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Wiener_Werkstätte

Wiener Werkstätte

Established in 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) was a production community of visual artists. The workshop brought together architects, artists and designers whose first commitment was to design art which would be accessible to everyone. The work most representative of the Wiener Werkstätte is probably the Stoclet Palace in Brussels.

Background

"Wiener Werkstätte" was founded on May 19, 1903. Two of the founders were the artists Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser. Funding was originally provided by industrialist Fritz Warndorfer.

Important members of this workshop were the painter Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Emilie Floge, Max Lenz, Wilhelm Lizst, Emil Orlik, Dagobert Peche, Eduard Wimmer Wisgrill, Leopold Bauer, Oskar Kokoschka, Vally Wieselthier, Otto Prutscher, Emanuel Margold, Hans Ofner, C.O. Czeschka, Michael Powolny, Carl Moll and Maria Likarz.

The Wiener Werkstätte created works of craftsmanship in a very distinctive style, the Wiener Werkstätte Style. The workshop mainly dealt with creating jewelry, fabrics for clothing, ceramics and pottery, and furniture, all characterized by simple shapes, minimal decoration and geometric patterning. For the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, the high point of the organization, Hoffman served as architect, and Klimt and Czeschka (among others) contributed craftwork.

While many Arts and Crafts movement era workshops, such as those founded in England, were interested in integrating the craft tradition with mass production techniques for a mass market, the Wiener Werkstätte concentrated on good design for a more select market. Hoffman said, "Since it is not possible to work for the whole market, we will concentrate on those who can afford it."

The workshop also believed that design schools should include practical classes on making art (rather just designing it); fine and decorative art should be seen on equal footing; and fine arts, architectural arts and decorative arts should be unified.

Due to poor finances, the Wiener Werkstätte closed in 1932.

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