NEW Johann Friedrich Böttger and his "red porcelain"

4 February to 31 December 2019

 

Was Johann Friedrich Böttger a great inventor or simply a con man? We are marking the tercentenary of his death by retracing his footsteps. Who was Johann Friedrich Böttger and how did he come to play such a crucial part in things? What was it that turned a maker of gold into a potter? What were his visions and what became of them? We give you the multimedia lowdown on Böttger, his companions and the age in which he lived.

The theme Exhibition focuses on Böttger's "red porcelain" as an interim stage presaging his invention of the white material. Early results from around 1705 are on show. Firing, polishing and painting samples tell the story of the very beginnings of European porcelain production. With what artistic aplomb the early fine stonewares were made! The likes of Permoser, Thomae or Irminger all figure in the exhibition. The rebirth of fine red stoneware als "Böttger Stoneware" in 1919 enabled artists such as Max Esser, Gerhard Marcks, August Gaul or Ernst Barlach to likewise work with this delightful material. Also to be discovered alongside highly expressive animal statuary and figurines are medals and coins in the material.

And today? Silvia Klöde, Sabine Wachs, Jörg Danielczyk or Maria Walther are but a few of the artists who have worked with Böttger Stoneware, and in some cases still do. Some 150 or so exhibits in this fine red stoneware bear eloquent testimony to a ceramic material that is astonishingly hard and opens up whole new worlds of creative articulation.