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On January 9, 1935 an important birth happened in Germany. It is the date on which the very popular and wildly collectible Hummel Figurines were born. In actuality, this was the day that Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel signed the contract with Goebel Porzellan that allowed them to transform her drawings into the lovable figurines that we are most familiar with. The contract also gave Goebel exclusivity in the manufacturer of the figurines that bore the M.I. Hummel name.
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel was born Berta Hummel in the rural town of Massing in Bavaria in Germany. As a child she already had the attributes that make a great artist, she was curious, observant and she was creative. Her surroundings provided her plenty of backdrops and characters for her drawings and by the age of 6 she impressed not only her classmates, but the nuns at the catholic school she attended. At the age of 12, she entered the Institute of English Sisters, Marienhoehe to begin her formal art training. She later studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich, Germany. She began painting pictures of children which then would be made into postcards, which is how she came to the attention of Goebel.
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel was a brilliant artist and the mother of one of the world’s most loved collectibles. Unfortunately, Sister Maria died of TB at the young age of 37, in 1946. However, her art lives on not only through the Hummel figurines by Goebel, but the drawings and paintings that she left behind. The Convent of Siessen, who Sister Maria was associated with, created an artistic board after her death to look out for her legacy.