Collection Online

Armchair, from the Post Office Savings Bank, Vienna
designed 1902; manufactured (1904-1906)

ebonised beech, aluminium, velvet, silk thread, jute, (other materials)
78.2 × 56.6 × 58.2 cm
Place/s of Execution
Vienna, Austria
stamped in ink on inside rim of base l.c.: THONET
punched (diagonally) in base of front left foot: 02
punched (diagonally) in base of front right foot: 02
punched (diagonally) in base of rear left foot: 02
punched (diagonally) in base of rear right foot: 02
Accession Number
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of J. B. Were & Son, Governor, 1987
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
Not on display

Wagner’s armchair illustrates that struggle between the conflicting forces of ornament and minimalism at the beginning of the twentieth century. Its form is simple and elegant, taut even, yet the desire to ornament is still there, evidenced in the aluminium armstrips with their decorative rivets and the sabots, providing a hint of richness. Wagner placed this Armchair in various contexts throughout the building, yet he modified its details according to the context. This armchair, with aluminium footguards and armstrips, and an upholstered seat, was probably intended for the boardroom.