Designed by Margarete Heymann‑Löbenstein‑Marks (German, 1899–1990)
Manufactured by Haël Werkstätten (Marwitz, Germany, 1923–1934)
Tea Service, ca. 1930
Glazed ceramic; teapot: 5 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.
Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, by exchange, M2011.17.1a,b–.15.
Photo by John R. Glembin
Margarete Heymann-Löbenstein-Marks—better known as Grete Marks—was a gifted artist who in the 1920s emerged as a leading pottery manufacturer in Germany. The bold designs Grete fashioned at her Haël Workshop reflect the aesthetic ideals of the Bauhaus school, which she attended for 3 semesters. Teapots like this show Bauhausian machine precision and geometric principles, while other designs witness color theory and expressive brushwork. Grete’s world collapsed with the rise of the Nazi regime in the 1930s and she was forced to sell her factory and move to England. Hitler and his compatriots considered modern art as anti-German and “degenerate.” Rather than a victim, Grete is best remembered for her remarkable talent that unveiled itself fully in her designs at the Haël Workshop, where she made reality of the utopian Bauhaus vision of good craft and Modern design mixed with efficient manufacture.
Mae E. Demmer Assistant Curator of 20th-century Design
Milwaukee Art Museum