Josef Hoffmann, ‘Four-Piece Coffee Set’, 1918, Galerie Bei Der Albertina Zetter

Signature: Marks: monogram JH, WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, 900, head of a hoopoe and head of Diana respectively, WW

Image rights: Galerie bei der Albertina

Manufacturer: Wiener Werkstätte

cf WW-Archives, MAK Vienna, Photo-Archives WWF 96-188-1, model book WW MB 19, model numbers S 3954-56 and S 3958
cf Dekorative Kunst, year XXIV, 11 August 1921, ill. p. 241 (tea set)

About Josef Hoffmann

Josef Hoffman’s oeuvre embodies the seismic aesthetic and philosophical shifts that defined avant-garde art and design at the turn of the 19th century. He was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, an organization of artists and designers who sought to breakaway from rigid historical precedents, and later, the Wiener Werkstätte, a workshop dedicated to the production of craftwork of everyday objects including ceramics, textiles, and furniture. Hoffman was integral to defining Western applied arts during this period. The Stoclet Palace (1905–11), Hoffman’s masterpiece, embodies the artistic tension of this era and reveals the architect’s prescience; the mansion’s decorative details recall the fluid stylization of Art Nouveau, while the stark exterior walls—sheets of white marble edged in gilded metal—anticipate the austere planes and strict geometry of the International Style.

Austrian, 1870-1956, Brtnice, Czech Republic, based in Vienna, Austria