About Josef Hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann (15 December 1870 – 7 May 1956) was an Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods.
Hoffmann was born in Pirnitz / Brtnice, Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic), Austria-Hungary. He studied at the Higher State Crafts School in Brno / Brünn beginning in 1887 and then worked with the local military planning authority in Würzburg, Germany. Thereafter he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer and Otto Wagner, graduating with a Prix de Rome in 1895. In Wagner's office, he met Joseph Maria Olbrich, and together they founded the Vienna Secession in 1897 along with artists Gustav Klimt, and Koloman Moser. Beginning of 1899, he taught at the Kunstgewerbeschule, now University of Applied Arts Vienna. With the Secession, Hoffmann developed strong connections with other artists. He designed installation spaces for Secession exhibitions and a house for Moser which was built from 1901-1903. However, he soon left the Secession in 1905 along with other stylist artists due to conflicts with realist naturalists over differences in artistic vision and disagreement over the premise of Gesamtkunstwerk. With banker Fritz Wärndorfer and Moser he established the Wiener Werkstätte, which was to last until 1932, and designed many of its products; most notably the Sitzmaschine Chair, a lamp, and sets of glasses are in the Museum of Modern art