BirthOels, Silesia, Poland (1873)
DeathOxford, Great Britain (1955)
German puppeteer. Under the influence of the Munich Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), Paul Brann founded, in 1906, the Marionettentheater Münchner Künstler (Marionette Theatre of Munich Artists). He is known as the founder and first stage director of “artistic” string puppet theatre (see Germany). He owes his national and international fame and influence above all to the collaboration with other well-known artists who worked on the sets and created the puppets, such as the sculptor Ignatius Taschner, the painter and sculptor Jakob Bradl, the sculptor Josef Wackerle, stage designers Leo Pasetti and Ernst Stern, and Norwegian cartoonist Olaf Gulbransson.
Yet one must also take into account the originality of his repertoire for his time. His theatre presented literary pieces by Count Franz von Pocci, Molière, Maurice Maeterlinck, Arthur Schnitzler, and operas and operettas by Gluck, Mozart and Jacques Offenbach. As was the case with Jugendstil artists, Paul Brann’s ideal was that of “total art”.
He emigrated to Great Britain in 1934 and continued his activities as puppeteer and teacher in Oxford until his death in 1955. The artistic legacy of Paul Brann is now kept in the Puppentheatermuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum (Puppet Theatre Museum in the Munich City Museum) where his work is still used from time to time in productions.