Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone at eighteen years old (1879)

Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone was born in Hillerød, Denmark, on August 27, 1860.  This photo of her was taken in July 1879, a month before her nineteenth birthday:

Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone (1879) 3

The carte-de-visite portrait was made at one of the two studios owned by photographer Lars Dinesen, either in Odense or in Fredericia:

Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone (1879) 4

 

A year after the photo was taken, Effie enrolled at the Drawing School for Women (Tegneskolen for Kvinder), where she would remain for five years (1880-1885).  While there, she met Fanny Garde (1855-1928), a young teacher who had been a member of the school’s first entering class of students in 1876.  In 1886, Effie and Fanny were invited to work at the Bing & Grøndahl Porcelain Factory, where they would share a studio.  The two women would continue to work together at Bing & Grøndahl, and eventually live together, until Fanny’s death in 1928.

The Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen wrote the following in 2014 (edited slightly for clarity):

Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone’s and Fanny Garde’s chosen motifs are those of naturalistic flowers, plants, insects and especially seaweed. The porcelain is artistically modelled in relief, making the effects of light and shadow interact beautifully with the underglaze decoration. There is no doubt that the two artists’ porcelain creations for Bing & Grøndahl are among the finest Danish examples of skønvirke-porcelain.

(Skønvirke is the Danish form of Jugendstil or Art Nouveau.)

Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone (1860-1945) is now considered by many to be the most talented and successful porcelain artist of the Art Nouveau period in Denmark.  Her work can be found in numerous museum collections, including the V&A.  Her Covered Vase (1916) at the Art Institute of Chicago is particularly striking.

Most of the information available online about Effie is in Danish.  However, I found one website in English, A Private Collection of Danish Porcelain, which features photographs of a number of her unique creations.  I contacted the website’s owner, who lives in Germany.  For privacy reasons he prefers to remain anonymous online, but he kindly responded to my email and granted permission to reproduce some of the photos from his website here.  I picked three vases and asked if he would consider writing a few words about them for this post.  Below are his photos of the vases, in order of their creation, and his thoughts about them.

 

Fern and Grasshopper Vase (1906)

“Effie and Fanny created more than 3000 unique pieces numbered in their own system.  This fern vase with grasshoppers at the upper rim is one of those nice examples of the Danish Art Nouveau.  The fern is so precisely painted in each detail and color variation.  The grasshoppers are carved into the hard porcelain and the vase is slightly pierced, giving the observer the impression of a plastic animal.  The vase was created in 1906, it is 30 cm high.”

Fern and Grashopper Vase (1906) 1
Fern and Grasshopper Vase, 1906. ©2016 Danporantik.de

 

Marine Life Vase (1916)

“Another example of her skill is this Marine Life Vase that Effie created in 1916.  While the rest of the world drowned in chaos, Effie executed this delicate piece of the later Art Nouveau.  Looking closely at the vase you will be able to recognize crabs, mussels and fish finding their way though the waving seaweed.  The complete vase scene is carved and gives a plastic picture of the scene that gets dynamic the longer you look at it.  Natural and intensive colors characterize the decoration.”

Marine Life (1916) 3
Marine Life Vase, 1916. Images ©2016 Danporantik.de

Marine Life (1916) 4Marine Life (1916) 5

 

Seaweed Vase (1924)

“A masterpiece of her works is certainly the large seaweed vase.  Effie was already 64 years old when she executed this vase.  The elegant shape of the vase directs the view of the observer to the sea anemones depicted in front of seaweed.  The vase is strongly carved and pierced at the neck.  Again this technique enables a dynamic impression of the underwater scenery.  Very precise choice and execution of the colors underline this extraordinary work, which was owned by an important family in Denmark for a long time.  The sister piece of this vase is located at the CLAY Museum in Denmark.  A stunning piece of artwork in porcelain, 64 cm high.”

Seaweed Vase (1924) 1

Seaweed Vase (1924) 2
Seaweed Vase, 1924.  Images ©2016 Danporantik.de

 

If you’d like to see more of Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone’s work, an image search online will bring up plenty of results.  You probably won’t see another picture of her, though.  I haven’t managed to find one.  This carte-de-visite came from an old album of Danish photographs in England.  Were other photos of her lost or destroyed?  Do any exist in museum archives?  If they do, I hope to see them someday.

Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone (1879) 2

 

Sources:

A Private Collection of Danish Porcelain

Dansk Kvindebiografisk Leksikon (Danish text, no photos)

Kunstindeks Danmark & Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon (Danish text, no photos)

Wikipedia (Danish text, no photos, but Wikimedia Commons has 4 photos of art porcelain)

Bruun Rasmussen Kunstauktioner

History of Photography / fotohistorie.com (Danish text with numerous photos taken by Lars Dinesen)

 

 

52 thoughts on “Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone at eighteen years old (1879)

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  1. It is enlivening to see this from Denmark: so rarely do we see anything from any part of Scandinavia in an exhibition with the exception of one or two very famous artists.

    I suppose it is a matter of our joint history and the conservative nature of their societies that things were kept in the family and in their own museums!

    Thanks very much! Sarah

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Effie’s work is spectacular! It would take me forever to draw those designs on paper. And she did it on porcelain! Thank you for posting all the links. How nice of the collector to share photos of her creations and information about them.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is fascinating. My mother collected B&G Christmas plates for a couple of decades. By the 1960s, they had changed somewhat, both thematically and artistically, but they certainly were among the most desired of the Christmas collectibles.

