Puhl & Wagner (1869-1969)

Back to Artistlist

Puhl & Wagner, which in its day was the largest and most important glass-painting and glass-mosaic enterprise in Germany, had its headquarters in Neukölln, now a district of Berlin. In 1886, the young businessman August Wagner (1866‑1952), in collaboration with the artist Wilhelm Wiegmann, founded a studio for decorative painting. While exploring methods of painting façades that were capable of withstanding the weather, the two men lighted upon the potential of glass mosaic and its production in line with the Venetian model. Wiegmann’s brother-in-law, the engineer Friedrich Puhl, was able to contribute the requisite technical knowledge. After an experimental phase lasting just one year, production of the first trial works and (shortly afterwards) full production were possible. The Deutsche Glasmosaik-Anstalt Puhl & Wagner (Puhl & Wagner German Company for Glass Mosaic) was founded in 1889, and the firm had its own factory, making it independent of Italian suppliers.

Amalgamation with Gottfried Heinersdorff’s Kunstanstalt für Glasmalerei, Bleiverglasungen und Glasmosaik (Company for the Arts of Glass-painting, Blown Glass, and Glass Mosaics) early in 1914 promised great things, and the new firm certainly achieved success for a while. While Puhl & Wagner dealt with technical advances, commercial management, and purchases, Heinersdorff was responsible for the company’s artistic direction, until he was officially required to leave the firm in 1933, on account of his half-Jewish ancestry. Antagonism between Wagner and Heinersdorff had been smouldering since the mid-1920s.

Puhl & Wagner in WIKIPEDIA 
In 2008, this piece was included in Wikipedia’s list of excellent articles.

Biography August Wagner