Wall vase, earthenware, Christina Magnussen/Studio Anna, NSW, 1955-1960
(Information added by G.Cochrane 12/1999)
The Studio Anna pottery (1952-1999), is perhaps the longest operating of the dozens of small commercial potteries set up in Sydney in the 1950s. the decorated wares were on the themes of 'Australiana', often with appropriated Aboriginal motifs, or of exotic depictions of eg. Dutch girls and Mexicans, or scenes of tourist places.They were very popular in the 1950s and formed the basis of souvenirs of Australia, and advertising in travel offices. Jungvirt had a number of shops in Sydney where this work was sold, and called the wares in the shops 'Australiana'.
Karel Jungvirt (b. 1927, Prague), came to Australia from Czechoslovakia in 1951, and established Studio Anna in Neutral Bay, and then in Marrickville in 1954). Arriving as an accomplished artist, he began to design and produce slipcast earthenware in a contemporary style which included popular symbols or scenes of Australia, as well as the appropriation of traditional Aboriginal motifs. His major innovation of the time was to introduce underglaze colours and stains that could be painted transparently like watercolours.
Studio Anna is representative of a large number of small commercial potteries making domestic, ornamental and souvenir wares, others being Pate's Potteries, Martin Boyd Pottery, Modern Ceramic Products and Diana Pottery. At the height of its success in the late 1950s, Studio Anna employed many decorators and pottery workers and had an enormous output. The staff was as large as 35 at one stage. They made souvenirs for the Olympic Games in 1956.
Jungvirt was a good promoter of his wares, and operated a number of shops in Sydney. Decorators included his first wife Toni.
He was also a member of the Ceramic Art and Fineware Association. This organisation of commercial potteries contributed to a number of exhibitions in Cannes in the 1950s, the Cannes International Exhibitions of Modern Ceramics, with a number of works selected by judges including Mr Penfold, the director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (File:59/501). The three-legged dish was exhibited in Cannes in 1955, was photographed for the Sydney Morning Herald, and the archive contains a diploma from this exhibition. By the 1990s Studio Anna was working with a limited staff, making mainly lamp-bases for hotels, and working on commission only. Jungvirt sold the business to return to Czechoslovakia, and was given a farewell reception by the Marrickville Council in May 1999 (see photos enclosed in file). Dorothy Johnston is writing a history of NSW commercial potteries and has interviewed Jungvirt extensively. (Note: published articles vary in the spelling of his name, and in the dates when the pottery started. Jungvirt told me the pottery moved to Marrickville from Neutral Bay in 1954; see file notes).