Children’s chair, Otto Prutscher, Gebruder Thonet, ca. 1914-1916
Otto Prutscher, trained carpenter and student at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule under Josef Hoffmann, was an important architect and designer and is considered one of the most important representatives of Austrian Jugendstil. He was not only active as an artist, but also as a teacher at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna. Otto Prutscher took part in a number of exhibitions and his designs were executed by companies such as Thonet, J&J Kohn and private carpenters. Furthermore, Otto Prutscher was awarded the Austrian State Prize for Architecture in 1947.
This children’s chair shows the most characteristic feature of the Thonet company, the steam-bent beech wood. The grain of the wood on the backrest, together with the rounding of the seat, emphasizes the harmonious appearance of the chair. A carved heart in the middle of the backrest loosens up the otherwise rather reduced design.
The Viennese architect and arts and craftsman Otto Prutscher (Vienna 1880 – 1949 Vienna) was an important representative of Austrian Jugendstil. As a student of Josef Hoffmann and Franz Matsch, he created numerous designs for the Wiener Werkstätte and Viennese residential buildings. He was not only active as a designer and architect, but also as a teacher at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna. While his style was clearly influenced by Hoffmann’s works at first, a clear stylistic independence can be seen as early as 1906. Between 1906 and 1915, he produced delightfully reduced works entirely in the spirit of the “Gesamtkunstwerk” (total work of art) of Austrian Jugendstil. The works of the 1908 “Kunstschau” and the 1914 “Werkbundausstellung” deserve special mention too. From 1915 onwards, the influence of Prutscher’s colleague Dagobert Peche became noticeable in his designs. His style became more modern and floral, but not as delicate as Peche’s works. Otto Prutscher never lost his individuality and inspiration. The glass works from 1908 to 1916 also deserve a special mention here. His wine and liquor glasses from this period are, today, in great demand by collectors all over the world.
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