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 Hannah Borger Overbeck  (1870 - 1931)

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Lived/Active: Indiana      Known for: arts and crafts pottery

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Ad Code: 3
Hannah Overbeck
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Hannah Overbeck was one of the four Overbeck sisters who founded the Overbeck Pottery studio in Cambridge City, Indiana in 1911.  She is credited as being the chief designer for several decades until her death in 1931, an influence that led to large decorated pieces with highly colored patterns, uncluttered, and incised lines based on nature.

Of her it was said she frequently could be seen with her sketch pad doing preparatory designs in pencil and watercolor.  Her biggest inspiration was her family's property with flowers and vegetable gardens. 

When she was young, Hannah Overbeck became permanently afflicted with chronic neuritis, which left her with painful nerve inflammation, loss of reflexes and atrophy of her muscles.  In spite of being almost totally incapacitated, she continued working, propped up in bed with her drawing equipment.

The Overbeck sisters created high quality decorative arts, and unlike traditional pottery manufacturers, they did all of the work themselves.  They made their products in a  workshop, designed and decorated in a room off their dining room, fired in kiln of an outbuilding on their property, and sold from a display area in the living room.

Hannah studied photography with her sister, Ida, and attended the Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute, Indiana. After graduation she taught school for one year in Clinton, Indiana before the neuritis forced her to return home to Cambridge City.

Sources include:
Judith Vale Newton and Carol Weiss, Skirting the Issue
The Magazine Antiques, July 2005

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