Otto Wagner, Bentwood Armchair, mod. num. 6516. Designed for the Postsparkasse in Vienna, 1902 © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 4157

  • Koloman Moser, Inlaid Armoire from the Eisler-Terramare Apartment Bedroom, 1903 © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 4150
  • Josef Hoffmann, Jardinière, 1903/04 © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 4525
  • Josef Hoffmann, Box with Lid, 1910 © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 4180

Wiener Werkstätte

This movement finally led to the foundation of the Wiener Werkstätte by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and the patron Fritz Wärndorfer in 1903. It was the aim of the Werkstätte to renew the art term in the field of applied arts and to embellish the life by everyday objects designed by artists. Following British examples, the challenge was to offer simple, elegant unique items in reply to the uncharitable and industrial replicas of past styles. A tea pot and a wardrobe were designed with just the same diligence and idealism. Everyday objects thus were elevated to an art object. All spheres of life should be designed homogenously and do justice to a modern culture.
Until the 1920s the company opened up sales affiliates at the top addresses in Vienna and abroad. Nevertheless its failure loomed ahead. It was especially for the high prices of their products that the Wiener Werkstätte failed to accomplish its social cause namely to ensure that the life of everybody was embellished by everyday objects designed by artists. Until its final closure in 1932, the company always relied on the support of prosperous patrons.
The Leopold Museum shows metalworks and furniture by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser as well as selected objects by Otto Wagner and others in its permanent exhibition.

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