For the first time, an exhibition examines the history of the branch on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse through paintings, drawings, furniture, jewellery and designobjects. The exhibition focuses on works by Josef Hoffmann, Ferdinand Hodler and Gustav Klimt as well as the creations of Dagobert Peche.
Furniture from Hodler's last apartment
Towards the end of 1913 Ferdinand and Berthe Hodler moved into a luxurious apartment at Quai du Mont-Blanc 29 in Geneva. Josef Hoffmann was commissioned to design the reception rooms, and as well as creating the furniture he also altered architectural details of the apartment on Quai du Mont-Blanc. The exhibition at the Kunsthaus presents both the furniture and numerous utilitarian objects designed by Hoffmann for the Hodlers’ apartment, including a table clock, chandelier, flower stand, cupboards and seating.
Dagobert Peche and the Wiener Werkstätte in Zurich
The exhibition underscores the importance of the Wiener Werkstätte as arguably Austria’s most important contribution to 20th-century design history, and reveal the breadth of its range, from the early, provocatively geometrical and abstract designs to the playful works of Dagobert Peche. A full-time employee of the Werkstätte from 1915 onwards, Peche ran its Zurich branch from its opening in 1917 until it closed in 1919. He designed the store on Bahnhofstrasse together with Josef Hoffmann and made bold new forays into product positioning. In Zurich, unconstrained by the wartime restrictions that were already starting to bite in Austria, he was able to give free rein to his creative imagination. Turning the ‘form follows function’ mantra on its head and elevating decoration over purpose, he accomplished the transition from Jugendstil to Art Déco, as the many designs created in Zurich that feature in the current exhibition vividly demonstrate.
With the generous support of the Walter B. Kielholz Foundation
Ill: Franz von Zülow, ‘Village rose’ fabric swatch, design 1910/11. Client: Wiener Werkstätte, 1910 to 1928; execution: Gustav Ziegler, Vienna; execution: anonymous, Zurich Silk, printed, plain weave MAK – Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, photo © MAK/Kristina Wissik