Max Krehan and Gerhard Marcks worked as a team. Krehan was the workshop master, and Marcks was the master of form at the Bauhaus ceramics workshop. With their students, they created what is now called the Bauhaus style: modern, simple containers with geometric shapes and a monochrome glaze that have timeless elegance.

Max Krehan, photo: unknown, 1924. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.
Max Krehan, photo: unknown, 1924. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.

The artistic training of Max Krehan began in 1889 at the home family business in Dornburg near Weimar with a pottery apprenticeship. He already passed his journeyman’s examination in 1890 and travelled as an artisan for a number of years to places like Switzerland. After he returned home, he passed the master examination in 1900 and – together with his brother Karl – continued to operate the family business that was one of the last pottery workshops in the Weimar region at that time.

Ceramics Workshop in Dornburg, photo: unknown, around 1923. Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, (AdM) / © Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, ADM.
Ceramics Workshop in Dornburg, photo: unknown, around 1923. Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, (AdM) / © Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, ADM.

Starting in May 1920, he participated in the development and furnishing of the ceramics workshop of the Bauhaus, for which he was the workshop master for almost four years and worked together with Gerhard Marcks and Otto Lindig. During that same year, he started teaching at his own ceramics workshop. It was taken over by the Bauhaus Weimar in 1923 and operated until the start of 1924. Successful models and prototypes for the industrial production were made here.

Pitcher with figure, form: Max Krehan / painting: Gerhard Marcks, c. 1923. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © free (Krehan) / Gerhard Marcks Foundation.
Pitcher with figure, form: Max Krehan / painting: Gerhard Marcks, c. 1923. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © free (Krehan) / Gerhard Marcks Foundation.

Literature:
Weber, Klaus (1989): Keramik und Bauhaus. Geschichte und Wirkungen der keramischen Werkstatt des Bauhauses, Berlin.