The Backhausen Archives


JOSEF HOFFMANN, Dessin Nr. 7741, 1910 © Backhausen-Archiv | Foto: Backhausen-Archiv

The company Joh. Backhausen & Söhne, founded in 1849, is among the most tradition-steeped producers of upholstery and decorative fabrics in Viennese history. The company’s main lines of production were premium fashionable fabrics, fabrics for upholstery and curtains, as well as damasks, brocades and carpets made from silk and wool. From 1903, Backhausen focused on collaborations with artists of Viennese Modernism, including Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Jutta Sika, Dagobert Peche, My Ullmann and Otto Prutscher. The company specialized in turning their designs into commercial products, and established itself as the main supplier of the Wiener Werkstätte. The exhibition affords insights into the holdings of the Backhausen Archives, introduces numerous artists and sheds light on individual production stages – from the design via fabric samples all the way to the execution. It pays tribute to Dr. Louise Kiesling (1957–2022) who, with passionate enthusiasm and great ideational and monetary commitment, preserved the Backhausen Archives for posterity.


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