Howell Manufacturing Co.
Lacquered wood, chrome-plated steel
20 × 16 × 31¾”
Wolfgang Hoffmann was born in Vienna, Austria in 1900. The son of the famous architect and Wiener Werkstatte co-founder, Joseph Hoffmann, Wolfgang was early trained in the Decorative Arts. While in Vienna, Wolfgang met and married his wife, Pola, who had been born in Poland in 1902 and was studying under Joseph Hoffmann at the Vienna School of Design. In 1925 the couple arrived in New York and worked for Joseph Urban in the American branch of the Wiener Werkstatte. Leaving Urban, the Hoffmanns formed an independent design team with offices on Madison Avenue in New York. During the late 1920's and early 1930's the Hoffmanns designed custom furniture for private clients. The Hoffmanns' work was shown at both the 1928 and 1929 American Designers Gallery Exhibitions. In 1932 Wolfgang was asked to assist Joseph Urban in developing the color scheme for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and also was asked to design the interior and furniture for the Lumber Industries house. The Chicago World's Fair brought Hoffmann to the attention of the Howell Co., headquartered in Geneva, Illinois. (Later, St. Charles, Illinois), where he became resident designer from 1934 through 1942, offering lines of chromed steel furniture. —Archiproducts