Decorative Arts

'The boundless evil, caused by shoddy mass-produced goods and by the uncritical imitation of earlier styles, is like a tidal wave sweeping across the world.'

ColApImg_EXHI014699
Josef HOFFMANN (designer)
Austria 1870-1956
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (retailer)
Vienna 1903-1932
Vase 1908
zinc-plated sheet iron, paint, glass
30.0 x 15.0 x 8.2 cm
Ernst Ploil Collection
Photo © Ernst Ploil
© Josef Hoffmann Estate

So wrote architect and designer Josef Hoffmann, who in 1905 penned the Prospectus for the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) , a progressive alliance of artists, designers and craftsmen who fundamentally shaped the development of the arts in early twentieth century Vienna.

ColApImg_EXHI014668
Jutta SIKA (designer)
Austria-Hungary 1877-1964
WIENER PORZELLAN-MANUFAKTUR JOSEF BÖCK, Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria-Hungary est.1898
Tea and coffee service (1901/02)
porcelain (hard-paste)
(a-b) 18.5 x 12.5 x 9.0 cm (overall) (coffeepot)
(c-d) 17.5 x 19.5 x 3.5 cm (overall) (teapot)
(d) 8.5 x 10.5 x 8.5 cm (creamer)
(e-f) 7.5 x 11.3 cm diameter (overall) (demitasse and saucer)
(g-h) 10.5 x 16.7 cm diameter (overall) (cup and saucer)
(i) 9.5 x 10.5 cm diameter (sugar box)
Ernst Ploil Collection
© Jutta Sika

Hoffmann, along with artist and designer Koloman Moser, was the major force behind the founding of the Werkstätte. His aspirations for art and design as outlined in the Prospectus offer a wonderful insight into the development of decorative arts in Vienna at this time. The Prospectus continues:

ColApImg_EXHI014743
Josef HOFFMANN (designer)
Austria 1870–1956
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria 1903–32
Eugen PFLAUMER (goldsmith)
Austria active c.1908
Brooch (Model no. G 362) 1905 designed, 1911 manufactured
silver, gold, carnelian, coral, hematite, jelly opal, lapis lazuli, moonstone, sapphire
(5.1 x 5.1 x 1.4 cm)
Asenbaum Collection, London
© Asenbaum Photo Archive

'We wish to create an inner relationship linking public, designer and worker and we want to produce good and simple articles of everyday use. Our guiding principle is function, utility our first condition, and our strength must lie in good proportions and the proper treatment of material.

We shall seek to decorate when it seems required but we do not feel obliged to adorn at any price.

We shall use many semi-precious stones, especially in our jewellery, because in our eyes their manifold colours and ever-varying facets replace the sparkle of diamonds.

