Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 15437 times)

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  • Ludwig Gies was born in Munich on 3 September 1887. His general education was limited to eight years of primary and secondary school before he began an apprenticeship in repoussé metalworking from 1902 to 1906. He worked for the firm, first as a craftsman, then as a designer, until 1914.

    At the same time, Gies attended the City Crafts School (1906-1908), where he studied sculpture and architectural drawing. From 1908 to 1910, he also attended the College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied under the sculptor Heinrich Waderé and the medalist Maxmilian Dasio. In 1910 he began studying sculpture at the Bavarian Academy of Arts, and all his previous studies culminated in Gies' mastery of craftsmanship, technical skill and understanding of form and material.

    Ludwig Gies' work can be divided into three distinct artistic phases. Firstly, the Munich years from 1910-1918, secondly his Expressionist period from 1918-1930 in Berlin, and finally his intaglio period from 1930-1966 in Berlin and Cologne, where he died on 27 January 1966.

    Munich's artistic environment was fertile ground for emerging artists in a variety of media. Art organisations such as the Bayerischer Kunsthandwerkerbund and the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunsthandwerk offered lectures, magazines (Kunst & Handwerk) and exhibitions steeped in Bavarian traditionalism. Most importantly, no distinction was made between applied and fine arts. Leading artists, craftsmen and manufacturers collaborated closely in the design and production of arts and crafts objects such as bowls, vases, lamps and other utensils.  This collaboration resulted in a local version of Art Nouveau that was heavily influenced by traditional styles, exhibiting heavy rather than light forms of design, emphasising the specific qualities of the materials of production, and relying heavily on the quality of craftsmanship in the workmanship. The same principles were applied to the design and creation of the modern cast art medal in Munich.

    Ludwig Gies created some 150 First World War medal designs between 1913 and 1918. He became known and admired for his ability to create monumentality in the smallest of spaces.

    You will never see Ludwig Gies glorifying a battle or commemorating someone in the patriotic spirit of sacrifice. These convictions marked him early in his career and the war as a defeatist in the eyes of the authorities.

    Gies loved to invent stories, and he knew how to do this with his medals. He doesn't record historical events in a matter-of-fact way, but is deliberately ambiguous. You will see that he deliberately avoids any identifiable visual clues (uniforms, coats of arms, text) that might in any way introduce objective historicism. In this way, the image itself becomes an allegory of war. At the same time, by means of small, unobtrusive clues, he encourages the viewer to use his imagination to form his own opinion about war. The vibrancy and innovative style of Ludwig Gies, which you are about to see, serves this purpose well. Enjoy!

    Works Cited

    Ernsting, Bernd. Ludwig Gies; Meister des kleinreliefs. Cologne: LETTER Schriften, 1995.

    Ernsting, Bernd. "Ludwig Gies; The Munich Years." The Medal 13 (1988): 59-72.

    Gies, Ludwig. "Kreigsmedaillien und-Schmuckstück." Die Plastik H 6 (1916).

    Jones, Mark. The Art of the Medal. London: British Museum Publications Ltd., 1979.

    Jones, Mark. The Dance of Death: Medallic Art of the First World War. London: British Museum Publications Ltd., 1979.

    La Guerre Européene. Médailles, Monnaies de Necessite, Papiers-Monnaié, Insignes Destinctifs des Régiments: Lagerkatalog 70. J. Schulman, Amsterdam, 3/1918.
Introduction
« on: April 28, 2013, 12:45:53 PM »
Ludwig Gies was born in Munich on 3 September 1887. His general education was limited to eight years of primary and secondary school before he began an apprenticeship in repoussé metalworking from 1902 to 1906. He worked for the firm, first as a craftsman, then as a designer, until 1914.

At the same time, Gies attended the City Crafts School (1906-1908), where he studied sculpture and architectural drawing. From 1908 to 1910, he also attended the College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied under the sculptor Heinrich Waderé and the medalist Maxmilian Dasio. In 1910 he began studying sculpture at the Bavarian Academy of Arts, and all his previous studies culminated in Gies' mastery of craftsmanship, technical skill and understanding of form and material.

