Cooper Hewitt says...

Friedmann-Otten attended the Kunstschule für Frauen und Mädchen under Adolf Böhm. She took private lessons with Adolf Hölzl in Dachau, and graduated from the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Graphic Teaching and Research Institute) in 1909. She attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Vienna from 1910–11 through 1916–17 studying under Oskar Strnad. In the course of her prolific career as a designer, she designed across various media including commercial graphics, posters, bookplates, and letterhead as well as metalwork, jewelry, enamelwork, and textiles as a member of the Wiener Werkstätte starting in 1917. She participated in seminal exhibitions including the Kunstschau of 1908 organized by Gustav Klimt and the Neukunstgruppe and the Salon Pisko of 1909 organized by Egon Schiele. She also participated in numerous fashion and craft exhibitions, notably the Vienna Modeausstellung (Fashion Exhibition) of 1915, the Paris International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts of 1925, Deutsche Frauenkunst of 1925, and the Austrian Werkbund Exhibition of 1930, among many others. She was a member of the Austrian Werkbund, the Neukunstgruppe, the Wiener Frauenkunst, Kunstschaugruppe, and Sonderbund. She contributed to progressive periodicals such as Hohe Warte, Erdgeist, and made expressive woodcut illustrations for the leftist radical weekly, Die Aktion: Wochenschrift für Politik, Literatur, und Kunst (The Action: Weekly Journal for Politics, Literature, and Art). Because of her Jewish heritage, Friedmann-Otten immigrated to the United States in 1938 to escape persecution by the Nazis. She founded an enamel workshop in New York with Käthe Berl, and she remained in New York until her death in 1955.


Astrid Gmeiner and Gottfried Pirhofer. Der Österreichische Werkbund. Vienna: Boehlau, 1985, 227.

Werner J. Schweiger, Wiener Werkstätte. Kunst und Handwerk 1903 - 1932 mit 213 Künstlerbiographien im Anhang. Vienna: Brandstätter, 1982, 259.