One of today’s most prized collectibles is the Hummel figurine, but these lovely porcelain Goebel figurines are not for collectors only. Created by the finest sculptors, each Goebel Hummel figurine is an interpretation of an original drawing by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. The enduring popularity is due in large part to the Goebel company’s commitment to ensure that each figurine created remains true to the artist’s original vision.
Another appealing aspect is the interesting history, which begins with Berta Hummel. Born in 1909, Berta attended Catholic school in rural Bavaria where her talents became evident early on. With the encouragement of her teachers Berta worked to develop her skills and eventually enrolled in the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich, Germany. There she met two Franciscan Sisters from the Convent of Siessen, a teaching order emphasizing the religious aspects of art. Berta graduated in 1931, decided to devote her life and art to God, and entered the convent taking the name of Maria Innocentia Hummel.
Franz Geobel discovered Sister Maria’s uniquely beautiful drawings and negotiated a contract to create the M. I. Hummel figurines from her works of art. She granted her permission only after the assurance that the Goebel Porcelain Company would keep true to her original vision. The Goebel figurines were introduced to Europe in 1935 and met with immediate success, especially in Germany. Shortly after World War II, American soldiers returning from Germany brought the figurines home, and these charming works of art captured the hearts of Americans.
Sadly, in 1946 Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel died of tuberculosis at the young age of 37. However, production of her beloved figurines continued, and the world is fortunate that this prolific artist left us a priceless collection of her drawings. As well, Goebel continued to honor Sister Hummel’s wishes and worked with the Convent of Siessen to maintain the artistic integrity of every new figuruine created.
The worldwide love affair continues today, testament to the unique talent of a truly gifted artist. Most of the endearing figurines are of Bavarian children engaging in everyday activities. Perhaps the timeless appeal is in the ability of the artist to capture the spirit of innocent childhood moments, warming the hearts of generation after generation, collectors and non-collectors alike. This is one of many reasons that porcelain Goebel figurines make the perfect gift, especially for family and close friends. The variety available is evident in a glance at the names: Star Gazer, Baker, Just Resting, Farm Boy, Signs of Spring, Playmates, Puppy Love, Chimney Sweep. To name only a few! More importantly, giving a Goebel figurine sends the message that you took the time to select a gift with special meaning for the recipient. It is the caring you invest that makes your gift a genuine keepsake.
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