Vienna Secession and Wiener Werkstatte


Josef Hoffmann – Sitzmaschine chair – 1905

I kind of stumbled across the Vienna Secession – I had no idea….

I like chairs, and I follow chairs on Pinterest.  From time to time these curious chairs turned up – Josef Hoffman designs in particular.  Some of the images were tagged as being from the Vienna Secession – so I went exploring…

According to Wikipedia, ‘The Vienna Secession (German: Wiener Secession; also known as the Union of Austrian Artists, or Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs) was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects. The first president of the Secession was Gustav Klimt, and Rudolf von Alt was made honorary president.’ 

Wiki goes on to say ‘The Vienna Secession was founded on 3 April 1897 by artists Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, Wilhelm Bernatzik and others. Although Otto Wagner is widely recognised as an important member of the Vienna Secession he was not a founding member. The Secession artists objected to the prevailing conservatism of the Vienna Künstlerhaus with its traditional orientation toward Historicism. The Berlin and Munich Secession movements preceded the Vienna Secession, which held its first exhibition in 1898.

That’s 120 years ago.

Gustav Klimt is one whose name I’ve heard, and I’ve seen images some of his spectacular work.  His painting ‘Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ (or ‘Woman in Gold’ as it was renamed) was the centre-piece of the Helen Mirren movie ‘Woman in Gold’.

But it is Kolomon Moser’s work that fascinates me.  I find his paintings, lithographs and gorgeous inlaid furniture intriguing.  His paintings and prints are exotic with a freshness and clarity…  But his furniture is simply spectacular!

I need to learn more about the Kolomon Moser, Josef Hoffman, and Gustav Klimt – and the Vienna Secession and its offspring, the Wiener Werkstatte

By Kolo Moser (1868-1918), 1902, Exhibition of the Vienna Secession.:

Kolomon Moser, 1902 – Exhibition of the Vienna Secession


Kolomon Moser


Kolomon Moser – Cabinet with nlaid panels c 1903 – From the Eisler-Terramare Apartment Bedroom, – Leopold Museum


Kolomon Moser – Armoire – c 1900


Gustav Klimt – 1901, Beethoven Frieze


Josef Hofmann – ‘Egg’ rocker – ca 1920


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