Porcelain manufactories have a hard time these days, even if they can look back on a long and illustrious tradition. This also applies to the Höchster Porzellanmanufaktur, founded in 1746 and the second oldest in Germany. In order to preserve its historical heritage, the state of Hesse has now acquired the assets of the insolvent Höchster Porzellanmanufaktur 1746 GmbH. With a new concept, the Offenbach University of Art and Design (HfG) will continue to operate the manufactory and use the craftsmanship and artistic know-how for research and teaching. The HfG will also take over HPM’s lease in the Höchst district of Frankfurt as well as some of the employees. The state had already secured the trademark rights with the Mainz wheel as the logo in July last year. According to a statement by the HfG, the foundation of an “Institute for Advanced Material Studies” is planned. In the past years, there had already been a cooperation between the Offenbach University and the Höchster Manufaktur, which had resulted in contemporary collections. In order to be able to cope with the additional tasks, the budget of the HfG is to be increased in the 2023/2024 double budget to be passed by the state parliament in January. Furthermore, the state is in talks with the city of Frankfurt about supporting the manufactory.
Prime Minister Boris Rhein, Hesse’s Minister for Science and the Arts, Angela Dorn, and Finance Minister Michael Boddenberg welcomed the concept developed by the HfG at the request of the State Chancellery. “We are very pleased that the State of Hesse is entrusting us with the Höchster Porzellanmanufaktur (link is in German),” said the President of the HfG Offenbach, Prof. Bernd Kracke. “This is an opportunity of the century and a unique perspective for the future of our art academy, for the teachers as well as for the students. We are ready for the task, as exciting as it is complex, of revitalising a historic manufactory rich in tradition with vital creativity from art and design. This transformation is a novelty for teaching and research at the HfG Offenbach, because in the new HfG satellite, HPM’s know-how and equipment meet innovative teaching and research concepts. In the future, materials-related tradition will go hand in hand here with new content, including digital content, and ensure the international visibility of the university and the region.”
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