Post 1: Niels Hansen Jacobsen – the ceramist (video)
In his lifetime Niels Hansen Jacobsen produced a sizable collection of ceramics, in fact at times it put his creation of large sculptures on the back burner. He was especially fond of exploring a variety of glazes. His stoneware production can be split, roughly, into two main categories, industrial art – like this piece – and sculptural works. Most of his industrial pieces started as classically turned on the wheel pieces. However, he would then work them into an array of shapes using his fingers, or other tools at hand.
Post 2: Stylized Mountain Landscape (video)
In Paris, Niels Hansen Jacobsen’s stoneware was on show from 1898 among “Les objects des arts décoratifs” at the Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts. His unique contribution to the history of European ceramics is ”leaded stoneware”. “Stylized Mountain Landscape” holds an important place in the tale of Danish symbolist art. Out of the oven he took an amorph stoneware lump, partly covered in a thick shiny glaze, contrasted with a coarse, mat surface. He then added the mountain peaks, the waterfall and the base – all cast and modelled in lead!
Post 3: Leaded stoneware
In this piece Niels Hansen Jacobsen has combined a more classically turned shape with his iconic lead detail to form another beautiful “leaded stoneware” piece. Jacobsen very rarely dated his pieces, but he has signed and dated this one 1910.
Post 4: Naturalistic shaped stoneware
Niels Hansen Jacobsen’s sculptural focus was changed when he in Paris met the craze for Asiatic stoneware. Trained as a sculptor clay had till then been but a means of modelling sculptures – suddenly glaze made it possible to decide the tones! He worked with ceramics for the rest of his life producing lots of sculptural work along with pots of all shapes and sizes! Here are but a few examples of his more naturalistic stoneware pieces. Our collection has, over the years, grown to include several of his stoneware busts featuring a wide variety of glazing techniques.
Post 5: Masks (video)
In the late 1890s / early 1900s, many artists in Europe found inspiration in the Japanese artistic traditions that were coming into Europe as a result of the opening of the Japanese market. Niels Hansen Jacobsen seem to have taken inspiration from their mask tradition, here are but a few examples. “The Autumn Mask” was modelled in Paris prior to 1899 when it appeared in Julius Meier-Graefe’s article about Niels Hansen Jacobsen in the German magazine “Dekorative Kunst”. “The Spring Mask”, a rounder and softer shape, was depicted the same year in the French magazine “Art et Décoration”. His troll masks have a distinct Nordic touch – but are unthinkable without the influence of the Japanese masks of the Noh-theatre. Three of Niels Hansen Jacobsen’s stoneware masks were shown at the Musée d’Orsay in the 2008-show “Masques de Carpeaux à Picasso” curated by Édourd Papet.
Post 6: The Story of Danish Stoneware (video)
Our museum director Teresa Nielsen gives a very brief introduction into ‘The Story of Danish Stoneware’: Niels Hansen Jacobsen was one of the first Danish artist producing stoneware in Paris in the 1890’s. From about 1900 H.A. Hjorth on the island of Bornholm was the pioneer on Danish soil. His small bowl form 1911 was decorated by chance as a Seger cone fell onto the edge! Arne Bang popularized stoneware working with floral or rib decorations and an array of glazes. In 2011 The Vejen Art Museum created a large Arne Bang-show and a database with many hundreds of objects (Can be found on our Danish website).
Post 7: Artists Working in Clay (video)
Our museum director Teresa Nielsen gives a very brief introduction into ‘Artists Working in Clay’: Th. Bindesbøll was a pioneer of European modernism designing furniture, silver and decorating ceramics in the scrafitto-manner with a scratched outline. At the Kähler workshop Karl Hansen-Reistrup in the 1890’s gave the calabas shaped vase an art nouveau decoration. Susanna stepping out of the bath was made in 1917 by the painter-sculptor Jais Nielsen – and the COBRA-painter Asger Jorn in 1953 decorated the plate and in the 1960’s presented the pair of Bindesbøll vases to The Vejen Art Museum.