Designed by Joseph Hoffmann (1870-1956), influential and prolific architect and designer. Hoffman produced se venty two textile designs for the WW. This fabric came in eight colourway.
The Wiener Werstatte was established in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, who were members of the Vienna Sessionist art movement, which placed emphasis on the applied arts. They brought together architects, artists and designers working in ceramics, fashion, silver, furniture and the graphic arts with the aim of reforming the applied arts. It is regarded as a pioneer of modern design, and its influence can be seen in later styles such as the Bauhaus and Art Deco. Better to work 10 days on one product than to manufacture 10 products in one day was WWs motto. By 1905 the Workshop employed 100 with 37 being masters of their art. Their wares mostly appealed to other artists and Jewish upper middle class supporters of the Austro Hungarian empire. Other branches were opened in Switzerland, Germany and America. After WW1 there were material shortages and financial problems and the WW closed in 1932.
Architectural commissions with coordinated interiors were undertaken. The WW wanted to create total artworks, the building and contents down to the last door handle.
From 1905, the Wiener Werkstatte produced designs for handblock printed linens and silks. Johann Backhausen and Sohne of Vienna printed and woven the fabrics for the WW but by 1910/11 a fashion and textile division was established, where the WW printed & wove their own textiles. This length does not have the WW monogram in the selvedge. Only one length has the WW monogram and that appears to have had the black paper top removed. I am rather assuming that as I bought all four lengths at the same time, they came from the same pattern book, and are therefore of same date and were printed by the WW themselves.
This piece was taken from a pattern book and has the original paper label on the reverse. It is interesting that the label tells us the designer, the name of the fabric, the width and price.
Apollo, a elongated pink bell type flower edged with black attached to a meandering stem of heart shaped mauve leaves, all on a natural white linen ground. the reverse with a hand stitched paper label ENTWURF; Prof J Hoffmann. MARKE: Apollo 4.L.1. BREITE: 70. PREIS:
3ft 7 in x 27in; 1.10 x 70 cm.
There is a 2 in; 5 cm deep black strip across the top of the fabric with three holes, where the fabric would have been placed in a pattern book. The rest of the fabric is in very good condition and has a very nice feel of expensive linen.
This is a heavy weight linen which could be used for upholstery or curtaining.
www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/223689 have an example but in a different colourway and on silk.
The Wofsonian, Florida, USA has a similar piece in five different colourways including this one. Accession number XB1989.174
Die Stoffe der Wiener Werkstätte 1910-1932 by Angela Volker
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