Whether a storage container, coffee maker or teapot, Theodor Bogler’s timeless designs represent the radical rethinking that took place at the Weimar Bauhaus. Plain forms, functionality, modern beauty – and affordable for everyone. Even today, various Bauhaus shops continue to sell new editions of his ceramics.

Portrait of Theodor Bogler, photo: unknown, n.d. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.
Portrait of Theodor Bogler, photo: unknown, n.d. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.

Theodor Bogler studied at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar from 1919 to 1920, attending the preliminary course taught by Johannes Itten and classes by Lyonel Feininger. He spent the following summer semester in Munich so he could study architecture and art history at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and the Technical University. From 1920 to 1924, Bogler attended the Dornburg ceramics workshop of the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, which was directed by the sculptor Gerhard Marcks and the master potter Max Krehan. Here, he completed an apprenticeship as a potter and briefly took over the business administration of the workshop. He passed the journeyman’s examination of the Chamber of Crafts Weimar on 15th July 1922. Among other works, he created well-known ceramics, including a Turkish coffee pot and variants of the combination teapot.

Moccha Machine, design: Theodor Bogler, 1923. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © Vereinigung der Benediktiner zu Maria Laach e. V.
Moccha Machine, design: Theodor Bogler, 1923. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © Vereinigung der Benediktiner zu Maria Laach e. V.

In December 1924, Bogler left the Bauhaus Weimar. From 1925, he directed the Velten model and casting workshop at the Velten-Vordamm stoneware factories near Berlin. In 1927, he entered the Benedictine Maria Laach Abbey in the eastern part of the Eifel region. He studied philosophy and theology there and at the Beuron Archabbey on the river Danube from 1928 to 1933. In 1931, he was ordained as a monk and in 1932 as a priest. At the same time, Bogler continued to work as a ceramicist.

Kitchen Set for the Haus Am Horn, 1923, design: Theodor Bogler / production: Steingutfabriken Velten-Vordamm. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © Vereinigung der Benediktiner zu Maria Laach e. V.
Kitchen Set for the Haus Am Horn, 1923, design: Theodor Bogler / production: Steingutfabriken Velten-Vordamm. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © Vereinigung der Benediktiner zu Maria Laach e. V.

From 1934 to 1938, he was occasionally active at the Hedwig Bollhagen workshops in Marwitz near Velten. After 1948, he headed the art workshops and the Ars Liturgica art publishing company at Maria Laach Abbey. He also developed designs for the company Staatliche Majolika Manufaktur Karlsruhe GmbH.

Combination Teapot L 1 with Off-Centered Lid, Theodor Bogler, 1923. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © Vereinigung der Benediktiner zu Maria Laach e. V.
Combination Teapot L 1 with Off-Centered Lid, Theodor Bogler, 1923. Klassik Stiftung Weimar / © Vereinigung der Benediktiner zu Maria Laach e. V.

Literature:
Kittel, Hubert (2009): Von der Bauhaus-Töpferei zum Versuchslaboratorium für die Serienfertigung, in: Modell Bauhaus, ed. by Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin/Museum für Gestaltung, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau und Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Ostfildern, p. 157.
Weber, Klaus (2009): Theodor Bogler, in: Bulletin of the Study on Art Education in Wakayama University, No. 15.
Weber, Klaus (1989): Keramik und Bauhaus. Geschichte und Wirkungen der keramischen Werkstatt des Bauhauses, Berlin.