Hans Christiansen


Posters, journal covers, tapestries, type designs. Born 6 March 1866 in Flensburg. 1898: one of the designers for the Artists’ Colony of the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig von Hessen at Darmstadt. Jugendstil artist/designer, he was prolific in many media, designing ceramics, furniture, murals, and covers for journals such as Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (1899, 1900) and Jugend (1899). 1908/9: his typeface Christiansen-Schrift, with typographic decorations and borders, issued by Stempel. His Jugend Style work appeared in many (mostly group) exhibitions from 1897 to 1916 but interest in Christiansen’s work waned and his work did not appear again in exhibitions until the mid 1950s. From 1933: Malverbot.

‘The racist policies of the Third Reich not only destroyed Christiansen’s family life: the absolute painting injunction [Malverbot] imposed on him by the Reichskulturamt, because he would not divorce his Jewish wife, deprived him of his livelihood. Finally in 1938 the children had to leave Germany for their own safety. The artist was forced to sub-let his spacious apartment and move into the top-floor attic with his wife. It was only thanks to the artist’s friendship with Dr Glässing, Mayor of Wiesbaden, that Frau Christiansen was saved from deportation to a concentration camp.’ (Zimmermann-Degen, 1985, p. 21, tr. SM)

Died 5 January 1945 in Wiesbaden.

Comprehensive references for Hans Christiansen are Margret Zimmermann-Degen, 1985, below, and AKL, 1998.

Writings by

  • Neue Flachornamente, Berlin, 1898.

Writings about

  • Margret Zimmermann-Degen, ‘Werkverzeichnis der Christiansenschen Jugendstilarbeiten (1889-1916)’, in Ein Dokument Deutscher Kunst 1901-76 (exh. cat.), Darmstadt, 1976
  • M. Zimmermann-Degen, Hans Christiansen, Leben und Werk eines Jugenstilkünstlers, Königstein im Taunus: Langewiesche, 1985
  • Hans-Carl Köster, ‘Hans Christiansen: einem Allround-Künstler auf der Spur’, Graphik, Jan. 1986, pp. 51-3
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 1998.
  • Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie, Munich, London, New Providence: K.G. Saur 1995- (from 1997: Munich only)., 1995


  • Flensburg, 1957
  • Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, 1966
  • Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, 1976/7.