Some of the best enamel work in the country may be seen in this display, notably a group of small plates and bowls by Karl Drerup and the plaques of Ruth Raemisch. Their rich coloring reminds one of antique examples yet their decorative motifs are expressed with the freedom of modern art.
Walter Rendell Storey, New York Times, 1940
Born in Germany, Ruth Raemisch (1893 – 1966) studied enameling at the Royal Institute of Arts and Crafts in Berlin from 1911 to 1914. Her teacher was the prominent enamelist Hanns Bastanier whom she described as "one of the foremost enamellers at that time." She later studied with the German Expressionist painter Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, a founding member of "Die Brucke." Schmidt-Rotluff, along with fellow artists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, and Fritz Bleyl, helped free painting from its descriptive and narrative traditions and to exploit the medium’s expressive potential. Raemisch's masterful handling of her medium underscores her classical training in enameling while her raw, painterly approach to her subject suggests early exposure to the modernist and highly abstracted work of this German Expressionist group.
In 1939, Raemish moved to the United States with her husband, the prominent German sculptor Waldemar Raemisch to escape Nazi persecution. They settled in Providence, Rhode Island when Waldemar Raemisch was offered a teaching position at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Ruth Raemisch quickly rose to national prominence in the 1940s as the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a seminal piece in 1941 and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. gave her a one-person exhibition in 1943. In 1948, her article "Enamels in a Fine Tradition" was published in Craft Horizons
and in 1954 her work was included in the groundbreaking exhibition Enamel: A Historic Survey to the Present Day
at the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration in New York.