A new exhibit showcasing the works of one of the original modern designers is coming to Denver.
From January 21 through April 3, 2022, “Josef Hoffmann’s Vienna” will take over the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art’s Gallery 12. The exhibit will highlight the work of Austrian architect and designer Josef Hoffmann.
During the early 1900s, Hoffman was among the first designers in Europe to teach a neat, geometrical design style, helping advance the modern movement in architecture and design.
Hoffman was a key figure in a number of Austria’s progressive design movements. He was one of the founders of The Vienna Secession, a group of designers and artists who broke away from the more formal and traditional design group, the Viennese Artists’ Association. In 1898, Hoffman served on the first editorial board of Ver Sacrum magazine, the Secessionists’ magazine, which promoted modern and innovative design styles. Hoffman later cofounded the Wiener Werkstätte, or Vienna Workshops — a co-op and major design movement that helped push the design world forward into modernism.
“Vienna, and especially the Wiener Werkstätte, created its own unique style that relied more heavily on geometry than that of their neighbors in France and Britain,” said associate museum director Renée Albiston.
The exhibit will immerse guests in design from the early 1900s Austria, teaching them about The Vienna Secessionist movement and the Wiener Werkstätte. It includes a number of Hoffman’s original designs, including his Seven Ball Bentwood Side Chair, as well as original copies of Ver Sacrum magazines. Kirkland’s deputy curator, Christopher Herron, also incorporated checkerboard square motifs, which Hoffman’s designs helped popularize, in the exhibit’s design.
Josef Hoffmann’s Vienna runs at the Kirkland Museum from January 21 to April 3. Admission to the exhibit is included in the cost of a General Admission museum ticket. At-home virtual tours and lectures are also available.