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.
Prof. Theodor Kärner ( 1884 – 1966 )From 1898-1903
Kärner completed an apprenticeship as a modeller at Hutschenreuther. He then attended the class of Heirich Wandere and Anton Pruska at the Royal Bavarian School of Applied Arts in Munich. Between 1914 and 1921 he was with the animal painter Heinrich von Zügel (1850-1941) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
From 1905 to 1918 he worked as a sculptor in the porcelain factory Nymphenburg in Munich and between 1918 and 1934 as a freelancer for the company Rosenthal in Selb. In 1917 Philipp Rosenthal bought the porcelain factory in Bahnhof-Selb and around 1922, the production of art and decorative porcelain began there in full. From this time on, Theodor Kärner worked there full time.