Gustav Weidanz

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Gustav Weidanz (born December 9, 1889 in Hamburg , † August 25, 1970 in Halle (Saale) ) was a German sculptor , medalist and university professor .


Gustav Weidanz completed an apprenticeship as a chaser and metal sculptor from 1905–1908 , took part in evening courses at the Hamburg School of Applied Arts from 1908–1910 and attended Richard Luksch's plastic department at the Hamburg State School of Applied Arts .

1910–1911 he traveled through Germany and Holland. In 1911 he moved to Berlin and worked with Franz Metzner and Ignatius Taschner on building plastic objects. 1911–1916 he attended the educational establishment at the Royal Museum of Applied Arts in Berlin, specializing in decorative sculpture with Joseph Wackerle . Here he sought collaboration with the architect John Martens in the field of building ceramics.

From 1916 he became head of the newly founded plastic class at the Halle / S crafts school. From 1920 he set up and managed the ceramics workshop at the crafts and arts school in Halle / S. and was appointed professor.

From 1925 he was head of the tile ceramics class and head of the sculpture workshop. In 1926 he built up the ceramics department and then headed it until 1958 at the Halle University of Industrial Design, Burg Giebichenstein . In 1933 the plastic design class was closed.

In May 1933 Weidanz became a member of the NSDAP . Again he took over the ceramics department and the porcelain workshop. In 1934 he held the apprenticeship for "oven ceramics and porcelain" and was responsible for drawing, nude and nature studies. In 1942 a sculpting class was reopened.

In 1958 came his retirement, which resulted in an extension of the employment relationship by one year. In 1959, at the end of the summer semester, he left the College for Industrial Design in Halle, Burg Giebichenstein . This was followed by a lively sculptural activity. Weidanz died on August 25, 1970 in Halle. His final resting place is in the Laurentiuskirchhof in Halle .


Gustav Weidanz was an artist whose art paved the way for a number of students to develop their own creativity, including Gerhard Geyer , Gerhard Lichtenfeld , Wilfried Fitzenreiter , Heinrich Apel , Martin Wetzel and Fritz Freitag .

With his work on sculptures he dedicated himself above all to the memory of the victims of the Nazi regime.

In his will of May 1, 1964, he appointed the Burg Giebichenstein Art College in Halle as his heir. The purpose of the foundation should be to promote young sculptors in the German Democratic Republic. The purpose of the foundation was to be achieved by awarding a Gustav Weidanz Prize for Sculpture to young sculptors who were not yet 30 years of age and who had their permanent residence in the German Democratic Republic. After reunification , the scope of the award was extended to the Federal Republic of Germany .


Three geese
Memorial for the victims of fascism in Apolda


  • Female torso, modeled in terracotta, around 1925
  • Marionette head, linden wood, carved and painted 1926/27
  • Standing (The Beautiful) facade figure, bronze, 1928/29
  • Group of geese, bronze, 1958
  • Reclining, Cotta sandstone, 1959
  • Crouching (First Version), bronze, 1961
  • Female torso, bronze, 1963
  • Three geese on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Halle (Saale); (originally built at the Gänsebrunnen in the Halle district of Kröllwitz)
  • Niemberg (Saalekreis): bust of Ernst Thälmann on a granite block
  • Bronze sculptures at the Ratshof zu Halle (copies of the originals melted down in World War II ) symbolize Halle's economic life: industry, the Saale, trade, the Saale landscape and mining. A listed building was renovated in 1993.

Small sculptures and medals

  • Medal: Honorary Prize of the City of Halle, bronze, around 1932
  • Medal: 200th birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, bronze 1949
  • Medal: Martin Luther, one-sided, bronze 1967
  • Medal: Philipp Melanchthon on the 400th anniversary of his death, bronze, 1960
  • Several medals for professors and members of the Leopoldina
  • Relief: self-portrait for the 65th birthday, bronze, 1959


  • Halle (Saale): drinking fountain and portal figures for Solbad Wittekind , 1924
  • Zerbst (Anhalt-Zerbst): Memorial to the victims of fascism on the “Roter Garten” square, 1951
  • Apolda (Weimarer Land): Cenotaph for the victims of fascism on Bahnhofstrasse, 1951

Applied work

  • Marionettes and hand puppets for various plays (on Shakespeare, Mozart, Hans Sachs, etc.), 1920s
  • Tiled stoves 1924–1928
  • Chess game, wood, 1922
  • Tea service, ceramic, 1924


  • Stefanie Endlich: Memorials for the Victims of National Socialism. A Documentation , Volume 2; Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education, 1999; ISBN 3-89331-391-5
  • The sculptor Gustav Weidanz: Exhibition of sculptures, medals and graphics on the occasion of his 65th birthday, exhibition catalog of the Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle ; Halle (Saale): College for Industrial Design, 1954
  • State Gallery Moritzburg Halle, State Museum Schloss Mosigkau: Gustav Weidanz on his 80th birthday, exhibition catalog ; Halle (Saale): State Gallery Moritzburg, 1969
  • State Museum Schloss Mosigkau (Ed.): Exhibition catalog of the works of Prof. Gustav Weidanz for his 80th birthday ; Dessau: State Museum Mosigkau Castle, 1969
  • College for Industrial Design Halle - Burg Giebichenstein (Ed.): The sculptor Gustav Weidanz: 1889–1970; Exhibition on the occasion of the 100th birthday ; Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle, December 9, 1989 to February 4, 1990; Halle (Saale): College for Industrial Design, 1989
  • Gerhard Berndt: The OdF memorial in Apolda. A reflection on the 50th anniversary of its inauguration on October 21, 1951 ; (Ed.) Geschichtswerkstatt Weimar-Apolda eV, Apolda 2001
  • German Society for Medal Art, Martin Heidemann, Wolfgang Steguweit (Hrsg.): Medal art in Halle in the 20th century. Thanks to the castle ; The art medal in Germany, 17; Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 2002; ISBN 3-7861-2462-0
  • Katharina Heider: From applied arts to industrial design, the Burg Giebichenstein art college in Halle (Saale) from 1945 to 1958 , publishing house and database for the humanities, Weimar, 2010, ISBN 978-3-89739-672-2
  • Anke Scharnhorst:  Weidanz, Gustav . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 2. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Gerhard Berndt, Karlfriedrich Nebe: An underrated memorial. The memorial for the victims of fascism in Apolda , = found 12, Apolda 2013, ISBN 3-935275-24-2
  • Karlfriedrich Nebe: Commemoration of the victims of fascism. Notes on two contrasting sculptural works by the Halle sculptor Gustav Weidanz in Apolda and in Zerbst. An art historical comparison , published by Prager-Haus Apolda eV, ISBN 3-935275-36-6

Web links

Commons : Gustav Weidanz  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl-Heinz Weigelt, Sieglinde Weigelt: Medals made from Meissen porcelain . Short biographies of the artists involved in creating the medals. 1st edition. tape 1980-1983 . transpress VEB Verlag for Transport, Berlin 1987, p. 508 .
  2. ^ Gottfried Kormann: Master School of German Crafts in "75 Years of Burg Giebichenstein: 1915 - 1990, Contributions to History", publisher Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, selected and introduced by Renate Luckner-Bien. Halle / Saale 1990. p. 85
  3. a b "Art space downtown - sculpture collection of the Bernau forest settlement" , accessed on December 29, 2018.