Art Nouveau

Koloman Moser (1868 – 1916)


Koloman Moser was an Austrian artist who was very influencal in the twentieth-century graphic art world and one of the foremost artists of the Vienna Secession movement and a co-founder of Wiener Werkstätte. (1)

During his life, Moser designed a wide array of art works – books and graphic works from postage stamps to magazine vignettes; fashion; stained glass windows, porcelains and ceramics, blown glass, tableware, silver, jewelry, and furniture. (1)

Between 1900 and 1915 Moser was part of a number of projects but he was famous and very successful for his graphic work. He designed bank notes and stamps with strong contrasting patterns characteristic of Viennese art. He was known for the bold designs such as were in Ver Sacrum. The use of vertical straight lines and curves suggest influence of  the two artists Klimt and Mackintosh. He also used black and white chequerboard pattern taken from Hoffmann in his book illustrarions alot. (2)

In 1905, together with the Klimt group, he separated from the Vienna Secession. The same year, he married Editha (Ditha) Mautner von Markhof, the daughter to one of Austria’s great industry fortunes. (1)

Koloman was one of the designers for Austria’s leading art journal Ver Sacrum. This art journal paid great attention to design and was designed mainly by Moser, Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. His design for the cover of one edition of the art journal was later plagiarized by well known street artist and designer, Shepard Fairey. (1)

Mosser worked in three dimensions. He treated metalwork objects in an especially contemporary way. Their shapes are primitive geometric forms, the sphere, cube, cylinder, ect. Their surfaces are very polished and any decoration is confined to the structural parts of the object. Such as his pieces the jewel casket or the vase and sugar bowl dispense almost completly covered with decoration. (2)

Moser’s art education was at these two Art schools, 1885-1892 Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and from 1893 – 1895 he studied at the  Vienna School of Applied Arts Kunstgewerbeschule. Moser also taught at Kunstgewerbeschule from 1899. (1)



2. Masini, Lara Vinca, Art nouveau, 1984 Patrick Hawkey and Company Ltd, London, 208






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