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August Endell

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August Endell

*  1871 Berlin
† 1925 Berlin


August Endell started out as an academic, studying philosophy and psychology in Tübingen and Munich before embarking on a career as an entirely self-taught artist. In Munich he attended lectures on perceptual phenomena given by Theodor Lipps. From then on August Endell would be intensively preoccupied with perception. Making the acquaintanceship of the Jugendstil artist Hermann Obrist in 1896 and becoming familiar with his work induced August Endell to work as an artist himself and put his theoretical knowledge of art into practice in architecture and crafts. Endell wanted to turn the movement toward architecture and decoration. In 1896 August Endell received his first commission, an important one that made him famous overnight: to design the façade of the Elvira Photographic Studio in Munich with bizarre motifs and twining Jugendstil forms. After joining the Munich Vereingte Werkstätten in 1898, Endell showed his own jewelry designs at the Munich Secession exhibition. Moreover, August Endell was an important contributor of illustrations and articles to the journals "Pan" and "Jugend". He went into art theory, particularly the formation of style, in depth; in his essays he expounded important thoughts on what the Jugendstil artists intended with their conception of style. Important essays by August Endell are "Möglichkeiten und Ziele einer neuen Architektur" (1887), "Originalität und Tradition" (1901), and "Die Schönheit der großen Stadt" (1908). In 1901 Endell went to Berlin, where he began to distance himself from the turbulent Jugendstil forms. This was the phase of August Endell's career in which he designed most of his town houses and villas in Berlin and Potsdam. Until 1914 August Endell was head of a design school in Berlin; that same year his name was put forward to succeed Henry van de Velde as head of the school for the applied arts in Weimar. However, Walter Gropius was appointed to the post. August Endell spent the last stage (1918-1925) of his career as director of the Akademie für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe in Breslau.