A Hail of Talent

Mid-Century Highball Glasses Decorated with Durer Prints and Gold Trim (LEO Design)

Every few years, I attend a week-long trade show in Frankfurt, Germany.  Often derided, Frankfurt is (I have found) a city rich in history and culture.  It is home to the world's largest book fair and I've seen many wonderful exhibits at their art museums.  I've visited Goethe's home (and birthplace) and found a fair number of nice antiques in the city.  Nevertheless, on every trip I try to take one day off to explore another close-ish city.  One year it was Nürnberg.

Prior to my visit, my only knowledge of the city was the Judy Garland movie “Judgement at Nuremberg.” What I found was another German city with a remarkable artistic past—home to (arguably) the greatest German artist of all time, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528).  Although Dürer is most-associated with his incredible woodcut prints, his talent as a draughtsman and painter was sublime.  He painted many altarpieces, religious installations and was commissioned frequently to paint portraits of the rich and the royal. Dürer painted several exquisite self-portraits of himself as a Christ-like young man.  He travelled throughout Europe—especially within Italy where he met and stayed in touch with many Masters of the Renaissance: Raphael, Bellini, Leonardo.

While visiting Nürnberg, I toured the artist’s home which includes his ground-level printshop and upstairs studio (where the magic was created).  Energized by my newly-acquired knowledge of this artistic superstar, I decided to walk just outside of the (old) city wall to visit the master’s grave.  While I was there, a strange fall of gentle hail—soft as styrofoam pellets—began to bounce off my body, the sidewalk and Dürer’s bronze grave marker. It was the strangest thing and I’ve never seen hail like it again.  (Note: while in the Nürnberg cemetery, I was surprised to find the grave of another, favorite (and brilliant!) German painter, Anselm Feuerbach, 1829-1880.  This man could inspire a whole other journal entry—or a book.  Look him up!).

The set of six highball glasses, shown above, were made in America in the 1960’s or 1970’s and are inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s great work. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them—or come into the shop to see them or call us for further information.


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).

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