From October 7 to January 17, the Neue Galerie will present “Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection.” This will be the first major museum show conducted in the United States devoted exclusively to the postcards produced by the Wiener Werkstätte.
Exhibition material is drawn exclusively from The Leonard A. Lauder Collection and celebrates the promised gift of a near-complete set of the postcards to the Neue Galerie. A fully illustrated catalogue raisonné, published by Hatje Cantz, will accompany the accompany the exhibition. It will be the first catalogue raisonné on Wiener Werkstätte postcards to appear in English. The exhibition is organized by decorative arts curator Christian Witt-Dorring.
The Wiener Werkstätte, or Vienna Workshops, were founded in 1903 by architect Josef Hoffmann and artist Koloman Moser. Beginning in 1907, the Wiener Werkstätte began publishing a numbered series of postcards, which would ultimately exceed 1,000. There were numerous cards designed to celebrate holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, New Year’s and others.
When the fashion department was founded in 1910, costume and accessories became another popular subject depicted in the postcards, as well as illustrations of places in Vienna and elsewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Europe.
All of the major designers who worked for the firm were contributors in this medium, including Hoffmann, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele and Dagobert Peche. Other noteworthy artists who were active in this area include Moriz Jung, Rudolf Kalvach, Mela Koehler and Maria Likarz.
Neue Galerie is at 1048 Fifth Avenue. For information, www.neuegalerie.org or 212-628-6200.