Jug, ca. 1905
This is a jug. It was designed by Joseph Hahn and manufactured by Reinhold Merkelbach. It is dated ca. 1905. Its medium is stoneware. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
This blue and white Jugendstil jug by the Bavarian ceramicist, Joseph Hahn, illustrates the renewed interest in stoneware at the turn of the twentieth century. The 1880s coincided with changing perceptions of ceramics, and in that decade we have the first instances of the term “artist” being attached to ceramicists. This period of art stoneware production was at once avant-garde and commercial, and ceramic studios became emotionally-charged atmospheres where creative energy informed the shapes and colors employed by designers. Although France was the center of art ceramics, the culture spread to other artistic centers on the continent and in Britain. The fin de siècle’s interest in stoneware complimented the Arts and Crafts interest in local decorative styles and native materials. Once considered a humble medium, stoneware took on a new importance and eventually rivalled porcelain both in practical use and aesthetic appreciation. The nature of the stoneware revival in Germany took on a different character from those transpiring elsewhere, chiefly encouraged by the success of foreign makers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. The revival was not accompanied by technical advances because craftsmen instead returned to traditional methods of production, but visually, art ceramicists infused their pieces with a contemporary energy and visual language. This jug is an exemplar of Jugendstil art stoneware with its bulbous volume and undulating, abstracted vegetal decoration. It synthesizes the geometric art nouveau of Charles Rennie Mackintosh with the austerity of the Wiener Werkstätte, resulting in a piece that bridges the gap between nineteenth- and twentieth-century ceramics.
This object was
George R. Kravis II.
It is credited
Gift of George R. Kravis II.
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Its dimensions are
H x diam.: 25.3 × 16 cm (9 15/16 × 6 5/16 in.)
Cite this object as
Jug, ca. 1905; Designed by Joseph Hahn (German, b. 1884); stoneware; H x diam.: 25.3 × 16 cm (9 15/16 × 6 5/16 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-52
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection.