Hedwig Bollhagen

HB-Portrait

Hedwig Bollhagen

Hedwig Bollhagen (1907 – 2001) lived and breathed ceramics. Inspired by the dainty dollhouse china of her childhood, Bollhagen, a Hannover native, began her ceramics training at a renowned technical college in Höhr-Grenzhausen in 1925. It took just five semesters for the talented artist to gain the attention of Dr Hermann Harkort, who, as owner of the Velten Vordamm ceramics workshop near Berlin, promptly installed her as supervisor in his painting division. The following four years would form the basis for Bollhagen’s later works, both in a technical and artistic sense. In this time, she developed a keen eye for form, decoration and quality, influenced, among others, by celebrated Bauhaus-adherents Theodor Bogler and Werner Burri. Following Harkort’s insolvency in 1931, Bollhagen took up various positions in pottery factories and companies, among them at Karlsruhe’s Majolika Manufakur, where the ceramicist undertook her first experimentations in the elaborate sgraffito-ritz technique. In 1934, Bollhagen founded the HB Workshop for Ceramics in Marwitz, just northeast of Berlin. What would follow would be an unrivalled career as one of the greatest designers in modern German history.

 

Selected awards and exhibitions:
1937 – Gold medal world exhibition in Paris
1938 – Bronze medal internationale art and crafts exhibition Berlin
1957 – Gold medal, Munich
1958 – Certificate of honor world exhibition in Brussels
1962 – Goldmedal in Prag
1966 – Theodor-Fontane-Preis
1991 – Exhibition of honor ANTIQUA in Berlin
1992 – Kulturpreis Landkreises Oberhavel
1994 – Exhibition of honor City of Berlin
1996 – Order of merit City of Berlin
1997 – Order of merit Federale Republic of Germany
2006 – Elected one of Germany’s top designers by the Goethe Institute
2008 – Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte
2008 – Keramik Keramik-Museum Bürgel
2015 – Opening Museum Hedwig Bollhagen in Velten
2015 – Estate HB becomes National Treasure