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Vase, (untitled), ca. 1896
Max Laeuger
Vase, (untitled),
Max Laeuger,

Vase, (untitled),
ca. 1896

Max Laeuger
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • (untitled) Max Laeuger
  • (untitled) Max Laeuger
  • (untitled) Max Laeuger
  • (untitled) Max Laeuger
Listen to the text

With his innovative slip trailing technique, the prominent Art Nouveau pottery maker Max Laeuger (1864–1952) took the floral style of his era in a new direction. He received a gold medal for his objects at the 1900 International Exposition in Paris.

Max Laeuger had the high-shouldered brown earthenware vase turned by a potter and glazed in a shade of yellow. He regarded the painted ornament as vital to the composition and thus executed it himself using the slip trailing method. This technique involves pouring diluted clay slips onto the piece using a so-called slip trailer and then sealing them under a transparent lead glaze. With artistic mastery, Laeuger caused a lush meadow to sprout across the vase’s surface onto which daisy-like flowers grow. In the process, he deliberately distanced his ornament from its model in nature and instead created a free-form design in an alluring color scheme. The self-taught ceramicist drew inspiration here from the peasant pottery of the Black Forest region. Born in Lörrach, Maximilian Joseph Läuger—who changed his name to Max Laeuger on a study trip to Paris in 1892—first completed training in painting and interior decoration at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Karlsruhe and then worked as an art teacher. He became interested in pottery as part of his efforts toward stylistic reform in the applied arts. The Kunstgewerbemuseum in Zurich purchased large tile pictures and individual vases from Laeuger himself in Karlsruhe as early as 1895, and even offered him the post of director of the applied arts school in 1902. He turned it down, however, because he had already accepted an appointment in Kandern (in the county of Lörrach in Baden-Württemberg) in 1897, with the grand-ducal commission to make the local art pottery competitive again. (Sabine Flaschberger)

Vase, um 1896
Entwurf: Max Laeuger
Herstellung: Kunsttöpferei Tonwerke Kandern, DE
Material/Technik: Irdenware, gedreht, Schlickermalerei, glasiert
30 × 12.5 cm
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Sigrid Barten (Hg.), Um 1900. Verborgene Schätze aus der Sammlung des Museums Bellerive, Zürich 1999.

Elisabeth Kessler-Slotta, Max Laeuger zum 125. Geburtstag, in: Keramos 127 (1990), S. 41–48.

Image creditso

Vase, um 1896, Entwurf: Max Laeuger
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Vase, um 1900, Entwurf/Ausführung: Max Laeuger
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Krug, um 1902, Entwurf/Ausführung: Max Laeuger
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Skulptur, 1929, Entwurf/Ausführung: Max Laeuger
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fliesenbild, um 1893, Entwurf/Ausführung: Max Laeuger
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Keramik von Max Laeuger in der Ausstellung Initialen, 1920, Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich
Abbildung: Archiv ZHdK