INTRODUCTION TO
WIENER WERKSTÄTTE

The Wiener Werkstätte Vienna Workshop was a direct offshoot from the fin-de-siècle Vienna Secession. Together, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte Produktiv-Gemeinschaft von Kunsthandwerken, Wien (the Viennese Workshop and Production Cooperative of Art Works in Vienna) in 1903. The concept was modeled after Charles Robert Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft. By 1905 it had over a hundred craftsmen, its forte being handmade metalware whose reductive style belied its dependence on hand production. A change in style around 1915 (proto-Art Deco) from Hoffmann's rectilinear style to a more florid, organic approach presaged its decline.