Hoffmann, Josef Franz Maria, 1870-1956

Alternative names
Birth 1870-12-15
Death 1956-05-07

Biographical notes:

Austrian architect and designer, member of the Vienna secession, professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, and founding member and artistic director of the Wiener Werkstätte.

From the description of Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann papers, ca. 1895-ca. 1950. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 84922700

Biographical/Historical Note

Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann (1870-1956) was one of the most influential architects and designers to emerge from Austria in the early twentieth century. He graduated with distinction in 1895 from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, where he was a student of Otto Wagner. Two years later, along with Gustav Klimt, he became a founding member of the Vienna Secession, a group dedicated to creating more exhibition opportunities for avant-gardeViennese artists. Hoffmann began teaching at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule in 1899, a position he held until 1936, and was artistic director of the Austrian Werkbund until 1933. He and fellow artist Koloman Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte in 1903. This renowned artist-run group of workshops was devoted to the melding of handicraft with high design, and took as its primary goal the complete integration of environment, architecture, art, furniture, and objects of daily life. Although a great success artistically, it was plagued by frequent fiscal difficulties, and in 1931 its financially-strapped workshops ceased operation. Hoffmann remained active as a designer and lecturer until the end of his life. He died in Vienna.

From the guide to the Papers of Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann, 1895-1950, (Getty Research Institute)


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  • Architecture--Austria--20th century
  • Furniture design
  • Arts and crafts movement
  • Decorative art
  • Decorative arts--Austria
  • Architecture--20th century
  • Art--Study and teaching


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  • Austria (as recorded)