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Interior Design between the Wars

14 October 2009 - 28 February 2010
Wohnen zwischen den Kriegen Ausstellungssujet quer

14 October 2009 - 28 February 2010

The Imperial Furniture Collection holds one of the key works of Viennese interior design around 1930: the apartment of the ceramic artist Lucie Rie, designed by Ernst Plischke in 1928. In the exhibition Interior Design between the Wars this outstanding ensemble will be placed in the context of the history of Viennese furniture design.

In Vienna between the two world wars a characteristic style of furniture and interior design had developed which differed significantly from the international Modern style of the Bauhaus, for example. Viennese furniture and interior design were notable for their formal variety, ingenious details and high standards of craftmanship. While the beginnings of this development lay in the years immediatly preceding the First World War, these new ideas continued to be influential during and after the Second World War both in Austria and abroad.

The Imperial Furniture Collection showcases this specifically Viennese facet of the Modern movement between the wars with examples of complete interiors designed by the architects Felix Augenfeld, Josef Frank, Wilhelm Foltin, Johann Vinzenz Kabele, Walter Loos, Ernst Plischke, Otto Prutscher, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Franz Schuster and Oskar Strnad.

The exhibition will also explore the various fates of these architects (e.g. emgration) against the background of contemporary political developments. It will also illuminate the different roles and personalities of the individuals who commissioned these projects.

A special focus of the exhibition will be devoted to the social aspects of interior design in "Red Vienna", taking the Settlers' Movement as an example.

With exemplary loans from the Vitra Design Museum developments in Vienna will be linked to contemporary European design as a whole and accompanied by timelines of political history and the history of design.

Stages of the exhibition

Upper floor: 1914 - 1930 (with timelines)

1. Beginnings before the First World War / 1914: sideboard from the apartment of Willy and Daisy Hellmann, designed by Oskar Strnad (1879-1935)

2. 1922: bedroom suite designed by Wilhelm Foltin (1890-1970) for his wife

3. 1924: Dining room designed by Otto Prutscher (1880-1924) for the jubilee exhibition of the Kunstgewerbeverein, subsequently acquired by Fritz Zykan

4. 1928: Apartment of Hugo and Malvine Blitz, designed by Josef Frank (1885-1967 / emigration to Sweden)

5. 1928: Living room furniture for Bruno, Fritz and Elli Gamerith, designed by Ernst Plischke (1903-1992 / emigration to New Zealand)

6. Examples of European furniture design

Ground floor: 1931 - 1941 (with timelines)

7. 1935/36: Furniture from the living room of Lisi Pospisil, designed by Walter Loos (1905-1974 / emigration to Argentina)

8. c. 1935: Furniture from the apartment of Karl Painsipp, designed by Felix Augenfeld (1893-1984 / emigratin to the USA)

9. Continuing influence during the war / 1941: living room from the apartment of Karoline and Ferdinand Klein, designed by Johann Vinzenz Kabele (1898-1974)

Ground floor / vaulted room:

10. Aspects of social housing in "Red Vienna":
- "Einfache Möbel" (Simple Furniture): exhibition by the architecture class taught by Oskar Strnad, 1921
- Interior design ideas of the Settlers' Movements: reconstruction of a corner of the kitchen-cum-living room of a settlers' housing project by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, 1923
- Interior design concepts in municipal housing projects: Die eingerichtete Kleinstwohnung by Franz Schuster, 1927

Curator Dr Eva B. Ottillinger
Exhibition architect Margot Fürtsch und Siegfried Loos / polar÷
Exhibition graphic Gabriele Lenz / Büro für visuelle Gestaltung

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