Hermann Gretsch


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German ceramic designer Gretsch was trained at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart from 1922 to 1923, following which he studied graphics and ceramics at the city's School of Applied Arts. In 1931 he designed the clean‐lined, Modernist Arzberg 1382 tableware service for the Carl Schumann factory in Bavaria which remained in production throughout the 1930s, was awarded a Gold Medal at the 1936 Milan Triennale, and continued to be manufactured until the 1960s. From 1932 the ceramic manufacturing company Villeroy & Boch employed him in the design of dinnerware services. Gretsch was also an important member of the Deutscher Werkbund, even after its demise as an independent body under the Nazi's Reichskammer der Bildenden Künste (Reich Chamber of the Visual Arts, RdbK) in 1934. He was appointed to head the Werkbund division of the RdbK in 1935, although it achieved little of note. However, in 1940 he wrote Gestaltendes Handwerk (Creative Handicrafts) which, despite its publication in the context of German crafts in the Third Reich, very much reflected a Werkbund credo of clean, undecorated forms as compatible with modern technological modes of mass manufacture as with hand production.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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