b'54386JOSEF HOFFMANN WIENER WERKSTTTEIn 1913 Moriz Gallia (1858 - 1918) commissioned Hoffmann to CARVER CHAIR FROM THE GALLIA APARTMENT INdesign five rooms for the familys new apartmentthe hall, VIENNA, CIRCA 1913. the salon, the smoking room, the dining room and the boudoir. Hoffmanns designs included the furniture, both built-in and 90cm high, 60cm across the arms free-standing, the plasterwork, the woodwork, light fittings, wall Josef Hoffmann (18701956) attended the Academy of Fine Artscoverings and floor coverings. He also supervised the making in Vienna and studied architecture under Otto Wagner (one ofof all aspects of his designs by specially selected craftspeople. Viennas most celebrated architects who bridged the old style ofWhen Hoffmann undertook work on the Gallia apartment he was architecture and the new, modern forms). In 1903, with Kolomanalready a well-known designer, having completed commissions Moser and financier Fritz Waerndorfer, Hoffmann foundedfor both the Purkersdorf Sanatorium in Vienna and the Palais the Wiener Werksttte. The collaboration of artists, designerStoclet in Brussels. The Gallia family members were frequent architects and artisans enabled the realisation of the totalentertainers, well known in music and artistic circles for their artwork. Hoffmanns designs were based on simple and clearmusical recitals and soirees. Their apartment became famous in proportions and employed rich, high-quality materials. Vienna and also featured in interior design journals of the time.Everyday objects were conceived as part of a whole livingThe Gallia family lived in the apartment for 23 years. Moriz Gallia environment and were considered works of art. died in 1918 and by the time Hermine died in 1936 the children Our middle class is far from having fulfilled its duty to the arts.had all moved into their own apartments, in different parts of Its turn has come to do full justice to the course of progress.Vienna. The contents of the Hoffmann rooms were divided It cannot be enough for us to buy paintings, however beautifulbetween them.they may be. As long as our cities, our houses , our rooms, ourAlthough Moritz had converted to Christianity in 1910, after cupboards, our everyday appliances, our clothes our jewels, ashaving their toddlers baptized catholic earlier, before the Second long as our language and feelings do not represent the spiritWorld War, like many Jewish families, the Gallias fled Austria in of our age in a purer, simpler and more beautiful way, we shallthe face of increasingly strident State-sponsored anti-semitism. remain infinitely backward compared to our ancestors They emigrated to Australia, taking their furniture and paintings The GalliasMoriz and Herminewere wealthy Viennesewith them. The furniture was eventually acquired by the National landowners and entrepreneurs. Like other wealthy JewishGallery of Victoria. The Gustav Klimt portrait of Hermine Gallia families, they were patrons of the arts and supporters of newwas purchased by the National Gallery in London and the movements in Art and Design, such as the Vienna SecessionFerdinand Andri portrait of the Gallia children by the NGV. and the Wiener Werksttte. (Moriz became chairman of theThe present chair, an estray from the original setting, was part of Wiener Werksttte board in 1915). the suite of furniture for the hall of the Gallia apartment. It was In 1910, Moriz Gallia acquired a building that was to be the sitemade from ebonised (black-stained) wood. The darkness of the for his future family home. He demolished the existing buildingwood, the solid, square design, and the vertical fluting reminiscent and in its place constructed a new building with five storeys, anof Classical pillars, gave the furniture a monumental quality. attic and a basement. The familys apartment was located on theCurved and undulating lines, such as those of the chair armrests, first floor mezzanine. The remainder of the floors were let, withsoftened the rigid vertical and horizontal lines of the design. the hope that the children would one day occupy them. $30,00050,000'