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|Industry||art, interior decoration|
|Key people||Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Dagobert Peche|
|Products||jewellery, ceramic, furniture, leather, fashion, metalworks|
Established in 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte (engl.: Vienna's Workshops) was a production community of visual artists in Vienna, Austria bringing together architects, artists and designers.
The enterprise evolved from the Vienna Secession, founded in 1897 as a progressive alliance of artists and designers. From the start, the Secession had placed special emphasis on the applied arts, and its 1900 exhibition surveying the work of contemporary European design workshops prompted the young architect Josef Hoffmann and his artist friend Koloman Moser to consider establishing a similar enterprise.
Finally in 1903, with backing from the industrialist Fritz Wärndorfer, the Wiener Werkstätte began operations in three small rooms; it soon expanded to fill a three-story building with separate, specially designed facilities for metalwork, leatherwork, bookbinding, woodworking and a paint shop. The range of product lines also included; leather goods, enamel, jewellery, postcards and ceramics. The Wiener Werkstätte even had a millinery department.
Most of the objects produced in the Wiener Werkstatte were stamped with a number of different marks; the trademark of the Wiener Werkstatte, the monogram of the designer and that of the craftsman, who created it. The Wiener Werkstatte had about 100 employees in 1905, of whom 37 were masters of their trade.
The seat of the venture was in Neustiftgasse 32-34, where a new building was adapted to their requirements. Eventually the project exhausted Wärndorfer's fortune. The circle of customers of the Wiener Werkstatte and Josef Hoffmann mainly consisted of artists and Jewish upper middle class supporters of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Several branches of the workshop were opened in Karlsbad 1909, Marienbad, Zürich 1916/17, New York 1922, Berlin 1929.
In architectural commissions such as the Purkersdorf Sanatorium and the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, the Wiener Werkstätte was able to realize its ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), a coordinated environment in which everything down to the last detail was consciously designed as an integral part of the whole project.
For several years, beginning in 1904, the Wiener Werkstätte had its own carpentry workshop. Josef Hoffmann designed a furniture line noted for its simple forms for the firm of Jacob & Josef Kohn. But only few pieces of furniture were made there. Most of the furniture known as Wiener Werkstätte Furniture were made by cabinet-makers as: Portois & Fix, Johann Soulek, Anton Herrgesell, Anton Pospisil, Friedrich Otto Schmidt and Johann Niedermoser. Some historians now believe that there are no existing original products of the Wiener Werkstätte Furniture division.
From 1905, the Wiener Werkstatte produced handpainted and printed silks. The Backhausen firm was responsible for the machine-printed and woven textiles. In 1907, the Wiener Werkstätte took over distribution for the Wiener Keramik, a ceramics workshop headed by Michael Powolny and Berthold Löffler. And in the same year Moser, embittered by the financial squabbling, left the Wiener Werkstätte, which subsequently entered a new phase, both stylistically and economically.
The founding of textile and fashion divisions in 1909 and 1910 brought a further shift in the Wiener Werkstätte's emphasis—away from the architectural and toward the ephemeral. After a close brush with bankruptcy in 1913, Wärndorfer left to America and the following year Otto Primavesi, a banker from Moravia, took over as chief financier and patron.
During and immediately following the First World War the Wiener Werkstatte was influenced by a new generation of artists and craftsmen. It was Dagobert Peche whose ornamental, almost baroque fancies exerted the most palpable influence. After the war, material shortages encouraged experimentation with less durable, less expensive materials such as wood, ceramics and papier-mâché. The original, grand Gesamtkunstwerk vision became diluted and submerged by the Kunstgewerbliches—the artsy-craftsy.
Attempts to expand the workshop's scope—adding such items as wallpaper to its limited program of industrial licenses, and establishing branches in Berlin, New York and Zurich—were not particularly successful. The Werkstätte's financial situation grew desperate due to the effects of the war and the onset of the world wide Depression in 1929.
A work representative of the Wiener Werkstätte is the Stoclet Palace in Brussels.
