TB Code: 2103051
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Founded in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) and Kolo Moser (1868–1918), the Vienna Workshop (Wiener Werkstätte) took as its philosophical model William Morris’s Art Workers’ Guild. Like Morris’s organization, the Vienna Workshop was anti-industrial and dedicated to the creativity of the individual artisan. As a bastion of modernism, the Vienna Workshop’s activities often overlapped with those of the Secession (an artists’ organization founded in 1898 by Gustav Klimt and his associates to exhibit the new art) and the Kunstgewerbeschule, a school in which the new principles were taught.
Over its thirty-year existence, the artists and designers of the Vienna Workshop worked in an almost unlimited number of fields, including glass, ceramics and china, theater design, fashion design, jewelry, typography, hand bookbinding, wallpapers, textiles, and architecture (the latter considered by some the field of its crowning achievement—the Stoclet Palace, designed by Josef Hoffmann, 1905–1910).
In 1907 the Vienna Workshop, drawing upon an earlier idea of Hoffmann, Moser, and Olbrich, began to publish artists’ postcards. Their purpose was to draw attention to the current activities of the Workshop, but as time went on the postcards seemed to become a design end in themselves. Between 1907 and 1914 the Workshop published over 1,000 numbered postcard editions. The selection of thirty postcards reproduced here includes designs by such celebrated artists as Hoffmann, Diveky, Schiele, Hoppe, and Jung.