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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in United States
Josef Hoffmann: Home of the Wittgensteins



Sugar Bowl with Lid Bought by Justine Wittgenstein 1903Made by the Wiener Werkstätte (model no S 19)Silver, 15 x 16 cmPloil Collection, ViennaPhoto Courtesy of Clark Art Institute
Sugar Bowl with Lid Bought by Justine Wittgenstein 1903
Made by the Wiener Werkstätte (model no S 19)
Silver, 15 x 16 cm
Ploil Collection, Vienna
Photo Courtesy of Clark Art Institute
Josef Hoffmann: Home of the Wittgensteins
UNITED STATES
WILLIAMSTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS  •  Clark Art Institute  •  Ongoing
 
 
The architect and designer Josef Hoffmann (1870 - 1956) and the Wiener Werkstätte are synonymous with the decorative arts revival that occurred in Vienna around 1900. Among Hoffmann’s earliest supporters were the families of Karl and Paul Wittgenstein, two of Austria’s wealthiest industrialists. This loan exhibition features different commissions for the family from the late 1890s to about 1905 and includes drawings, furniture, and silver. Loans of furniture and silver are drawn from private collections and more than fifty design drawings by Hoffman are on loan from the Austrian Museum fo Applied Arts (MAK).

Hoffmann was greatly influenced by John Ruskin, William Morris, Charles Robert Ashbee, and Otto Wagner. In 1903 Hoffmann founded the Wiener Werkstätte with fellow Vienna Secession member Koloman Moser. The Weiner Werkstätte aimed both to revive high standards of craftsmanship and to interest the broad public in cultivated and original design. Around 1900 Hoffmann developed his geometrically refined signature style, elegant and perfectly unified, that he incorporated in designs for silver, furniture, carpets, linens, and lamps in addition to architectural details.

Clark Art Institute Web Site


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