stages in Saxon State reform. The curriculum at the Meissen School is given particular attention in this paper with regard to the Academy's aim to ‘introduce good taste’. The conflicts arising from the different objectives of commercial success on the one hand and the protection of academic standards on the other is revealed through the experiences of some of the artists who were employed at Meissen. At the same time it is possible to throw some light on the process of defining and redefining art and design education in the transition from Saxon commercial to industrial capitalism.

Keywords: art academies; ceramics; decorative arts; Germany; Schools of Design; taste

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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