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(established 1887)

This German ceramics manufacturer is perhaps most widely recognized in the history of design for its clearly articulated, undecorated, yet distinctive white designs by Herman Gretsch, the 1382 tableware service of 1931. These domestic icons of German Modernism embraced the progressive aesthetic spirit pursued by many designers associated with the Deutscher Werkbund, the Bauhaus, and the progressive municipal authorities in the mid‐1920s, such as Frankfurt and Stuttgart, symbolically embracing the Modernist maxim of ‘form follows function’. Gretsch had become consultant to the company in 1931, designing seven patterns during his period of employment. After the Second World War, in 1952, he was succeeded as artistic director by Heinrich Löffelhardt, who continued the tradition of clean, organic forms which were much in tune with the aesthetic ideals of the Rat für Formgebung (German Design Council), established in 1953. Such work also paralleled the post‐war aesthetic ideals pursued by his friend Wilhelm Wagenfeld in work for Rosenthal, seen in his Gloriana dinnerware (1953) as well as contemporary metalware designs for WMF. Löffelhardt's work was recognized internationally, his 2050 tableware winning a prize at the Milan Triennale of 1960. After a turbulent financial period in the early 1970s when it was taken over, the company re‐established its Good Design philosophy with designs by the Swiss Hans Theo Baumann (including the Turku service of 1972). This company hallmark was also clearly visible in designs twenty years later, such as the Cult service (1995) by Dieter Singer.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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