PANKOK, Bernhard
(b. 1872, Münster, d. 1943, Baierbrunn)

Biography

German designer, architect, sculptor and painter. He was the son of a cabinetmaker and studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1889-91) and Berlin (1891-92) before settling in Munich in 1892. Working as a portrait painter and graphic designer, he contributed illustrations to numerous periodicals, including Pan (from 1895) and Jugend (from 1896). His earliest furniture designs were a chair and mirror shown at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich in 1897. In the following year he was commissioned by F. A. O. Krüger (b. 1868), one of the founder-members of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk, Munich, to produce designs for the workshop. Like other designers of the Vereinigte Werkstätten, such as Richard Riemerschmid, Peter Behrens or Bruno Paul, Pankok produced designs in a variety of media, although his furniture designs are probably his most original.

His early furniture designs are characterized by a certain heaviness and 'organic' look, recalling the work of Antoni Gaudí and representing the more expressionistic, less functional aspect of Jugendstil.

Pankok received international recognition for the first time at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 and subsequently at the Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Decorativa in Turin (1902). In 1901, Pankok was appointed a professor at the Lehr- und Versuchswerkstätte in Stuttgart. In 1908, he became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund and subsequently exhibited at their exhibitions.

His later furniture is clearly influenced by Art Deco in its use of decorative inlay, simplified profiles and delicate scale. Pankok designed the interiors of several steamships, including the Friedrichshafen (1908-09) and the passenger compartments of four zeppelins (1911-19). Throughout much of his career, he devoted his energies to designing for the theatre, producing sets and costumes for Mozart's Don Giovanni (1909) and Così fan tutte (1921), among others. From 1913 to 1937, he was director of the Kunstgewerbeschule in Stuttgart.