idesign > Keystones > Wiener Werkstatte

Austria, 1903 -1932 AC



Wiener Werkstatte

W.W. Furniture

Joseph Hoffman and Kolomon Moser








koller sofa by hoffmann pic from

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Wiener Werkstatte


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At the turn of the century around the year 1900 the city of Vienna was, next to Paris, one of Europe’s leading cultural centres. This was due to the rise of the middle classes, who were in the process of emancipating themselves from the model provided by the aristocracy and were searching for ways in which they could express themselves individually in art, architecture and music. Against this background the members of the artists’ association ‘Secession’ and Vienna’s Kunstgewerbeschule, the college of arts and crafts, founded the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) in 1903. This became a brand in itself and developed into a company which marketed not just furniture and small articles of everyday use made of glass, ceramics, silver and metal, but also jewellery and clothing – in line with the spirit of art as a holistic concept. The most famous example is Josef Hoffmann’s Palais Stoclet (1905-1911) in Brussels, which was entirely furnished with objects from the Wiener Werkstätte. Info source:



W.W. Furniture


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hoffmann flower basket




Wiener Werkstatte company shows to perfection the well-publicised turning away from art nouveau forms in favour of geometric-abstract principles of design which set the direction for the modernism of the twentieth century. For a time the products of the Wiener Werkstätte enjoyed tremendous commercial success, which led to the establishment of sales outlets in Karlsbad, Marienbad, Zurich, New York and Berlin. Many of the best-known artists and architects of this period created works for the Werkstätte, including names such as Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Josef Hoffmann, Dagobert Peche, Otto Prutscher, Koloman Moser, Ernst Lichtblau and Josef Frank.

The Wiener Werkstätte created artefacts for all areas of interior design and lifestyle, from architecture to the smallest article of daily use. Only a limited amount of furniture was manufactured in its own carpentry shop, the larger part being entrusted to several other cabinet-makers that were well-known for their particularly high quality.
In the wake of worldwide economic depression and the bankruptcy of its financier, the Primavesi Bank, the Wiener Werkstätte had to close down in 1932. Info source:


Joseph Hoffman


Kolomon Moser


interior hoffmann and moser pic

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wiener werkstatte poster

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The founding of the Secession in 1897, which bore the banner of renewal in the arts, was followed by the founding of the "Wiener Werkstätte". It committed itself to a revival of aesthetic design in arts and crafts. Outstanding artists including Josef Hoffmann, Kolo Moser and Dagobert Peche caused a stir with their unconventional designs.

Primary objective was always the utility of the objects, combined with artistic craftsmanship of the highest quality. It started with Moser's floral designs influenced by Japanese art; then the development of the Wiener Werkstätte went on to encompass Hoffmann's geometrical designs. The sign "WW" became a trade mark of quality, objects bearing it were in great demand. Info source:




hoffmann chair wiener werkstatte pic from

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van de velde art nouveau style desk pic from

hoffmann chair pic from steeldomus.comimage

sessel chair joseph hoffmann pic from

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wiener werkstatte chair pic from erewhon.ticonuno.itimage


wiener werkstatte furniture pic from www.artnet.comimage

wiener werkstatte furniture pic from www.wiener-werkstatte.comimage

hoffmann moka pic from www.dorotheum.comimage






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more about Wiener Werkstatte:

Wiener Werkstatte Museum :

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