Exhibition highlights

ColApImg_EXHI013493
Egon SCHIELE
Austria 1890–1918
Self-portrait with hands on chest 1910
charcoal, watercolour and gouache
44.8 x 31.2 cm
Kunsthaus Zug, Stiftung Sammlung Kamm
ColApImg_EXHI012197
Gustav KLIMT
Austria 1862–1918
Fritza Riedler 1906
oil on canvas
152.0 x 134.0 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
ColApImg_EXHI013492
Egon SCHIELE
Austria-Hungary 1890–1918
Portrait of the painter Hans Massmann 1909
oil and metallic paint on canvas
120.0 x 110.0 cm
Kunsthaus Zug
Stiftung Sammlung Kamm
ColApImg_EXHI013309
Koloman MOSER (designer)
Austria-Hungary 1868-1918
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria-Hungary 1903-32
Flower basket (Model no. S 781) 1906
silver
21.3 x 7.2 x 4.3 cm
Asenbaum Collection
ColApImg_EXHI014746
Josef HOFFMANN (designer)
Austria-Hungary 1870–1956
WÜRBEL & CZOKALLY (CARL WÜRBEL), Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria-Hungary 1892–1913
VINZENZ MAYER’S SÖHNE, Vienna (retailer)
Austria-Hungary 1810–1922
Sports trophy 1902
silver, gilt, malachite
26.0 x 7.1 cm diameter
Private collection
© Josef Hoffmann Estate
ColApImg_EXHI012867
George MINNE
Belgium 1866-1941
Kneeling youth 1898
plaster
79.5 x 19.4 x 44.3 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, NGV Women’s Association to commemorate their 50th Anniversary and the 150th Anniversary of the NGV and with the assistance of the proceeds of the National Gallery of Victoria Annual Dinners, 2011 (2011.10)
Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
ColApImg_EXHI014728
Egon SCHIELE
Self-portrait with peacock waistcoat, standing 1911
gouache, watercolour and crayon
51.5 x 34.5 cm
Private collection
ColApImg_EXHI014224
Oskar KOKOSCHKA
Austria-Hungary/Czechoslovakia/England 1886-1980
Conte Verona (1910)
oil on canvas
70.6 x 58.7 cm
Private collection, New York
Approved: Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
ColApImg_EXHI012902
Otto WAGNER (designer)
Austria 1841–1918
Alexander ALBERT (manufacturer)
Austria active c.1904
Chair for Dr Karl Lueger 1904
Rosewood (Dalbergia sp.), mother-of-pearl, leather
98.5 x 63 x 59.5 cm
Wien Museum, Vienna
Estate of Karl Lueger, 1910
Enver Hirsch
ColApImg_EXHI014616
Unknown
Gustav Mahler conducts his Symphony No. 1 in D major
Cartoon from Wiener Illustrated Front Page of 25 November 1900
Photo: Imagno
IMAGNO/Austrian Archives
ColApImg_EXHI012199
Gustav KLIMT
Austria 1862–1918
Johanna Staude 1917–18
oil on canvas
70.0 x 50.0 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
ColApImg_EXHI012200
Koloman MOSER
Austria 1868–1918
Self-portrait c.1916–17
oil painting on canvas on cardboard
74.0 x 50.0 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
ColApImg_EXHI012201
Oskar KOKOSCHKA
The painter Carl Moll 1861-1945 1913
oil on canvas
128.0 x 95.5 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
Approved: Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
ColApImg_EXHI014409
Koloman MOSER (designer)
Austria 1868-1918
Plate from Flächen Schmuck series, published in Die Quelle 1901
26 x 30
National Gallery of Australia Research Library
ColApImg_EXHI014461
Koloman MOSER (designer)
Austria 1868-1918
Plate from Flächen Schmuck series, published in Die Quelle 1901
26 x 30
National Gallery of Australia Research Library
ColApImg_EXHI013996
Dagobert PECHE (designer)
Austria 1887–1923
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria 1903–1932
Jewel box (S 4880) 1920
silver-gilt
38.4 x 19.7 x 12.7 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Purchase, Anonymous gift, 1978
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource, New York
ColApImg_EXHI013493 Egon SCHIELE
Austria 1890–1918
Self-portrait with hands on chest 1910
charcoal, watercolour and gouache
44.8 x 31.2 cm
Kunsthaus Zug, Stiftung Sammlung Kamm
ColApImg_EXHI012197 Gustav KLIMT
Austria 1862–1918
Fritza Riedler 1906
oil on canvas
152.0 x 134.0 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
ColApImg_EXHI013492 Egon SCHIELE
Austria-Hungary 1890–1918
Portrait of the painter Hans Massmann 1909
