HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE WIENER WERKSTÄTTE AND WOLFSONIAN
Having just returned today from a relaxing winter break (and survived the supposed Mayan end of days), I thought that I would take the occasion to wish my readers a very Happy New Year! And what better way to celebrate the start of a new year than to send out some beautiful cards into cyberspace, especially since The Wolfsonian museum is currently exhibiting a selection of some three hundred artists’ postcards from the collection of Leonard Lauder.
Shortly after the turn of the twentieth-century, a group of Viennese artists broke away from the formal art academies. Two important members of the Vienna Secession, Josef Hoffman and Koloman Moser founded a workshop which aimed to unite artists and craftsmen in the creation of fine decorative arts products. Collectible artists’ postcards became one of the more profitable products produced by the Wiener Werkstätte, or (Vienna Workshop) between 1907 and 1919.
While the collection on display in our galleries is on loan to the museum, the Wolfsonian library also holds a significant collection of Wiener Werkstätte postcards.
Among these cards are some designed as Jewish New Year’s Cards that served not only as holiday greetings, but as traveling advertisements for the textiles and upholstery material that could be purchased from the firm with patterns that presage some of the artwork one might more readily associate with the “psychedelic sixties!”
I hope that this small sampling of postcards entices those of you living in, or visiting Miami this winter season to visit our galleries to see more of these extraordinary cards designed by such prominent designers as Hoffmann, Oskar Kokoschka, Dagobert Peche, Egon Schiele, Mela Koehler, and Maria Likarz.