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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

Patricia G. Berman

Term that suggests the merging of national boundaries and the indigenous ‘ethnic essence’ of a nation rather than a particular school or style. National Romanticism was a mid- and late 19th-century coalescence of two potent ideologies and was linked to the struggle for political legitimacy for a circumscribed geographic region. Its tenet was that the indigenous arts, history, music and folk traditions of a nation contributed to the spiritual and political survival of its people. It was manifest in the arts of those countries or regions of northern and central Europe, such as Scandinavia and Germany, that were once subject to foreign domination or had experienced recent unification. Thus, National Romanticism arose in response to a sense of intrusive internationalism that was perceived to weaken a sense of unity within a single geographic group. With its sources in German Romantic philosophy, this theoretical movement was introduced in the mid-19th century to Denmark through the writings of ...