Vienna Media News 01/2018 On the trail of Wiener Werkstätte designs
One of the companies that worked closely with the Wiener Werkstätte artists is Vienna-based glass and lighting fixtures manufacturer Lobmeyr. Founded in 1832 and now in its sixth generation, the traditional company is still run as a family company to this day. Lobmeyr’s products are on display in a beautiful store on Kärtner Strasse. Josef Hoffmann’s elegant B drinking glass series is among the Wiener Werkstätte classics on sale there. Augarten Porcelain Manufactory is another company with a number of Josef Hoffmann designs still in its portfolio. Introduced in 1929, his Melonenservice (a striking striped mocha set) has been in production there ever since – as has his Atlantis tea service (1930).
Wiener Silber Manufactur also has a rich heritage. The present-day company has its roots in one of the nation’s oldest craftsmanship operations and was a key Wiener Werkstätte partner at around 1900. Its products include cutlery and bowls based on Josef Hoffmann’s original designs, as well as candleholders and tea and coffee services by Otto Prutscher – including his famous Pumpkin Service. Woka Lamps Vienna produces exclusive lighting based on contemporary Wiener Werkstätte and Jugendstil (Austrian Art Nouveau) designs. Many of the high-quality reproductions can be seen in the city center showrooms and on the Woka website. Josef Hoffmann’s crystal chandelier for the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, Otto Wagner’s outdoor lighting for Vienna’s Stadtbahn commuter railway and Adolf Loos’ designs for gentlemen’s outfitters Knize are among the highlights. The lights are made exclusively by hand and, in some cases, using original tools. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity.
World-famous textiles manufacturer Backhausen was one of Wiener Werkstätte’s main suppliers, working with the design collective from its inception in 1903. Backhausen’s company archives contain more than 3,500 original designs dating back to the Art Nouveau period and Wiener Werkstätte’s heyday. The textile maker continues to produce numerous Wiener Werkstätte patterns at its workshops in the Waldviertel district in neighboring Lower Austria. The fabric collections and accessories are on sale at the Österreichische Werkstätten shop in the first district.
Wiener Werkstätte (1903-1932) was founded by the architect Josef Hoffmann, the graphic artist and painter Koloman Moser and the Viennese industrialist and patron of the arts Fritz Waerndorfer as a countermovement to the staid historicism of the day. Their interdisciplinary quest to introduce art to all areas of life and their groundbreaking designs ensures that Wiener Werkstätte (WW) still has an important role when it comes to aesthetic matters to this day.
As the owner of the Wiener Werkstätte archive, the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art is able to give an unprecedented insight into the company’s inner workings and significance. The archive comprises approximately 16,000 design drawings and around 20,000 fabric samples, posters, postcard designs, model books, photo albums and pieces of business correspondence. The MAK also owns the largest museum collection of Wiener Werkstätte objects with pieces representing all of the movement’s creative periods. The museum holds the world’s largest inventory of furnishings, items and designs by Josef Hoffmann. One of the outstanding highlights at the MAK is Gustav Klimt’s nine-part study for the mosaic frieze (ca. 1910) in the dining hall of the Palais Stoclet in Brussels. The sketches for the mansion, which was constructed by Josef Hoffmann, are on permanent show at the MAK.
- J. & L. Lobmeyr, Kärntner Strasse 26, 1010 Vienna, www.lobmeyr.at
- Augarten Wien, Spiegelgasse 3, 1010 Vienna, www.augarten.com
- Wiener Silber Manufactur, Spiegelgasse 14, 1010 Vienna, www.wienersilbermanufactur.com
- Woka Lamps Vienna, Singerstrasse 16, 1010 Vienna, www.woka.com
- Backhausen at Österreichische Werkstätten, Währinger Strasse 6, 1010 Vienna, www.austrianarts.com
- MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna, www.mak.at
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