oil and metallic paint on canvas
120.0 x 110.0 cm
Kunsthaus Zug
Stiftung Sammlung Kamm
ColApImg_EXHI013309 Koloman MOSER (designer)
Austria-Hungary 1868-1918
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria-Hungary 1903-32
Flower basket (Model no. S 781) 1906
silver
21.3 x 7.2 x 4.3 cm
Asenbaum Collection
ColApImg_EXHI014746 Josef HOFFMANN (designer)
Austria-Hungary 1870–1956
WÜRBEL & CZOKALLY (CARL WÜRBEL), Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria-Hungary 1892–1913
VINZENZ MAYER’S SÖHNE, Vienna (retailer)
Austria-Hungary 1810–1922
Sports trophy 1902
silver, gilt, malachite
26.0 x 7.1 cm diameter
Private collection
© Josef Hoffmann Estate
ColApImg_EXHI012867 George MINNE
Belgium 1866-1941
Kneeling youth 1898
plaster
79.5 x 19.4 x 44.3 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, NGV Women’s Association to commemorate their 50th Anniversary and the 150th Anniversary of the NGV and with the assistance of the proceeds of the National Gallery of Victoria Annual Dinners, 2011 (2011.10)
Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
ColApImg_EXHI014728 Egon SCHIELE
Self-portrait with peacock waistcoat, standing 1911
gouache, watercolour and crayon
51.5 x 34.5 cm
Private collection
ColApImg_EXHI014224 Oskar KOKOSCHKA
Austria-Hungary/Czechoslovakia/England 1886-1980
Conte Verona (1910)
oil on canvas
70.6 x 58.7 cm
Private collection, New York
Approved: Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
ColApImg_EXHI012902 Otto WAGNER (designer)
Austria 1841–1918
Alexander ALBERT (manufacturer)
Austria active c.1904
Chair for Dr Karl Lueger 1904
Rosewood (Dalbergia sp.), mother-of-pearl, leather
98.5 x 63 x 59.5 cm
Wien Museum, Vienna
Estate of Karl Lueger, 1910
Enver Hirsch
ColApImg_EXHI014616 Unknown
Gustav Mahler conducts his Symphony No. 1 in D major
Cartoon from Wiener Illustrated Front Page of 25 November 1900
Photo: Imagno
IMAGNO/Austrian Archives
Gustav KLIMT
Austria 1862–1918
Johanna Staude 1917–18
oil on canvas
70.0 x 50.0 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
Koloman MOSER
Austria 1868–1918
Self-portrait c.1916–17
oil painting on canvas on cardboard
74.0 x 50.0 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
Oskar KOKOSCHKA
The painter Carl Moll 1861-1945 1913
oil on canvas
128.0 x 95.5 cm
Belvedere, Vienna
Approved: Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
ColApImg_EXHI014409 Koloman MOSER (designer)
Austria 1868-1918
Plate from Flächen Schmuck series, published in Die Quelle 1901
26 x 30
National Gallery of Australia Research Library
ColApImg_EXHI014461 Koloman MOSER (designer)
Austria 1868-1918
Plate from Flächen Schmuck series, published in Die Quelle 1901
26 x 30
National Gallery of Australia Research Library
ColApImg_EXHI013996 Dagobert PECHE (designer)
Austria 1887–1923
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (manufacturer)
Austria 1903–1932
Jewel box (S 4880) 1920
silver-gilt
38.4 x 19.7 x 12.7 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Purchase, Anonymous gift, 1978
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource, New York

We love silver and gold for their sheen and regard the lustre of copper as just as valid artistically. We feel that a silver brooch can have as much intrinsic worth as a jewel made of gold and precious stones.

ColApImg_EXHI012959
Josef HOFFMANN (designer)
Austria 1870–1956
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, Vienna (manufacturer)
Vienna 1903–1932
Eugen PFLAUMER (goldsmith)
Austria active c.1908
Brooch (Model no. G 1034) 1908 designed, 1910 manufactured
silver, gold, agate, amethyst, bloodstone, coral, jasper, lapis lazuli, moonstone. opal, tourmaline
(5.4 x 5.4 x 1.4 cm)
Asenbaum Collection, London
© Asenbaum/Ploil
© Josef Hoffmann Estate

The merit of craftsmanship and artistic conception must be recognised once more and be valued accordingly. Handicrafts must be measured by the same standards as the work of a painter or sculptor.'

Timeline

© 2011 National Gallery of Victoria

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