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Vienna Circa 1900

Figure of Spring, 1912, designed by Michael Powolny

Like other European capitals around 1900, Vienna flourished as a center of avant-garde artistic ideas. Its style was called “Secession” after the break-away exhibition society founded in 1897 by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Joseph Maria Olbrich, and Gustav Klimt; its purpose was to break down the barriers between fine and decorative arts. In 1903, Hoffmann and Moser founded the Viennese Workshops (Wiener Werkstatte), converting their ideas into commercial reality. Werkstatte products used modern materials and techniques rationally and tended to be rectilinear in form and ornament with small squares for decoration.