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A. Ziffer

(b Görlitz, Feb 21, 1871; d Lüneburg, March 10, 1948).

German designer, painter, teacher and theorist. A self-taught artist, he made several study trips to Italy and the Tyrol. In painting he found inspiration in late German Romanticism, before turning to the English Arts and Crafts Movement. His designs were exhibited in 1899 at the exhibition of the Bayerische Kunstgewerbeverein (Munich, Glaspal.) and in 1901 at the first Ausstellung für Kunst im Handwerk in Munich. In 1902 he founded the Lehr- und Versuch-Atelier für Angewandte und Freie Kunst with the Swiss artist Hermann Obrist, developing a modern co-educational teaching system based on reformist pedagogy and popular psychology. In preliminary courses, classes and workshops, a broad practical training was offered primarily in arts and crafts. This precursor of the Bauhaus encouraged contact with dealers and collectors and was widely accoladed. When Obrist resigned from the school in 1904, Debschitz founded the Ateliers und Werkstätten für Angewandte Kunst and the Keramischen Werkstätten production centres attached to the school. In ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(b Glasgow, July 4, 1834; d Mulhouse, Alsace, Nov 24, 1904).

Scottish designer, Botanist and writer. He trained at the Government School of Design, Somerset House, London, between 1847 and 1854, during which time he was strongly influenced by the design reform efforts of Henry Cole, Richard Redgrave and Owen Jones. In 1854 he began to lecture at the school on botany and in 1856 supplied a plate illustrating the ‘geometrical arrangement of flowers’ for Jones’s Grammar of Ornament. In 1857 he presented a series of lectures at the Royal Institution entitled ‘On the Relationship of Science to Ornamental Art’, which he followed up in a series of 11 articles in the Art Journal (1857–8) on the similar subject of ‘Botany as Adapted to the Arts and Art-Manufacture’. His first three books were on botanical subjects, and in 1860 he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Jena for his research in this area.

Following the International Exhibition of ...

Article

Anna Rowland

(b Südern-Linden, Nov 11, 1888; d Zurich, May 25, 1967).

Swiss painter, textile designer, teacher, writer and theorist. He trained first as a primary school teacher in Berne (1904–6), where he became familiar with progressive educational and psychoanalytical ideas. He was, however, interested in art and music, and in 1909 he decided to become a painter. He enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva but was so disappointed that he returned to teacher training in Berne. He read widely and developed an interest in religion and mystic philosophy. After qualifying he returned to Geneva and greatly enjoyed the course on the geometric elements of art run by the Swiss painter Eugène Gilliard (1861–1921). After travelling in Europe, in 1913 Itten went to Stuttgart to study at the academy of Adolf Hölzel, a pioneer of abstraction who was also convinced of the importance of automatism in art. Greatly impressed, Itten absorbed his teaching on colour and contrast and his analyses of Old Masters paintings. Encouraged by Hölzel, he made abstract collages incorporating torn paper and cloth....