Friday, October 16, 2009

Viennese insights

Josef Hoffmann (Austrian, 1870-1956) for Wiener Werkstätte, Square Brooch, silver lattice, repoussé gold, and opal, c. 1905
Josef Hoffman was leading member of the Wiener Werkstatte founded in 1903 and was an architect and designer, following the Gersamtkuntswerke principles of a "total work of art". Not only did he design the building, but every detail including cutlery. His jewelry mostly follows the grid system, with these beautiful square brooches 5 x 5 cms.
This study is leading me into some wonderful art books (I am up to limit of Bodleian stack requests) but for sheer beauty of the images (including the drawings for designs) my favourite is the Winer Werstatte Jewelry exhibition catalogue from the Neue Galerie, Museum for German and Austrian Art in New York in 2008, which I felt compelled to buy as even the Bod did not have it.
Now I must learn some German and go to Vienna, truly one of the foremost birthplaces of Modernism.

No comments: