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Bench from the Salon of Dr. Hermann Wittgenstein’s Apartment, Vienna, 1905/06

Leopold Museum,
Silver oak, black stained, pores rubbed white and blue [originally with fabric covering]
93×171×60.5 cm


  • Josef Hoffmann

    (Pirnitz/Brtnice 1870–1956 Vienna)

  • Wiener Werkstätte
Currently on display at OG3
This bench was designed by the architect and designer Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) in 1905/06 for the apartment of the physician Dr. Hermann Wittgenstein (1879–1953). With its strictly geometrical forms, the seating furniture appears very puristic. Hoffmann structured the backrest with rungs in the shape of square rods. Two vertical middle panels with panelled inlays invest the design with rhythm and, along with their practical use, also serve a decorative function. Even though it might not seem so at first glance, Hoffmann adapted the bench, a highly popular type of furniture already in the Biedermeier era, in keeping with geometrical Jugendstil. The surface of the silver oak bench was stained black and the pores rubbed white and blue. With this surface treatment, the designer incorporated the structure of the wood into the overall esthetic effect. Along with the bench, Hoffmann created two matching armchairs Armchair from the Salon of Dr. Hermann Wittgenstein’s Apartment which are also housed by the Leopold Museum. The piece was executed by the Wiener Werkstätte.

Object data

  • Design: Josef Hoffmann
  • Execution: Wiener Werkstätte
Bench from the Salon of Dr. Hermann Wittgenstein’s Apartment, Vienna
Art movement
Wiener Werkstätte, Art Nouveau
Silver oak, black stained, pores rubbed white and blue [originally with fabric covering]
93×171×60.5 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 6075
Inventory access
Accession 2017
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).

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Hermann Wittgenstein, Wien (1906); (1)
Lydia Wittgenstein, Wien (1950); (2)
Friedrich Wittgenstein, Wien (1965); (3)
Galerie Metropol, Wien (1981); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (o.D.-2010);
Privatsammlung Leopold, Wien (2010-2017);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 2017); (4)

  1. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Decorative Arts Consult, Provenienzexpertise vom 28.05.2014
  2. BG Innere Stadt, Urkundensammlung, TZ 1743/50, Notariatsakt vom 20.01.1950.
  3. BG Innere Stadt Wien, Urkundensammlung, TZ 2056/66, Einantwortungsurkunde vom 07.10.1965.
  4. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Kaufvertrag und Rechnung Nr. 1/2017 vom 03.07.2017

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