From the very outset, the artists of the Wiener Werkstätte wanted to permeate and embellish all areas of life with art in keeping with the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or universal work of art. Their aspiration was anything but modest: Through artisan skill and creativity, they wanted to make the world not only more beautiful but also a better place. In 1911, the Wiener Werkstätte opened its own fashion department, designing suits and dresses as well as accessories. The commissions were often outsourced to artists who worked from home on commission. Among them was the later wife of Bertold Löffler (1874–1960), the artisan, embroideress and seamstress Melitta Feldkircher (1886–1960) Portrait of Melitta Feldkircher. With many of the objects, however, the names of the producers are not known, as in the case of this beaded bag created around 1925. Beaded ladies’ handbags were popular especially in the 19th century. In the present example, this tradition was reinterpreted and adapted to meet the geometrical-abstract tastes of the 1920s.
Arts and crafts
Glass beads, yarn, lined
Credit line of the permanent loan
Collection Richard Grubman
Selection of Reference works
Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).