Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Table Set, created by glass artist Josef Hoffmann. Hoffmann studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Otto Wagner, whose theories of functional, modern buildings greatly influenced his work. He established his architectural practice in 1898 and he taught at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1899 to 1936. He designed in a variety of materials, including glass, wood, ceramic, and silver.
In 1897, Hoffmann was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, a progressive group of artists and architects whose aim was to promote the arts and crafts and to bring more abstract and simple forms to the designs of buildings, interiors, furnishings, and other applied arts.
In 1903, he helped to establish the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops), which produced all kinds of decorative arts, from jewelry to designs for complete rooms. Hoffmann’s work in glass is characterized by simple, full forms and spare, often geometric, decoration.