Löffler's Kunstschau Wien - 1908

The Secessionist art movement began on 3 April 1897, when several of the younger members of the Künstlerhaus, the Vienna Creative Artists' Association, angrily resigned. The heart of the conflict was due to the clash of tradition and newer ideas. The unofficial leader of the group was painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), and other notables included architects Josef Hoffman (1870-1956) and Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) and artist-designer Koloman Moser (1868-1918).

The Secession movement stressed the importance of participation in international art circles, as well as the application of art to everyday objects and life - and urged equality with the graphic side and the applied arts and crafts movement. An offshoot of this was the creation of the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) in 1903 by Hoffman and Moser. The Wiener Werkstätte was created specifically to address the application of the Sezessionstil to objects used in everyday life, such as furniture, lamps, greeting cards, etc. The Secessionists also encouragement more frequent exhibitions and other displays of their works, and this was greeted with enthusiasm from the Viennese public.

Unfortunately not all of the members of the movement agreed with the applied aspects of the art. In 1905 a group led by Klimt decided tthat the Wiener Werkstätte should withdraw from the Secessionist movement in order to continue advocating the applied aspect of art. In 1908 the Klimt group, which included artist Berthold Löffler, organized an exhibition in conjunction with the Wiener Werkstätte, and called it the Arts Review. For the exhibition a new hall was designed by Hoffman and built on the Schwarzenbergplatz. Within the hall there were paintings, sculptures and crafts. There was also "Room 10", designed by Löffler, that was dedicated to the display of poster art.

Löffler designed a beautiful poster for the exhibition, but prior to that a poster stamp was issued, based on an earlier study by Löffler for the poster. That poster stamp is the one displayed here in this gallery. Viennese art critic Ludvig Hevesi wrote:

The postmen must be the ones best informed on this project, for on many letters now there is a stamp advertising the exhibition in bright blue and yellow. A girl's profile with long gold tresses flowing down over her blue dress. Such ornamentation has not been seen since the early days of Ver Sacrum. It is as stylish as only the impossible can be and more pleasant than any other stamp. And how effective it looks as a stamp! Many post office ladies cannot but refrain from cancelling it out!

Now this stamp, one of the most important and beatiful examples of the Sezessionstil, can be a part of your collection. For details on how to purchase this poster stamp click here.

Links to related websites or pages of interest or:

Berthold Löffler:

 Grove Artnet

  Vienna Secession:

 aeiou (Austrian Art Encyclopedia)
   Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  Grove Artnet

 Kunstschau Wien 1908:


  A History of Graphic Design - Meggs, Philip B. - 1998
  Ornamental Posters of the Vienna Secession - Koschatsky, Walter & Kossatz, Horst-Herbert - 1974
  Österreichische Plakat Kunst 1898-1938 - Denscher, Bernhard - 1992