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Armchair
  • Armchair
    Olbrich, Joseph Maria, born 1867 - died 1908
  • Enlarge image

Armchair

  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (city) (designed)
    Vienna (city) (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1898-1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Olbrich, Joseph Maria, born 1867 - died 1908 (designer)
    Niedermoser, Josef (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Maple, stained, with upholstery, and brass feet

  • Museum number:

    W.15-1982

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The design for this chair was drawn by Joseph Maria Olbrich in about 1898 or 1899. It was intended for the music room of Dr Friedrich Victor Spitzer's town house in Vienna. Spitzer was a wealthy patron of the arts.

The shape of the chair appears to have been very popular at the time as at least two similar versions are known, one by Adolf Loos and another designed by Josef Niedermoser, whose firm made this chair.

This particular chair was made for the actress Maria Wölzl's apartment in Vienna, very shortly after the design was first produced for Dr. Spitzer.

Physical description

Dark varnished maple armchair, with brass feet,with original upholstery in lilac. Lower back stretcher is missing.

Place of Origin

Vienna (city) (designed)
Vienna (city) (manufactured)

Date

ca. 1898-1899 (made)

Artist/maker

Olbrich, Joseph Maria, born 1867 - died 1908 (designer)
Niedermoser, Josef (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Maple, stained, with upholstery, and brass feet

Marks and inscriptions

No
on the seat frame; writing

IIII
seat frame; chisel-marked

Dimensions

Height: 199 cm, Width: 99 cm, Depth: 62.5 cm

Object history note

This pattern of chair was designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich in about 1898 or 1899 for the music room in the town house of Dr Friedrich Victor Spitzer, a wealthy patron of the arts.This particular chair, however, was made for the actress Maria Wölzl's Vienna apartment in about 1898 to 1899.

Historical context note

In about 1899 or 1900 Adolf Loos used a chair of very similar design in the Turnowsky apartment. The manufacturer, Josef Niedermoser, showed another variation at the Paris 1900 Exhibition. The dominant feature in the Spitzer music room was a piano, which bears a strong resemblance to a bed designed by Olbrich for the industrialist Max Friedmann in 1898. A number of similar chairs are included in photographs in the Niedermoser Archive of the Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna.

Descriptive line

Maple armchair with original upholstery in lilac, designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich, Vienna, made ca.1898-1899 by Josef Niedermoser.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Art Journal, Paris 1900, Exhibition, Special Number, p.112, illus. similar chairs shown by Niedermoser.
Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher. 1900. XXI. p.86
Lambert, Thomas. Meubles de Style Moderne, Exposition Universelle de 1900. n.d. Paris. pl.28. no.4
Das Interieur. 1901. pp.105-105
Rukschcio, Burkhardt. Adolf Looos zum 110 Geburtstag. Bauforum. December 1980. XIII. p.8
Moderne Vergangenheit, Wien 1800-1900. Vienna: Kunstlerhaus, 1981. p.228
Sekler, Eduard F. Josef Hoffmann. Vienna: 1982. p.41
Sekler, Eduard F. Josef M. Olbrich 1867-1908. Darmstadt: 1983. p.127
Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000

Labels and date

ARMCHAIR

W.15-1982

'American and European Art and Design 1800-1900'

This pattern of chair was originally designed by Olbrich for the wealthy patron, Dr. Friedrich Victor Spitzer. This example, however, was made for the actress Maria Wölzl. The architect and designer Adolf Loos used a similar chair in the Turnowsky apartment and others were shown by Niedermoser at the Paris 1900 Exhibition. [1987-2006]

Production Note

Attribution note: Possibly mass produced: see condition report

Materials

Maple; Brass (alloy)

Techniques

Upholstered; Stained

Categories

Furniture

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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