Susanne (Susi) Singer

b. 1891, Vienna
d. 1955, Hollywood
+ enlarge Susanne (Susi) Singer

Susi Singer (married name Singer-Schinnerl) is best known for her work as a ceramic artist, although she was also active as a graphic artist and textile designer for the Wiener Werkstätte. She originally studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule für Frauen und Mädchen (Art School for Women and Girls) under Tina Blau-Long, Adolf Böhm, Otto Friedrich, and Michael Powolny.

For the Wiener Werkstätte, Singer contributed ceramic works, fabrics, and postcard designs. In 1924, Singer married Josef Schinnerl, a coal miner, and the two moved to Grünbach am Schneeberg, a village in lower Austria. Here she opened her own ceramic studio, Grünbacher Keramik, and continued to offer her items for sale through the Wiener Werkstätte.

In 1938 Singer's husband died in a mining accident. After briefly returning to Vienna to see her family, she emigrated to America. She moved to Pasadena in 1939 with her young son, Peter. Here she taught ceramic workshops at Pasadena City College and classes at Claremont College. A grant from the Fine Arts Foundation in 1946 enabled Singer to work for a year without financial concern. Many of the works created during this period were given to Scripps College as a result.

Singer's later years were marked by poor health. She had suffered malnutrition during World War I, and other health complications left her frail and in a wheelchair. Nonetheless, she continued to work. Singer died in Hollywood following a heart illness in January 1955.


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