Biography

Beate Clodt von Jürgensburg was born in 1910 in Reval, present-day Tallinn, Estonia, and studied from 1930-32 at the Fotoschule München under photographer, filmmaker, and engineer Willy Zielke, who later worked with Leni Riefenstahl on her film Olympiad in 1936. She is very likely related to the Barons Clodt von Jürgensburg, a German-Russian family of Baltic nobility, many of whose members were prominent artists.

Von Jürgensburg’s collage Jenaer Glas Feuerfest (“Heat-resistant Jenaer Glass”), with her distinctive paper-collage monogram “CVB” in the upper left, may have been one of the first to advertise the household use of Jenaer glass, the world's first heat-resistant glass. The Jenaer glassware company was founded in 1884 in Jena, Germany, by chemist Otto Schott. Scott was the inventor of borosilicate glass, distinguished for its high tolerance to heat and its substantial resistance to sudden temperature changes. In the 1910s, Schott realized that this glass, which had until then been used primarily for beakers and test tubes in laboratories, could also be marketed for cooking, baking, and brewing tea. Schott’s son, Erich, enlisted the help of Bauhaus designers to create housewares with the glass. The first pieces were made in 1931, the year von Jürgensburg created her collage.