Book Covers of the Wiener Werkstätte
Exhibition, MAK, Vienna, Austria.
Committed to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, numerous designers and craftseople at the Wiener Werkstätte (WW) also turned their hand to designing book covers. Presented here are some 70 books from private collections, supplemented by 40 original design drawings and approximately 500 leather stamps.
In its successful “struggle against the awful, red hard-covers with golden decorations used for our masterpieces”, in the words of the Wiener Sonnund Montagszeitung in 1905, the Wiener Werkstätte found in inspiration in the Arts and Crafts movement. It was above all William Morris’s creations that influenced founders Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, who intentionally purchased the same Parisian leather that Morris himself used as a sumptuous protective cover for his books.