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Marguerite Wildenhain papers, 1930-1982

Wildenhain, Marguerite Friedlaender, 1896-1985


Collection Information

Size: 3.7 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of California ceramicist and educator Marguerite Wildenhain measure 3.7 linear feet and date from 1930 to 1982. Found within the papers are biographical sketches; correspondence with patrons, students, and colleagues, including Eugene Anderson, T. S. Eliot, and Gerhard Marcks; writings by Wildenhain and others; designs for pottery and other artwork; one scrapbook; news clippings, exhibition catalogs, and scattered printed material. Also found are photographs of Marguerite and Frans Wildenhain, Pond Farm, workshops, exhibitions,and artwork, as well as two film reels depicting Wildenhain lecturing and in her studio. There is a 0.3 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2020 that includes photographs and negatives of Wildenhain's works of art, circa 1960-1970, (many in the collection of Forrest L. Merrill or Luther College) taken by David Stone and photographs at Pond Farm, circa 1980. Additional photographs are of Wildenhain and her works of art, circa 1950 (possibly taken by Otto Hagel).

Biographical/Historical Note

Marguerite Wildenhain (1896-1985) was a ceramicist and educator in Guerneville, California. Born Marguerite Friedlaender in Lyon, France, Wildenhain received training in sculpture at the Berlin School of Applied Arts. She later worked as a designer for the Royal Berlin Porcelain Factory, leaving in 1919 to apprentice in pottery at the Bauhaus, under Max Krehan and Gerhard Marcks. After receiving her degree as master-potter, she was employed at the Municipal School for Arts and Crafts in Halle Saale, Germany. Fleeing the Nazis in 1933, she and her husband, potter Frans Wildenhain, operated a workshop in Holland before immigrating to the United States in 1940. In 1942 she settled near Guerneville, California, and established an artist colony known as Pond Farm. Following her divorce, she remained at Pond Farm and operated a summer school which lasted until 1980, training approximately 25 students each summer.


The collection was donated by Marguerite Wildenhain in 1973-1981. Additional material was donated in 2020 by David Stone, a student of Wildenhain.

Related Materials

Language Note

Collection is in English and German.