photographs and other papers of the Austrian designer and architect, Josef Hoffmann,
document his involvement in the arts and crafts movement and his writings in art education.
The bulk of the papers date to the 1920s and 1930s.
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.