Werner Wehsener

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100 Years Dresdner Porcelain Wehsener

It is particularly remarkable that there is a private enterprise in Dresden which survived the 40 years of the Communist regime which ended in 1989, in this case even one which survived since 100 years.

The name Wehsener and handpainted procelain have become a concept well known far beyond Dresden. In 1914, Werner Wehsener's grandfather, Richard Wehsener, opened his studio store in Dresden's famous Prager Strasse, the most central world renowned shopping street in the city. During the night of Feb 13, 1945 when Dresden was wiped out by fire bombs, the Prager Strasse disappeared. The only famous name Prager Strasse company that survived to this day is Wehsener's Porcelain firm.

However the Wehsener Porcelain story started much earlier. Richard Wehsener had apprenticed with Eduard Hamann in porcelain painting. He thereafter worked with Richard Klemm, studied and improved his skills at the professional art school, and started his own business with a capital of DM300 in 1895.

His next step was a studio store in the Zinzendorfstrasse. There was great demand for his designs. Even the British Museum and the National-Museum in Washington DC obtained his pieces. Wehsener became known around the world as "Dresdner Handpainting" and "Dresden China".

After World War II, Gerhard Wehsener (father of Werner Wehsener) started to rebuild the firm which had been wiped out during the bombing of Dresden. Since 1946 the store is at Dohnaer Strasse 72, managed by Werner's stepmother. Werner Wehsener, grandson of the founder, continues the "Dresdner Handpainting" porcelain business at Schilfteichstrasse 9. Especially popular are the red dragon and flower patterns signed 'RW'.

Werner Wehsener is a true Master of Porcelain Painting. He runs his own studio and production ever since he obtained that title. He remained independent in spite of the Communist environment and attempts of Government intrusion at the time. Since East Germany joined with the West, Werner Wehsener's handpainted porcelain has become more popular than ever before. There is no successor for Werner Wehsener in sight. The art is likely to die with this last Master who, however, is still going strong.

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Straube Center Boulevard surrounded by Route 31, West Franklin Ave., Knowles Ave.-Bixby’s Way, and Broemel Place