Josef Hoffmann's Vienna

January 21­–April 3, 2022

Presented by Deputy Curator Christopher Herron, chosen from the collection assembled by Founding Director & Curator Hugh Grant

Temporary Exhibition Gallery 12

Kirkland Museum invites you to early 1900s Austria to revel in the influence of architect and designer Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) on the Vienna Secessionist movement and subsequent Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops). Unlike Art Nouveau designers across Europe who were heavily into curving botanical motifs, Hoffmann and his Austrian contemporaries made and taught a streamlined style. Hoffmann was integral to the advancement of modern art, design and architecture. 

Hoffmann was a central figure in two progressive design movements in Austria. The Vienna Secession was an organization formed by artists and designers who broke away from the formal Viennese Artists’ Association, which the Secessionists saw as too formal and rooted in the past. During its first year (1898), Hoffmann served on the editorial board of Ver Sacrum magazine, the Vienna Secession’s publication that promoted modernism and rejected historicism or imitating past styles. Hoffmann went on to co-found the Wiener Werkstätte artist cooperative, one of the longest lasting design movements of the 20th century (1903–1932). Thus, he was instrumental in leading the culture of his country into a more global and modern future through art and design.

Kirkland Museum’s exhibition will feature a mix of visitor-favorite Hoffmann designs along with new acquisitions. Highlights include Hoffmann’s iconic Seven Ball Bentwood Side Chair and original issues of Ver Sacrum magazine.

This exhibition will be accompanied by virtual lectures and virtual tours. Please note: Due to the uncertainties of COVID-19, exhibition and programming details are subject to change.

Issue Number One of Ver Sacrum, 1898, cover by Alfred Roller
Issue Number One of Ver Sacrum, 1898, cover by Alfred Roller (1864–1935). Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.
Logo for Josef Hoffmann's Vienna | Kirkland Museum of Find & Decorative Art

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