The International Ceramics Symposium Gmunden goes back to the pioneer of modern ceramics Prof. Kurt Ohnsorg, whose oeuvre remains a compass and beacon for contemporary ceramics. It was he who in 1963 – inspired by the symposia in the Roman quarry of St. Margarethen – initiated the world’s first symposium for ceramic art in Gmunden. The predecessor company of today’s LAUFEN Austria AG made its production facility available for the mixture of ceramic workshop and seminar he designed.
The symposium was held six times under Ohnsorg’s leadership until the year of his tragic death in 1970. In 1978, after further symposia in the Gmunden tradition – in Stoob in 1972, in Vösendorf in 1974 – the 7th International Ceramics Symposium Gmunden took place again in Gmunden under the direction of Kurt Spurey.
From 1989, the artistic heritage was revived in the context of the founding and organization of the International Austrian Pottery Market Gmunden, which has been held annually since then. Thus, in an accompanying program of exhibitions of contemporary ceramic art, works by young, up-and-coming as well as renowned, already established Austrian and international ceramic artists were shown in a wide variety of presentation areas.
On this basis of an artistic tradition that has since grown again, the concept of an international artists’ symposium with the participation of the Gmundner Keramik Manufaktur was revived and re-implemented in 2003.
The Ceramic Symposium Gmunden is organized by the Association for the Promotion of European Ceramic Artists. Participation will be announced internationally, and the participants will be selected by an equally international jury of experts. The works created during the symposium will be presented in traveling exhibitions in renowned museums and major locations throughout Europe.