    I wondered when the plates’ production began, and found an example of one from their first year: 1895. It was titled “Behind the Frozen Window,” and what’s most interesting is that it bears some slight resemblance to the work done by Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone: particularly the frost shown in relief. I really enjoyed seeing her other work; it’s spectacular.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Beautiful! She reminds me of my artistic daughter, Haleanna, (even in looks — we have Scandinavian ancestry). I always love seeing how each of us discover our special interests and talents. Fortunate are those who make use of our passions. Best to you! Dawn

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re so right about being fortunate to make use of talents and passions, Dawn. It’s sad when people don’t have that opportunity. Effie and Fanny were very fortunate to have access to artistic training at that time. And look how their country benefited as a result! There’s an important lesson there….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In addition you have to take the time into consideration. In those days the place of the woman was understood “to be at home to take care of household, children and kitchen”. Denmark was very progressive at those days and it was possible for women like Effie and Fanny to pick up a profession and to work as an artist, earn their own money and live their own life. In the century after Royal Copenhagen was founded (1775) mainly men decorated porcelain! Women slowly progressed in first executive and then after 1885 also in artistic roles.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Denmark may have been progressive compared to other countries, but families could still prevent a girl from receiving the kind of education that would provide her with opportunities for a career. Effie’s family must have been supportive of her artistic ambitions.

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    1. Art Nouveau was “in fashion” some 20 or 30 years ago, when there were more exhibitions. It is coming back now. There will be an exhibition from a collector friend in the USA. It will start here (maybe a bit later due to the actual situation) https://www.danishmuseum.org/explore/exhibitions/art-nouveau-innovation . For some 5 years now Japan has picked up Art Nouveau in Europe and we see some exhibitions there – also and especially on porcelain. It is interesting to see how the Japonism in the western world was developed following examples in Japan and then swapping back influencing Post Art Nouveau in Japan.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Intriguing! Clearly she was an exceptional artist, and prolific. It’s wonderful that so many of her creations are treasured and preserved in museums.

    It would be fascinating to know about her, what her life was like, whether her talent as a female artist was rewarded fairly. Her photo shows what appears to be a wedding or engagement ring, but her history doesn’t mention a marriage or children. Yet I know from my own family history that sometimes parents of that era gave daughters who didn’t appear destined for marriage a diamond ring to wear that looked very much like a wedding ring. It seems her primary life relationship was with Fanny.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, Danes wear their wedding band on their right hand. (I had to look it up.) That said, Effie’s ring really does look like a wedding or engagement ring, which is very intriguing. I didn’t find any information online about her family or her early life, except that her father was apparently an army officer who retired as a colonel. Effie never married, and I think you’re right about Fanny being the most important person in her life. I think women at that time could marry or possibly have a career–if they were lucky–but not both.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The roots of the family Hegermann-Lindencrone can be found here: http://www.roskildehistorie.dk/stamtavler/adel/smaa_danske/Hegermann_Lindencrone.htm
        Effie was the only child and her father was an army officer as most of her male ancestors. Interesting here is that her cousin Johan Henrik Hegermann-Lindencrone married Mrs. Anna Lillie Moulton, who led a very colorful life. Johan Henrik was ambassador and “minister” for Denmark also in the United States. His wife later published a book on “The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life” (Lillie Hegermann-Lindencrone).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to know more, too! Her life must have been very unusual for her time. In Danish art history, the first professional women artists are referred to as the “pioneer generation.” Effie and Fanny were genuine trailblazers.

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  6. Really enjoyed this post! I am such a fan of Jugendstil and Art Nouveau and it is great to know the Danish movement was well-represented. Love the sense of being underwater which really makes these vases a type of sculpture as well as painting.
    I also recognize the last name: Dinesen on the photographers stamp–any relation to Isak Dinesen of Out of Africa fame?
    It might actually be a penname, come to think of it.
    I looked it up here https://blixen.dk/life-writings/the-works-of-karen-blixen/pseudonyms/?lang=en
    I found that Isak Dinesens true name was (Baroness)Karen Blixen but her father’s name was Captain Wilhelm Dinesen so thats where the second part of herEnglish nom de plume came from. Isak was wrenched from the Bible, where Sara gave birth to Isaac (Isak being the Danish form) at a ripe old age, much as the writer began to publish later in life. A man’s name in a man’s world.

    I very much like that story. She wrote in the early 20th century I think, so she may well have been the artist’s contemporary.

    Sorry for such a long and tangentially rambling comment! But I love where your posts take me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s all so interesting, Andrea! Now of course I have to try to find out if Lars Dinesen is related to Captain Wilhelm Dinesen. Karen Blixen was a generation younger than Effie, born in 1885, the year Effie left art school. Still, their paths could have crossed. I haven’t read any of her writing but I loved the movie of Babette’s Feast. Thanks for the fun tangent! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a talented woman! Her porcelain is amazing even viewed as a photo. I can only imagine the depth of color seen up close. I’m very intrigued by the notion of carved and pierced porcelain. How incredibly difficult that must be. Your research and links are wonderful! Thank you for the time you put into Effie and her art for us. I feel as though I’ve had a lovely outing to the museum today. Take care Brad! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so kind, as always. In the first year of this blog (2017), I joked that it would be my “cabinet of curiosities.” Effie’s beautiful creations are so much more than that. I’m happy and honored to help tell her story. Thank you for visiting the museum, Suzanne! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ll just add my kudos for a fabulous post. What a find in that photo! I’ll bet some museums will be envious. I love that you found a collector of her work to share photos and knowledge. The pieces are absolutely exquisite. I enjoy learning about women who created and succeeded at unconventional lives in eras where it was difficult to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. These vases are stunning. I love the intricate details. I can’t imagine the skill and precision it would take to make these pieces, to include so much texture and yet keep the structure of the vase balanced and even.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I saw your post a week or so ago and got diverted looking for her pottery and must’ve forgotten to come back and comment! Just to say I love her photo and her work. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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