History of the Rosenthal factory
Philipp Rosenthal (1855-1937) began business in Germany in 1884. Initially he purchased white ware from the company Hutschenreuther which was resold door to door after being hand-painted by his wife Maria. In 1891, he established a factory in Asch, Bohemia and began production of his own white ware.
Into the twentieth century and a more affluent Germany emerged with improved living conditions and a disposable income appeared. Rosenthal spotted the unfilled market and started mass scale production of porcelain aimed at the newly emerging market. In only two generations the family firm expanded into a world class player. With a vision for modern art, freelance artists were employed and the interior decoration business began. In 1910 the art department at Selb was founded employing designers such as Himmelstoss, Karner, Oppel, Holzer-Defanti, Liebermann, Cassmann and many others. The same year the factory won the gold medal for it’s quality porcelain at the world fair Paris. Over the decades other factories were acquired in ceramics, glass, utensils and furniture. It’s top quality porcelain is still admired today for the way they captured their subjects movement, form and liveliness.
Bele Bachem (1916 – 2005)
Bele Bachem was a German graphic artist, book illustrator, stage designer and writer. She is regarded as one of the most important German post-war artists and is one of the few surrealists of German literature illustration and in 1997 was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Born in Düsseldorf, she went to Berlin University of Arts late 1920s, where she was taught by Ludwig Bartning and Max Kraus. Her work quickly attracted attention and she was able to pursue her own style undisturbed. Soon she received her first assignments and was finally taken to Munich by Otto Falckenberg to create stage sets at the theatre. In 1940 she married the art historian Günther Böhmer and later that year their daughter was born. Shortly thereafter, their work was denounced by the National Socialists, and, within a year, public exhibitions of her work were banned.
After the war, Bachem published drawings in the satirical magazine Der Simpl and eventually resumed working on stage designs for the theatre. She illustrated and wrote books and designed for films. From 1954 to 1956 she was a lecturer in the Department of Illustration at the Werkkunstschule in Offenbach am Main. Bachem supplied numerous designs for the porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal and for the wallpaper factory Brascha Rasch.