The Werkstätte-Produktiv-Genossenschaft von Kunsthandwerkern in Wien (Art-Craft Workshop Cooperative in Vienna), more popularly known as the Wiener Werkstätte, was founded in 1903 by Secession members Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser. As much a movement as a financial enterprise, it had support from the artist Gustav Klimt and the architect Otto Wagner. The workshop was founded on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the principles of C. R. Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft. The Werkstätte’s goals were to fulfill the ideals of the guild system: to establish a direct relationship between designers, craftspeople, and the public by producing well-designed domestic goods and reversing the decline in the quality of handmade objects. They rejected machine production, which resulted in costly products and ultimately thwarted widespread public access. The textile and fashion divisions were founded in 1909 and 1910, respectively, at a time when there was a renewed interest in figurative representation rather than geometric design. The workshop dissolved in 1932.
This particular design represents the “free-spirited” quality of the textiles produced by the workshop and has a colorful, graphic quality typical of many Wiener Werkstätte designs. Its excellent condition and extant Wiener Werkstätte label also contribute to the importance of this particular example.
Cite this object as
Textile, Felsenhuhn; Made for Wiener Werkstätte (Austria); Austria; linen; 2003-8-1