Written by Hans-Friedrich Defet partner of the da Vinci Künstlerpinselfabrik DEFET GmbH

From manufacturing brushes to a studio house

Alongside producing artist brushes, it has always been artwhich has fascinated my wife and me and enriched our lives.

Seven extensions, conversions and new constructions werenecessary in order to convert this modest building into amodern manufacturing plant. From the very beginning wewere able to offer young artists a platform for their work.Later on we opened an adjacent gallery space to provideopportunities for both emerging and established artiststo present their work to a wide audience, including atthe Basel and Cologne art fairs.

Thanks to the successful development of the artistbrush factory, by the end of the nineteen-ninetiesall of our rooms were in use. To ease the strain,a subsidiary building was built in the vicinity,but this too was soon bursting at the seams.in 2006 we took the second step and expandedthe building so that it could house bothproduction and administration. 

So what should happen then to the properties left abandoned?My wife and I thought long and hard about this. Despite somegood suggestions, and some objections, we decided that theyshould be transformed into artist studios. There should also beworkspaces for screen printing and restoration. It was alsoimportant to us that there would be a painting school forchildren.

No sooner said than done. Following a reconstruction periodof just six months, the building, with its sixteen artist studios,print and photography workshops and two gallery spaces,was shown to the public on the 1st of October 2006.Even the hoped for children’s painting school found itsplace. All this was rewarded by the “German CulturePrize for Small Businesses” awarded by the FederalAssociation of German Industry in 2008.
Thanks to shared freed-up assets and the propertyof my wife who passed away in 2008, I was ableto bring all of this together under one foundation, the

Marianne und Hans Friedrich Defet
Studio and Gallery Foundation.




Thanks to fortunate circumstances and much lovingsupport, in 2010 I was able to take a further step andbring into being the 

Marianne Defet Artist in Residency Program

with the support of da Vinci Künstlerpinselfabrik. 

The first artist in residence moved in this autumn. The presence and the work of young artists will mostcertainly mean that as artist brush manufacturers wewill not only continue to value a wealth of experiencebut also to benefit from new perspectives.

So may the principles set out in the previous cataloguein 2002 by myself, my partner Hermann Meyer and allof our colleagues remain valid for the future:

We are committed to quality and innovation,which I have always striven for in my sixty-six years ofworking for the company, through our namesake androle model, the Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci.

December 2011

Unterschrift Defet