Otto Wagner (1841–1918, Austrian)
Jacob & Josef Kohn (1850–1914), Vienna, Austria
31 1/2 x 22 1/4 x 21 inches
Otto Wagner was one of the fathers of Viennese modernity, having taught important Wiener Werkstätte figures like Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos. Wagner was one of the early proponents of functionalist design. He rejected ornamentation for its own sake and derived his architecture and design solely from functional requirements. His bentwood armchairs (he designed several versions) were fitting for civic locations such as the meeting room of the Austrian Post Office Savings Bank in Vienna, which he also designed, in 1904–1906. As bentwood furniture became easier to make in mass quantities, Wagner incorporated it into more of his designs. He believed that “new methods of construction must also give birth to new forms.” In other words, technological advances should engender a new aesthetic.
Not currently on view
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art