The Wiener Werkstätte, a collective of artists, architects, and artisans working in Vienna from 1903 to 1932, left a legacy that continues to reverberate throughout the world of design. This pioneering group dedicated themselves to developing a new, modern aesthetic — combining brilliant colors, the finest materials, and bold, graphic patterns — to elevate everyday items into works of art. They were incredibly prolific, turning out everything from teapots to tables, portraits to pillboxes.
I’ve long admired the Wiener Werkstätte’s dynamic style and, this season especially, the group’s influence is everywhere. Coincidentally, this fall also marks the first major US retrospective dedicated to the Wiener Werkstätte, recently on view at New York’s Neue Galerie. Surveying the breadth of their work underscores the fact that, with imaginative design and exquisite craftsmanship, even the most workaday items can become something extraordinary.