Julius H. Brauer and the Brauer Studio
Julius Brauer was born in Germany in 1870 and emigrated to the United States in 1890. He married his wife Marie in 1892. Their son Walter was born shortly thereafter.
Julius made his way to Chicago by 1902. He contributed a couple of his designs to Keramic Studio in 1901 and 1902. He worked for Pickard China around this time, specializing in decorating the Arabian and Persian patterns.
Brauer soon left Pickard, realizing he could just as easily decorate pieces to sell directly from his home. His wife Marie was also a talented artist, specializing in naturalistic flowers. Julius' work was much more diverse. From portrait work to naturalistic to conventionalized designs, Julius Brauer's artistic endeavors ran the gamut.
A number of Pickard's artists worked for Brauer at one time or another. The most notable was Edward Challinor, a neighbor of the Brauers. Other Pickard artists who made the move included Max Bachmann, Edward Barges, Joseph Beitler, Walter Bitterly, A Burton, Harry Griffiths, Adolph Heidrich, Carl Koenig, Arnold Rhodes, and George Stahl. Some of these and other Brauer artists also worked for Stouffer Studio.
The Collectors Encyclopedia of Pickard China, (1995) by Alan Reed has the most extensive information on the Brauer Studio published to date. Reed also lists the following as artists who were employed at the Brauer Studio: M Bonn, Adelbert J Burgeon, Chevalier, Cowan , F R Cross, Frederick "Fritz" Kammermayer, Max, Ritter, A Rold, C Roy, George B St Clair, and Saul.
Additional artists whose work has been found to bear the Brauer Studio trademark since the Reed book include: A. Heidrich, Jerome, Ted, Marcus, M. Shlisman, Decker, Bushbek (Carl), and initials FB, EF, MCP and TCP. No doubt, there are many more.
For more information on the Brauer Studio, please refer to Reed's Collectors Encyclopedia of Pickard China.
Brauer also went into the business of producing porcelain blanks for the Studio to decorate. Brauer teamed with one of his artists, Fritz Kammermayer, to manufacture china under the name Kay-Bee China Works. Most of the production was various sizes and shapes of vases, though other pieces were also produced. Some of the china blanks were sold to outside artists, most notably, Henry Marmorstein, who experimented with a variety of lustre glazes and decorations.
Contrary to Reed's scholarship, it appears that at some point in the 1920s, Julius Brauer remarried and eventually returned to New Jersey. He appears in the 1930 census as a sign painter.