This ceramic mug features the image from Julius Kinger’s 1910 poster for the German publishing company Hollerbaum and Schmidt. Klinger always imbued his work with comedy, and this image was no exception. Here he depicts himself and his fellow Hollerbaum and Schmidt designers as exotic cacti on display for the viewers’ enjoyment.
During his lifetime, Julius Klinger (1876–1942) became a major influence on the world of graphic design. After briefly aligning himself with the Vienna Secessionists, he rejected their more decorative aesthetics and came to regard function as an essential part of design. The principles he developed and worked with continue to guide design practices today. In 1942, he was victimized by the racial laws put in place by Austria’s German-controlled National Socialist government. He was deported to a concentration camp, where he is presumed to have been killed.