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This article's discussions spring from the case of Adam Kraft's sculpture workshop, which flourished in Nuremberg at the tum of the sixteenth century and which became the subject of historical fiction during the nineteenth and varied greatly even within any given region, city, or guild. My study will also twentieth centuries.

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Lastly, it will call attention to the manner in which scholars of art pally legal documents-that mention his wives. How many wives Adam Kraft history have dismissed workshop wives, and it will point up the mythic and had, the names of the women, and the dates of the marriages all remain unclear.

To complement and contextualize the isolated fragments and gender expectations of their own day. Further I will strictly outlawed, for a man to call himself"master" there had to be a "Mrs. Such enterprises were family economies. It is necessary to draw on these studies since far more attention has been At the time of their marriage, a master and his wife usually moved into their focused on women in craft workshops than on those in art workshops. It must own home, which also functioned as workshop, place of business, and, when be stressed from the outset that practices within artists' workshops probably necessary, warehouse fig.

Apprentices commonly slept and ate in the same dwelling. Photo: Bildstelle und Denkmalsarchiv, Nuremberg. Nonetheless, the roles Fig. Photo: of the workshop wife were matters of strict societal control, exceeding mere Bildstelle und Denkmalsarchiv, Nuremberg. In , when Adam Kraft finished his first commission, an elaborate Frey, together with Albrecht Diirer's mother Barbara, sold prints that the work- epitaph on the Church ofSt Sebald fig.


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Lome Campbell has observed that in the wives. In fact, after her and that they may have acted as agents for the workshop. It is telling that her from her deceased father and surviving mother. Quite likely Adam Kraft had been married The gratitude she expressed through a subsequent letter indicates that he to Margreth when he fashioned the Schreyer-Landauer Epitaph and was still honored her request. Quite possibly the wife was included when Eucharistic Tabernacle forSt Lorenz figs 9. Here too, after the monu- her role had placed her in direct contact with the patrons. For example, in , the sculptor Wilhelm von Roermond received ten ellen cloth for himself and his wife, after carving figures for the high altar of St Viktor in Xanten.

A coat was clearly an expensive present.

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The cost of that received by Frau Kraft equaled two months income for the average Nuremberg priest. Here as well, it may be surmised that Margreth Kraft had extensive contact with the patron and his family during the three years the project was under construction, during which time the workshop received payment in installments. Already in the sponsoring Imhoff family contracted the Kraft work- shop to undertake the first major maintenance on the tabernacle.

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A surviving Imhoff account book lists the costs for scaffolding, as well as wages for Adam Kraft and his two journeymen, Christoph and Ulrich, and for Master Adam's housewife "a tip for pulverizing stone" ein trinck gelt fur stain mel zu klopfen. This record substantiates the participation of the artist's wife in a Nuremberg.

Photo : Bildstelle und Denkmalsarchiv, Nuremberg. It was a simple preliminary task presumably requiring no skill. In her study of women's roles in the early craft workshops in Nuremberg, Gertrud Schmidt observed that women were often given menial jobs. Pounding stone into powder was nonetheless strenuous physical labor.

Schmidt cites other instances of Nuremberg masters ' wives and children involved in hard labor;16 and Erika Uitz lists numerous examples in her broad study of women in medieval cities. Quoting a previous unnamed source, he wrote that in Adam Kraft married a second time, this time a widow-Magdalena. Not infrequently young journeymen who wished to become masters married women consider- ably older who brought into the marriage an already established household, workshop, and capital.

The first of Tilman Riemenschneider's four wives was a Fig. Member of Kraft Workshop, self-portrait at base of Eucharistic Tabernacle, widow 20 years his senior, who had previously been married to a goldsmith. St Lorenz, Nuremberg. They usually show the embrace of a man and a woman who were in many ways unalike.

One partner is old, ugly, wealthy, lustful, and foolish; the counterpart is young, handsome, greedy, calculating, and exploitative. These characteristics appear to be strung together as if in parallel discursive chains, with the age differential linking itself to the other disparities. Although the majority of these prints show an old man and a young woman, a substantial number depict an old woman with a young man, which corresponded to the situation in which an older widow married a younger jour- neyman, thus making him a master and allowing him to inherit a workshop.

One of the harshest of such re presentations is that by Sebastian Brant and Albrecht Diirer in the Ship ofFools, published in fig.

Both the ribald text and the accompanying unambiguous image address the matter with respect to the would-be position of the young man. Brant's rubric reads in translation: He who marries for no other reason than for goods has much strife, suffering, dissension and pain. Durer's woodcut shows a foolish young man raising an ass's tail to expose the anus with his right hand while grabbing an old woman's Fig. The poem beneath the picture begins in literal transla- Brant's Ship of Fools, Photo: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. Although perhaps equally of the viewer.

Regardless of the interpretation, the prominence of this theme at efficient, passing a workshop from father to son or son-in-law was possible this time underscores the prevalence of unions between partners of divergent only in comparatively few cases. Ambitious young journeymen often aspired to ages, a situation which, at least in some cases, enjoyed the blessing of the larger acquire established workshops through marriage.

The case of Albrecht Diirer's community. After being employed in Nuremberg society appears to have favored the arrangement in which a and in the workshop of the Munich painter Gabriel Malesskircher, widow married a journeyman of the same trade as her previous husband. Wolgemut sued the master's daughter for breach of promise because she had Repeatedly ordinances stipulated that only a subsequent husband from the allegedly broken her engagement to him.

After losing the litigation he returned same craft could continue the workshop. Generally in Nuremberg widows were to his native Nuremberg, where he married the newly widowed Barbara allowed three years to find a husband and successor before they were forced to Pleydenwurff and took over Hans Pleydenwurff's workshop, thus becoming a give up a workshop; in some cases the time was lengthened to six years. The circumstances are somewhat striking. In a legal affidavit workshop from one master to the next, with a minimum of disruption Barbara Keglin acknowledges that she has received the sum of20 guilders from through loss of commissions or the necessity of new capital investment.

This another Barbara, the married spouse of Master Adam. Anton Pilgram, Self-Portrait, probably originally supporting a pulpit, ca. The document under- One obligation that does not seem to have belonged solely to the workshop scores-not so much the sensitivity of one woman to another woman's plight wife was that of providing for the nutritional needs of the master and other nor the generosity of one woman toward another-but rather the financial obli- workers. Workshop wives did not, so to speak-make sandwiches and pack gations of the family economy and the role of Barbara Kraft in the workshop.

As numerous documents Legally the family business had to stand good for the master's liabilities; if prove, these matters were the purview of the patrons.

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This practice explains the Barbara Kraft made payment to Barbara Keglin she had clearly assumed the German term Zehrgeld-money for sustenance, i. Accounts role of business manager for the workshop. In fact, the already mentioned maintenance husband's financial dealings and thus assume the greater responsibility them- record of includes rather detailed menus: the first evening- wine, beer, selves.

Here too, Agnes good meal and wine to go with it; and finally that evening--cheese, bread, and Frey provides a parallel example in that she too concerned herself with the wine. As the observed that in Cologne workshops in which the man was involved directly in menus in the Imhoff account book indicate, bread was a necessary element in production the woman took over responsibilities of marketing and book- many meals.

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Perhaps in this somewhat whimsical way, Pilgram wanted to keeping-as well as merchandizing; and Campbell noticed that Netherlandish remind patrons of the biblical injunction that "the laborer is worthy of his hire" workshop wives functioned as agents. The business of making workshop at the end of the master's life and the resultant misfortune of Barbara prints could flourish for a time without large numbers of new blocks and plates Kraft.

In , Adam Kraft had given Peter Imhoff three gilt goblets and a or major new designs, as could the business of decorating documents and pater noster chain as collateral for a loan of 27 guilders. Later that year, he providing simple book illuminations. By the year , he had borrowed In other situations in which an artist's widow did not have a ready and quali- guilders from Peter Imhoff against work that he had been contracted to fiedjourneyman who was eligible immediately to step into the master's shoes, complete-sculptural decoration for one of the Imhoff residences.

By the time she was particularly disadvantaged.