The famous Hummel figurines are based on the drawings of the German Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel (1909-1946), a nun who studied at the art academy in Munich in her youth. Immediately after her studies, she went to a monastery to become a nun. Among other things she taught art at a school that was under the care of the monastery. In addition to her lessons, she also painted children. The other nuns were so impressed by her paintings that they sent samples of her work to a Christian publisher. Despite M.I. Hummel's initial reluctance, postcards with the drawings and even an entire Hummel book was released. When the director of the Goebel factory saw these cards, he wanted to release them as figurines and he got permission from the monastic order. The Hummel figurines were an immediate success in 1935 and gained worldwide fame when after World War II the American soldiers returning home often bought Hummel figurines as souvenirs. During the Second World War, all religious schools were closed and only a few nuns were allowed to stay in the monastery. Maria Innocentia Hummel first went to her family but later went back to the monastery. Here she lived and worked in a small and cold cell and the monastic order had to survive on little food. M.I. Hummel contracted tuberculosis due to the bad conditions and died just after the Second World War. Many different Hummel figurines have been made and there are many collectors worldwide. You regularly come across the Hummel figurines at art and antiques auctions.