Decorative Arts and Design
On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Founded in 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte, or Vienna Workshop, produced finely handcrafted objects for daily use. Established as a cooperative of artisans, the group was led by the architect Josef Hoffmann and other pioneering modernists who sought to unify the fine and applied arts as a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art). Due to its emphasis on handcraftsmanship and luxury materials and processes, however, the Wiener Werkstätte’s designs were only accessible to an upperclass clientele. Although the Wiener Werkstätte had no prescribed style, simple squares, rigorous geometries, and abstracted floral designs were common motifs. Applied across a range of functional and decorative objects, they can be seen here in the Hoffmann-designed vase and container, alongside wineglasses by his former student Otto Prutscher and a cabinet of the same period.
Gift of Frederick A. McConkey
Tall cylindrical shape that bulges above midpoint. White glass cased in polished black glass. Cut geometric and floral decoration. Lower half divided into long vertical sections that alternate small centered black ovals with elongated diamond shapes with white cut-out centers. Upper half divided into long vertical sections that alternate three thin vertical black lines with dense vine pattern. Black band at rim and foot. Exterior white glass frosted/etched; interior white glass polished.
Josef Hoffmann (Austrian, 1870-1956). Vase, 1912. Glass, 8 1/8 x 3 1/4 in. (20.6 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Frederick A. McConkey, 2007.67.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2007.67.1_view3_PS2.jpg)
overall, 2007.67.1_view3_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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