Ludwig Gies' work can be divided into three distinct artistic phases. Firstly, the Munich years from 1910-1918, secondly his Expressionist period from 1918-1930 in Berlin, and finally his intaglio period from 1930-1966 in Berlin and Cologne, where he died on 27 January 1966.

Munich's artistic environment was fertile ground for emerging artists in a variety of media. Art organisations such as the Bayerischer Kunsthandwerkerbund and the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunsthandwerk offered lectures, magazines (Kunst & Handwerk) and exhibitions steeped in Bavarian traditionalism. Most importantly, no distinction was made between applied and fine arts. Leading artists, craftsmen and manufacturers collaborated closely in the design and production of arts and crafts objects such as bowls, vases, lamps and other utensils.  This collaboration resulted in a local version of Art Nouveau that was heavily influenced by traditional styles, exhibiting heavy rather than light forms of design, emphasising the specific qualities of the materials of production, and relying heavily on the quality of craftsmanship in the workmanship. The same principles were applied to the design and creation of the modern cast art medal in Munich.

Ludwig Gies created some 150 First World War medal designs between 1913 and 1918. He became known and admired for his ability to create monumentality in the smallest of spaces.

You will never see Ludwig Gies glorifying a battle or commemorating someone in the patriotic spirit of sacrifice. These convictions marked him early in his career and the war as a defeatist in the eyes of the authorities.

Gies loved to invent stories, and he knew how to do this with his medals. He doesn't record historical events in a matter-of-fact way, but is deliberately ambiguous. You will see that he deliberately avoids any identifiable visual clues (uniforms, coats of arms, text) that might in any way introduce objective historicism. In this way, the image itself becomes an allegory of war. At the same time, by means of small, unobtrusive clues, he encourages the viewer to use his imagination to form his own opinion about war. The vibrancy and innovative style of Ludwig Gies, which you are about to see, serves this purpose well. Enjoy!

Works Cited

Ernsting, Bernd. Ludwig Gies; Meister des kleinreliefs. Cologne: LETTER Schriften, 1995.

Ernsting, Bernd. "Ludwig Gies; The Munich Years." The Medal 13 (1988): 59-72.

Gies, Ludwig. "Kreigsmedaillien und-Schmuckstück." Die Plastik H 6 (1916).

Jones, Mark. The Art of the Medal. London: British Museum Publications Ltd., 1979.

Jones, Mark. The Dance of Death: Medallic Art of the First World War. London: British Museum Publications Ltd., 1979.

La Guerre Européene. Médailles, Monnaies de Necessite, Papiers-Monnaié, Insignes Destinctifs des Régiments: Lagerkatalog 70. J. Schulman, Amsterdam, 3/1918.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 01:17:35 PM by Haarmann »
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  • For the most part, Ernsting lists the museum locations where there are known Gies pieces.  Many of my threads use the following designators to show which museums have Gies material.

    B1 Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums).

    B2 Brüssel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Albert I Penningkabinett (Royal Library).

    D Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen (State Art Collection).

    H Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg Arts Center).

    L1 Leverkusen, Städtisches Museum Schloß Morsbroich (Museum Morsbroich).

    L2 London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals.

    L3 London, Imperial War Museum.
          
    M Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection).

    N New York, American Numismatic Society.

    P Paris, Musée d’Historie Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History).

    R Ramat Aviv, Kadman Numismatic Museum.

    S Stuttgart, Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Württemberg Regional Museum).

    V Vienna, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Military History.

    V2 Vienna, Kunsthistoriches Museum (Art History Museum).
Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 10:29:26 PM »
For the most part, Ernsting lists the museum locations where there are known Gies pieces.  Many of my threads use the following designators to show which museums have Gies material.

B1 Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums).

B2 Brüssel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Albert I Penningkabinett (Royal Library).

D Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen (State Art Collection).

H Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg Arts Center).

L1 Leverkusen, Städtisches Museum Schloß Morsbroich (Museum Morsbroich).

L2 London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals.

L3 London, Imperial War Museum.
      
M Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection).

N New York, American Numismatic Society.

P Paris, Musée d’Historie Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History).

R Ramat Aviv, Kadman Numismatic Museum.

S Stuttgart, Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Württemberg Regional Museum).

V Vienna, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Military History.

V2 Vienna, Kunsthistoriches Museum (Art History Museum).