The Viennese artist Josef Hoffmann

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The most famous porcelain service of the artist is the design “Melon”

Vienna ca. 1900: The Ring Road, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler, Robert Musil and numerous coffee houses where one philosophized about the world over a slice of Sachertorte. Part of this flourishing time was Josef Hoffmann, who committed to the work of creating art and chose the exceptionally high quality Viennese porcelain for the implementation of his designs.

Josef Hoffmann, born in 1870 in Pirnitz (Austria-Hungary), began his career at the State Trade School in Brno, where he first explored figure design with Adolf Loos. After working at the military construction office in Würzburg, he moved to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He studied architecture under Vienna’s best, the Fin de Siècle: Otto Wagner and Karl Hasenauer.

Together with his former classmate, Joseph Maria Olbrich, he founded the Vienna Secession in 1897, but left in 1905. Almost simultaneously, he began his most important buildings: The Sanatorium Purkersdorf in Vienna and the Palais Stoclet in Brussels.

“Quadratl-Hoffmann”, as he was affectionately called by the Viennese, was inspired by Mackintosh, a Scottish architect, to incorporate cubist forms into his work.

In 1903, together with Kolo Moser, Hoffmann founded the Wiener Werkstätte, which was a driving force at the reopening of the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory Augarten in 1923. Augarten porcelain was, and remains, a much sought-after Material among artists because of its unique qualities and creative potential.

Hoffmann was also actively teaching at the School of Applied Arts Vienna. There, he trained numerous designers like Ena Rottenberg, who designed the coveted Augarten tea service – ORIENT.

Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann died in May of 1956 in Vienna.

The playful Mokkaservice, MELON, designed in 1929, was initially offered only in yellow or light blue, the painting of the grooves always refracting through the middle. In a luxury edition, the entire outside of the service was painted in petroleum and the interior in platinum. This variant can also be found as an object for collectors in the Porcelain Museum in the Augarten. Still a major challenge to the painting are the walls that require special talent and a lot of practice in positioning the brush.

In 1930, Josef Hoffmann designed the tea set “ATLANTIS.” It showcased Hoffmann’s originality in formal design with its raised, textured surface in the form of scales.

Strict, statically sophisticated and on elegant feet is the piece titled “HOFFMANN“. For this form, the co-founder of the “Wiener Secession”, designed two decors.

The relaunched Decor “MYTH” was designed by the architect and artisan Josef Hoffmann in 1929. It is the decor most-readily attributed to “Quadratl-Hoffmann”: The ornamentation follows strict regularity and the principle of repetition, but is very gracefully accented by its fine lines.

The style of DECO VIENNE reflects the Viennese Art Nouveau through his black-gold pattern.

Even today, Hoffmann’s designs hold the employees of Augarten to the highest standards of artistic technique.

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