He received his education at the Berlin Academy of Industrial Design. In 1862, he moved to Vienna where he followed the profession of decorator and designer. There he prepared drawings for the collection of pattern designs in the Austrian Museum. He became teacher of ornamentation at the Royal Academy, Hanau, in 1870, and from 1883 to 1888 served as director of the newly organized Industrial Art School of Saint Gall. In 1889, he moved to Wiesbaden. He founded many societies for the advancement of industrial art and by his work exercised a great influence on textile designing in Germany. In 1909, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, acquired his collection of antique embroideries and fabrics.