Marie Kirschner

Marie Louisa Kirschnerová was born in Prague in 1852, the eldest of three sisters, and died in Košátky in 1931. She was brought up on the Lochkow Estate in Prague, which had been bought by her wealthy industrialist father after the restrictions had been lifted that required jews to live in ghettos.

She studied painting under Adolf Lier in Munich and then, after impressing Jules Duprés with her copies of his work, moved to Paris to study under him and subsequently under Alfred Stevens.

She moved to Berlin in 1887, and with her sister Aloisia ('Lola', a very popular author of romantic novels under the pseudonym Ossip Schubin) hosted one of the most fashionable salons in the city, where painters, writers and musicians regularly met. It was in Berlin that Marie turned to interior decorating, embroidery and creating ceiling panels for rich industrialists, including Lipperheide, Rath, Stollwerk and Siemens. One of her room designs for the German Reich won a Silver Medal at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.

Marie seems to have started collaborating with Loetz as a painter, and her first glass shape designs probably date from 1897/1898. As her style developed, she turned increasingly to geometric, post-art nouveau forms, often with handles, with a clear preference for restrained, unadorned décors such as Norma, Vulkan and spreading leaf-green or spreading Argentan.

                

This preference has led to Marie being considered as anticipating a style which, in the 1920s, became known as functionalism. She signed early examples of her designs, but not once they had entered routine production at Loetz.

As the fortunes of Loetz waned and the innovative quality of much of its output dropped, Marie turned to designing animal figures of little artistic value for the mass market.