The Goldscheider Company

Viennese Ceramics 1885–1938

26 Oct - 11 Dec 2016

Exhibition view
Josef Lorenzl
Figure Tänzerin [Dancer], 1923
Execution: Goldscheider Manufactory
Ceramic, painted, colorfully glazed
Exhibition view
Wilhelm Thomasch
Goldscheider Manufactory, ca. 1934.
Ceramic, overglaze painting, glazed
Exhibition view
Viennese Ceramics 1885–1938
26 October – 11 December 2016

Curator: Rainald Franz, MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection

Founded in 1885, the three generations of the Friedrich Goldscheider company produced over 10 000 different ceramic models. Thanks to two significant endowments, the MAK has extensive holdings of the company’s figures, masks, and ceramic art. This exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate this popular manufacturer in the history of Viennese ceramics.

The cooperation of Friedrich Goldscheider’s sons Marcell and Walter Goldscheider with sculptors and ceramicists such as Josef Lorenzl, Walter Bosse, Alexandre-Louis-Marie Charpentier, Dina Kuhn, Michael Powolny, Arthur Strasser, and Vally Wieselthier greatly contributed to the success of the company. Many of them were in close contact with the Vienna Secession or the School of Arts and Crafts and as such were able to guarantee a high artistic standard. Furthermore, Arthur Goldscheider, another of Friedrich Goldscheider’s sons, managed to establish a prosperous sister company, La Stèle, in France.

Aryanization brought the success story of the Goldscheider company in Vienna to an abrupt end in 1938. The Goldscheider brothers were able to set up new businesses after emigrating to the U.S.A. and England. After the Second World War, Walter Goldscheider returned to Vienna, but in the 1950s his financial circumstances forced him to sell the license for the Goldscheider brand to the German company Carstens, which ultimately sounded the knell for the family business. Today, Goldscheider ceramics are collectors’ items that are sought-after around the world.