Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Humming about Hummels

The Georgetown College community will be pleased to learn of a recent gift to the College made by the heirs to the Clyde Ensor Estate:  a couple hundred Hummels!  

What's a Hummel?  Well, in the late nineteenth century in Germany, a man named Goebel founded a porcelain factory.  Later, his son William oversaw the W. Goebel company and developed a product line specifically aimed at the U.S. market.  In the 1930s, 4th generation Goebel Franz began looking for something that suggested "innocence", perhaps to counter the extreme political upheavals occurring in Europe at the time.  A Franciscan nun born in Bavaria in 1909, Maria Innocentia (Berta) Hummel, after being trained at the Munich Academy of Applied Arts, came to Franz's attention for her popular art card images of rural children.  Goebel fashioned clay models based on the artist's drawings and Sister Hummel gave full rights of reproduction to the Goebel company.  She did, however, personally approve both the sculpture and painting of each earthenware piece.   M.I. Hummel figurines were first introduced in 1935 and were very successful, even following Sister Hummel's death in 1946 at the very young age of 37.  In fact, today Hummels have a large collecting base and several models are quite sought after. (From Dr. Lori's website and Hummel: the complete collector's guide and illustrated reference by Eric Ehrmann, Portfolio Press Corp, Huntington, NY, 1976.)

Currently located in Ensor art storage, Georgetown College's newest, rosy cheeked friends have found a good home!

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

Congrats on receiving this collection! I look forward to seeing it and sharing it with our visitors in the future!