Austria, 1904
Otto Wagner

Gebrüder Thonet
Bent beech wood, molded plywood, and aluminum
18½ x 16 x 16"

Otto Koloman Wagner (1841–1918) was an Austrian architect and urban planner. He was a leading member of the Vienna Secession movement of architecture, founded in 1897, and the broader Art Nouveau movement. All of his works are found in his native city of Vienna, and illustrate the rapid evolution of architecture during the period. His early works were inspired by classical architecture. By mid-1890s, he had already designed several buildings in what became known as the Vienna Secession style. Beginning in 1898, with his designs of Vienna Metro stations, his style became floral and Art Nouveau, with decoration by Koloman Moser. His later works, 1906 until his death in 1918, had geometric forms and minimal ornament, clearly expressing their function. They are considered predecessors to modern architecture.

Wagner often designed the furniture to complement the design of the building. His furnishings for the Postal Savings Bank were particularly notable for their simplicity and functionality, and combination of traditional materials with new materials, such as aluminum. —Wikipedia

(Photo: MoMA)