A Portrait

For more than a quarter of a century textile works of art have been made by handcraft in the Fränkische Gobelin Manufaktur Marktredwitz /Germany 

The traditional art of weaving Gobelins is brought together with the drafts and designs of contemporary artists, so that unique works of art in brilliantly shining colours come into being. 

Ursula Benker-Schirmer, the manufactury´s manageress, textile artist and painter, has found a way to co-operate with highly renowned artists of our time like Herbert Bayer (Bauhaus), Heinz Trökes (Berlin), Horst Böhm (Darmstadt), Ernst Weil (Nuremberg), George Meistermann (Cologne) George Csató (Paris), Helmut Weissenborn (London), Erich Buchholtz (Berlin) and many others to mention just a few. 

The Gobelins can be seen in many public institutions in different towns in Germany, e.g. the district authorities in Hof/S., Amberg and Wunsiedel, in the administration rooms of the power stations in Bayreuth and Berlin, and In many foreign towns like New York, San Francisco, Kyoto. Each piece of art has found an appropriate place to hang in countries like Australia, France, South Africa etc.

Above all, it has to be mentioned that Ursula Benker-Schirmer herself was an artist who realizes her own designs. Her woven Gobelins and oil paintings on canvass together with her graphics and drawings are particularly worth seeing. 

She and her manufactory became world-famous when she designed the impressive Gobelin (40 metres in size) for the Cathedral of Chichester in southern England (South Sussex). This tapestry was mode In close co-operation between Germany and England, i.e. on five to six metre wide looms in her studio in Marktredwitz and at the Tapestry Studio of the English West Dean College near Chichester.

Since its dedication the Chichester Cathedral Gobelin has been attracting many visitors because of its overwhelming multitude of shiming colours and the crystal forms which are a reference to the famous glass windows in the cathedral. 

The title of this monumental work of art by Ursula Benker-Schirmer is of great significance for the relation between England and Germany: 

The Reconciliation Gobelin. 

Every visitor is informed about the underlying theme of this Gobelin and given intriguing hints to the Old and New Testament and many Christian symbols.


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