Saturday, March 12, 2011

Koloman Moser from the Vienna Secession to the Vienna Workshop

         Vienna is one of the few countries in the world which is famous for art along with Rome and Paris who have world class museums and art galleries. Vienna, Austria is equally famous for its rich art culture and is a very important art center in Europe with its world class museums and art galleries. The history of Vienna art dates back to olden times and there are so many art facilities all across Vienna which makes it a top tourist spot for people all around the world. Vienna with its rich culture is a beautiful city and tourists have a great time when they visit Vienna due to many attractions offered to them which pleases people from all interests. There are many artists who are part of the Vienna culture and include prominent names like Koloman Moser and many others which are well known in Koloman Moser was an Austrian architect, designer and painter who has published many different works of art. Koloman Moser time from the Vienna Secession to the Vienna Workshop was very crucial and is known throughout Vienna history. This paper will include a brief history on Vienna art, brief information on Koloman Moser and discuss about the Vienna Secession and the Vienna Workshops.

       Vienna is a county which is filled with art museums across the entire city. Some of the notable museums are mentioned below:
* Kunsthistorische Museum (Museum of Art History)
* Albertina(Museum of Graphic Art)
* "MuseumsQuartier" (Museum District)
* MUMOK(Museum of Contemporary Art)
* Leopold Museum (Museum of Modern Art)
* Liechtenstein Museum (parts of the private collection of the Princes of Liechtenstein, mostly Baroque Painting)

(“Vienna Sightseeing Guide & Vienna Travel Information”, 2011)

         These are some of the amazing museums in Vienna which form part of its rich culture. There are so many different pieces of art which are located in these museums. “The Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna dates back to the time of the US Civil War. This museum is a must stop for all art lovers visiting Vienna, Austria. It features works from history's most famous artists including Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens and Raphael” (“Attractions for art lovers”, 2011). This quote describes how many important pieces of art exist in the Museum of Fine Arts and tells us how old the museum is. It also describes how rich the Vienna culture is and is recommended for art lovers all across the world.

        Kolomon Moser was a great artist who has earned many achievements during his life. He lived from 1868 to 1918. He was also named Kolo, and studied at the Academy in Vienna with Griepenkerl and Rumpler. He also studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna and became a teacher from 1900 to 1918. He also became acquainted with Joseph Maria Olbrich and J. Hoffmann who were both members of the Siebener Club. In 1897 he became one of the founders of the Vienna Secession which was an association of revolutionary artists and architects. He was also responsible for the design of the windows for the Building of the Secession. Moser along with Hoffman and F. Waerndorfer started the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) in 1903 which are also famous throughout history. He left the Secession and Wiener Werkstätte in 1905 and 1907 respectively. He gave attention to every sphere of applied art, designing furniture, glass, metal ware, jewelry together with posters, toys and interiors during his lifetime. Moser always looked for ways to combine the predominantly geometric features with the surroundings in creating a rhythmical space of cubic forms and contrasting colors and was one of the few artists to design stamps in the Jugendstil style (“MOSER, Koloman (Kolo) MOSER”, 2000).

       Vienna Secession which is also known as Sezession was an Austrian artistic movement which was founded in 1897 a group of Artists, such as Otto Wagner and his gifted students, Josef Hoffmann and Josef Olbrich, with Gustav Klimt and Koloman Moser. They were “aspired to the renaissance of the arts and crafts and to bring more abstract and purer forms to the designs of buildings and furniture, glass and metalwork, following the concept of total work of art and to do so they tried to bring together Symbolists, Naturalists, Modernists, and Stylists” (“Vienna Secession history”, 2000). The quote above describes how the artists were inclined to create works of art which were unique and brought people from different fields together. They created a new form of modernism in the visual arts where the movement became known as Secession (Wiener Secession) where Secession is a German word. This movement aimed to move to the future and separate from the past and was initially led by Gustav Klimt. They created their own exhibition space which is the Secession building designed by Josef Maria Olbrich (“Vienna Secession history”, 2000). “There was a particular emphasis on architecture and design, and the Vienna Secession played a major part in the broader Art Nouveau movement and the beginnings of modern design” (“Secession”, n.d.). The quote above describes how the Vienna Secession was responsible for much emphasis on Art Nouveau movement and how it emphasized on creating modern designs which are still seen across Vienna. This movement was very radical in representing a great number of artists and had emphasis on modern art which was very essential at that in Vienna.

