With the founding of the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in 1898, Dresden became an important center of the international Arts and Crafts and Reform Movement for several decades in light of its innovative design and social renewal. The opening of the Deutsche Werkstätten to women as artistic collaborators at the beginning of the 20th century was virtually unknown until today. It is largely thanks to Karl Schmidt's (*1873-1948) engagement at the time of the reform movement that numerous women were commissioned as designers immediately after the founding of his company and that their products were produced under their names.
The special exhibition of the Kunstgewerbemuseum of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) highlights female designers who, despite their active design and teaching practice, numerous exhibitions, and successful participation in competitions, have been forgotten: Women who worked as furniture designers although they were - generally at this time without a university entrance qualification - often only trained as drawing teachers. Women who broke through traditional social paradigms and attained more autonomy and self-determination in everyday professional and social life by practicing in a field previously reserved for men. Women who not only made a significant contribution to the success of the fledgling workshops, but also decisively advanced the reform movement in Dresden.