Josef Hoffmann

Side chair

Made for

The premises of the Wiener Werkstätte at Neustiftgasse 32-34, Vienna

Year

1903-1904

Material

Oak, veneered oak, beech and deerskin seat

Dimensions

H. 114,5 x W. 49,5 x D. 62 cm

Attributed to

Johann Soulek For The Wiener Werkstätte

Yearning For Beauty, For The 100th Anniversary Of The Wiener Werkstätte, MAK, Vienna, P. 88

Wiener Werkstätte, 1903 – 1932 : The Luxury Of Beauty, Neue Galerie, New-York, 2017, P. 234

Originally, the design of this chair came in two variations, one for the secretaries office and the other that we know for the architectural offices. A 1905 photograph, now in the MAK archives, identifies this chair in context.

Then Hoffmann created many variations of this original drawing. There is an interesting variation on a drawing of furniture for the interior of the Wittgenstein family around 1904.

This high-backed chair is quite characteristic of the radical designs of Hoffmann at the start of this period. The influences of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Otto Wagner‘s “structiven Stil” are obvious.

 

Historical photographic documentation testifies to the significant number of comparable seats:

 

– Those used during the first exhibition of the Wiener Werkstätte in the Hohenzollern Kunstgewerbhaus in Berlin in 1904;

– The chairs in Emilie Flöge‘s sewing room, furnished by the Wiener Werkstätte in 1904 (the table of which is in the permanent collection of the Neue Galerie);

– The chair model designed for the Wittgenstein family around 1904/1905.

 

Only two other high-backed chairs are preserved: the armchair from Klimt’s workshop and a chair from the interior of Dr. Salzer (MAK collection, Vienna).

CWD