Artists of the Wiener Werkstaette
Architecture, interior design and furniture
Works designed by Josef Hoffmann, Mathilde Flögl, Carl Witzmann, Carl Breuer, Gustav Siegel, Emanuel Josef Margold, Koloman Moser, Dagobert Peche, Josef Urban, Otto Prutscher, Richard Luksch, Oswald Haerdtl, Phillipp Häusler, Carl Otto Czeschka de:Carl Otto Czeschka and Victor Lurje.
Although not part of the Wiener Werkstätte, the German-born artist and architect Winold Reiss was influenced especially by the work of Josef Hoffmann.
Wood and mixed media
Fashion, jewelry and accessories
Works designed by Lotte Calm, Christa Ehrlich, Trude Hochmann, Josef Hoffmann, Mela Köhler, Maria Likarz, Berthold Löffler, Fritzi Löw, Koloman Moser, Dagobert Peche, Reni Schaschl, Agnes ("Kitty") Speyer, Amalie Szeps and Eduard Josef Wimmer-Wisgrill.
Works designed by Felice Rix-Ueno, Mathilde Flögl, Lotte Föchler-Frömmel, Josef Hoffmann, Hilda Jesser, Ludwig Heinrich, Maria Likarz, Rita Luzzatte, Koloman Moser, Dagobert Peche, Kitty Rix, Max Snischek and Franz von Zülow.
Typography and the graphic arts
Works designed by Carl Otto Czeschka de:Carl Otto Czeschka, Josef Diveky, Anton Faistauer, Remigius Geyling, Heddi Hirsch, Emil Hoppe, Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel, Rudolf Kalvach, Hans Kalmsteiner, Mela Köhler, Oskar Kokoschka, Rudolf von Larisch, Maria Likarz, Berthold Löffler, Moritz Jung, Editha Moser, Koloman Moser, Dagobert Peche, Kitty Rix, Alfred Roller, Egon Schiele, Ver Sacrum; Beethoven exhibition catalogue and "Kachelalmanach".
The Wiener Werkstaette also was active as an agent or merchand middleman with products of: Wiener Keramik, Eduard Klablena, Kaulitz, Bachmann, Cloeter, Lobmeyr, Meyr's Neffe, Moser-Karlsbad, Oertel, Schappel, Loetz Witwe, Tiroler Glashütte, Pfeiffer & Löwenstein, Böcke, Kaiser, Petzold, Berger, Rosenbaum, Schmidt[disambiguation needed], Backhausen, Portois & Fix, Johann Soulek (Palais Stoclet, Haus Ast) , Anton Herrgesell, Anton Pospisil, Friedrich Otto Schmidt, Johann Niedermoser, Anton Ziprosch und Franz Gloser (Purkersdorf).
Important members of this workshop were the painter Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Emilie Flöge, Max Lenz, Wilhelm Lizst, Emil Orlik, Dagobert Peche, Eduard Wimmer Wisgrill, Leopold Bauer, Oskar Kokoschka, Vally Wieselthier, Otto Prutscher, Emanuel Margold, Hans Ofner, Carl Otto Czeschka de:Carl Otto Czeschka, Michael Powolny, Carl Moll and Maria Likarz.
- Smetana, Alexandra; Karolyi, Claudia, Austrian Exlibris Society (ÖEG), ed., II The Artist and his Patrons - Josef Hoffmann and the Primavesi Family - The beginnings of the Wiener Werkstätte
- Wiener Werkstätte (de/en)
- Josef Hoffmann at WOKA (de/en)
- Koloman Moser at WOKA (de/en)
- Sanatorium Purkersdorf at WOKA (de/en)
- Palais Stoclet at WOKA (de/en)
- Arts and Crafts in Vienna 1900
- furniture and lamps designed by Josef Hoffmann for the Wiener Werkstaette
- Wiener Werkstätte Museum
- Austrian Supreme Court Verdict from Oct 15th in German language against the "todays owner of the trademark"
- Wiener Werkstätte postcards and information