(b Wiesenbach, 11 June 1738; d Jouy-en-Josas, 6 Oct 1815). French textile manufacturer of German birth. He was the son of a textile dyer and printer and was trained in these skills in both Switzerland and the region of Mulhouse in Alsace. In 1758 he went as engraver and colourist to Parisbut left soon after to direct a new workshop at Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles, where he produced his first printed piece in May 1760. Oberkampf developed Jouy into the most important factory making printed cottons in France. In 1770 he introduced copperplate printing at Jouy, and in 1797 he put the first roller-printing machine into production in France. In 1783, the year in which Jouy became a Manufacture Royale, Oberkampf commissioned his first design from Jean-Baptiste Huet, which started a successful 28-year collaboration. Huet's Neo-classical and genre scenes, printed in single colours on to fine cotton fabric, were the textiles that made Oberkampf's reputation and continue to be associated with him. In addition to these the factory continued to make high-quality floral fabrics using woodblocks, producing at least 30,000 patterns. The factory closed in 1843.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.