150 Years Hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann 1870 - 2020
„The foundation of all applied art is artisanship, artistic handwork."
Josef Hoffmann, born in Pirnitz (Austria-Hungary) in 1870, started his career at the state trade school in Brno, where he explored the first steps in teaching design with Adolf Loos. After working at the military construction department in Würzburg, he moved to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Here he learned from the best of Vienna's fin de siècle architects: Otto Wagner and Karl Hasenauer.
Vienna around 1900: The Ringstrasse, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler, Robert Musil and numerous coffee houses where people philosophized about world events over Einspänner and Sachertorte. Josef Hoffmann, who dedicated himself to the total work of art and chose the particularly high quality Viennese porcelain to implement his designs, was part of this flourishing time.
Hoffmann was one of the greatest designers of the 20th century and, with artists such as Gustav Klimt, Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner, a member of the “Vienna Secession”.
On the occasion of his 150th birthday, we are honoring this great and pioneering artist and presenting his most important designs for the Augarten porcelain factory:
In 1929 Josef Hoffmann, founder of the legendary “Wiener Werkstätte”, designed the world-famous “Melon” mocha service. The exoticism of the fruit shapes with the bold handle and the pleasantly grippy handles, whose gentle undulating shape elegantly reflect the softly ribbed walls of the vessels, characterize the charisma of this service. Josef Hoffmann envisaged monochrome decors for the “melon”, applied in strips or across the board. Due to its numerous curves, it still places the highest demands on the Augarten porcelain painters when it comes to handling the air brush.
Ornamentation, strict regularity and the whole thing statically ingenious on elegant feet - the Form 19 cannot deny its "architect". Josef Hoffmann designed the famous tea service in 1929 in two decor variations, "Mythos" and "Déco Vienne". The latter, a highly elegant design in black and gold, is inspired by a straightforward, delicate and rhythmic precision.