HAËL. Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein and her workshops for decorative ceramics 1923-1934

6 July 2023 to 21 January 2024

In 1923, exactly 100 years ago, a visionary design company opened at the outskirts of the art metropolis Berlin: The Haël Workshops for Artistic Ceramics. Founded by former Bauhaus student Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein (1899-1990), the company quickly became Germany’s most artistically progressive and stylistically and technically sophisticated ceramics manufacturer. With their abstract forms, vibrant glazes and expressive decorations, Haël ceramics set design standards and were successfully distributed both within and outside Europe. As outstanding examples of the Weimar Republic’s ceramic production, they can be found today in numerous international museum collections.

As a Jewish entrepreneur, Heymann-Loebenstein was forced to sell the Haël workshops far below value in 1934; the young ceramist Hedwig Bollhagen opened the HB workshops on these premises, which are still successful today. Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein emigrated to Great Britain, where she continued to work as an artist and designer, but was unable to match her earlier success.

The exhibition at the Bröhan-Museum will display around 250 ceramics, a comprehensive catalog will be published.

Curator: Dr. Anna Grosskopf

Advertising motif: Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein, c. 1925, Bauhaus Archive Berlin Photo from the Haël-Werkstätten product catalog, 1931, with kind support from M+R Fricke, Berlin Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein / Haël-Werkstätten für künstlerische Keramik, vase, c. 1925/30, Bröhan Museum, Berlin
Photo: Martin Adam © Estate of Margarete Marks. All rights reserved / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Design: Gerwin Schmidt, 2023.