         Wiener Werkstätte was the other movement which followed the Vienna Succession. “On 19th May, 1903 the Wiener Werkstätte (German for the "Vienna Workshop") was registered in Vienna as "Productivgenossenschaft von Kunsthandwerkern"” (“Wiener Werkstatte”, 2000). The quote describes how the Wiener Werkstätte formed and under what name was it registered in Vienna. This movement was founded by Josef Hoffman and Koloman Moser in 1903 who were members of Vienna Secession. The main objective was to design objects, which ranged from furniture and jewellery to metal and books, in a rectilinear art nouveau style influenced by Charles Rennie Mackintosh The workshop, financed by Fritz Wärndorfer (“Vienna Workshops”, 2009). The objective of the organization was to provide a base for graduates from the Kunstgewerbeschule. The artist designed and built for the Belgian industrialist Mr Stoclet, the magnificent Palais Stoclet, in Brussels, the Capital of Art Nouveau and city of Victor Horta projects in Venice. “The Wiener Werkstätte aimed at pursuing elegance, a reduced vocabulary of form, functionality and appropriateness, which stood in contrast to the pronounced imitation of styles of Historicism. The result were: simplified shapes, geometric patterns, and minimal decoration characterizing the Wiener Werkstätte products” (“Wiener Werkstatte”, 2000). The quote above describes how they focused on modernizing and simplifying art and used shapes and geometric patterns in the art. The institute closed down in 1932 due to weak financial situation and deleted from the commercial register and during its time received work from many artists including Koloman (“Wiener Werkstatte”, 2000).
        To sum up, Vienna is with a lot of history in terms of art and architecture. Koloman Moser was a big contributor in his time and provided many valuable contributions to the country and created many entities over times which were discussed above. Koloman Moser with his Vienna Secession and Vienna Workshop created a lot of valuable contributions till he passed away and are still influential in history. The contributions to the history of Vienna continued till his death in 1918 and he is still remembered for his great achievements in the art history of Vienna and will be for a long time.

Koloman Moser was a very famous artist during his time and has produced a number of pieces of art of which few will be discussed here.

One of the important pieces of the artwork by Koloman Moser is the Blooming Flowers with Garden Fence which is unclear when it was published and has been reproduced also by artists.  This painting shows his unique ideas of how he perceived nature and portrayed it in his art. 

The painting Geraniums is also a similar painting done by Koloman Moser which is also available as a reproduction if anyone wants to acquire it. It was originally done as oil on canvas just like Blooming Flowers with Garden Fence.

The Clash of Titans painting was done in 1913-1915 time period by Koloman Moser after the Vienna Secession period and has also gained a lot of popularity since it is a very important event in history and even portrayed in movies. (Athenaeum, 2010).

Gustav Klimt with his Secession 1 poster in 1898 which is currently at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. This is a very interesting poster for the Secession time in Vienna and shows the start of modern art period.


Josef Hoffman in 1927-29 made the Writing Case where the patterns design in by Mathilde Flӧgl. This was manufactured by Wiener Werkstätte and it was made in Leather and was gilt-stamped. This is currently in MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna.

Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser made Werkstätte logotypes in 1903 for the Vienna workshops.

Josef Hoffmann in 1905 made the poster of Werkstätte which is the Vienna Workshop time period. This was made with Offset lithography which was a common trait in the Vienna Workshop time period and a common design feature used by artists.

Rudolph Kalvach made the “name day” postcard which is currently kept in the MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna and made during the Vienna Workshop time and shows how circus was portrayed during that time.

Kolomon Moser during the Secession time made the Poster for Secession XIII in 1902 which is a lithograph currently in a private collection in the Museum for Gestaltung in Zurich. The poster bears the secession name and shows three woman like characters in modern art form and a common trait in the secession era in Vienna widely depicted by other artists also.

Alfred Roller and Koloman Moser in 1898 made the Ver Sacrum No. 1 which was an applied lithograph along with the Ver Sacrum No. 2 made in 1899 which are both in display in the MAK-Austrian Museum of Arts/Contemporary Art in Vienna. They are both made during the Vienna Secession era and bears many traits which are common during the era.

Josef Olbrich made the Secession poster in 1898 and is currently in the MAK-Austrian Museum of Arts/Contemporary Art in Vienna. This was the portrayal of the building of the Secession drawn by the artist during the same time which
it was constructed.

 Josef Olbrich with the Secession Building in 1898.


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