Kolman Moser was an Austrian designer, metal worker and graphic designer. He was born in Vienna. Moser, one of the most prolific and versatile artists and designers who founded and shaped the Secession movement and the Wiener Werkstätte, brought the training and temperament of an artist to his design work. He excelled in interior and exhibition design, applied arts, graphic design, and painting.
He attended the Viennese Academy and the School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied under highly regarded but conservative painters. In the early years of the Secession, he played a significant role in determining the layout and content of the revolutionary journal Ver Sacrum. Its vivacious and stylish graphic design became an international standard for graphic design. (National Gallery of Victoria, n.d.)
- 1889 and 1892 he studied painting and design, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna.
- 1893-1895 he was a student at Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, in graphic design.
He designed for the Wiener Mode and, in 1895, with other artists, produced the Allegories set of folio volumes. It was during this time that he met Gustav Klimt.
In 1895, a group of progressive artists, including Moser, Josef Hoffman and Joseph Maria Olbrich, formed the Siebner Club. In 1897, the Sezession was formally introduced in Vienna as an autonomous group of artists. It followed the example of the Munich Sezession. Moser organised and designed Sezession exhibitions.
Decorative Graphic Style
His decorative style in graphics at the time showed naturalistic ornamentation on a square grid. In 1901, he developed his characteristic checker pattern, derived from abstract floral patterns rather than a black-and-white square pattern.
Teaching at the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie
Professor at the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie in Vienna and became its Director in 1900. Teaching students to work in a Sezession style, he designed graphics, glass, leather, book covers, metalwork, stained-glass windows, stage sets, ceramics, and toys.
As a graphic designer, he produced banknotes, postage stamps, posters and typography. In 1903, he founded the Wiener Werkastätte with Josef Hoffman and backer Fritz Wärndorfer; it was the Austrian equivalent of the Deutscher Werkbund.
Furniture and boxes
He designed silver hollow-ware for the Wiener Werkstätte. Much of his furniture was manufactured by commercial firms, including Caspar Hrazdil and Portois und Fix. His work illustrates the spread of the Mackintosh style.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL
National Gallery of Victoria. (n.d.). NGV Vienna Art and Design: Koloman Moser. NGV Vienna Art and Design: Koloman Moser. Retrieved April 7, 2023, from https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/vienna/painting/koloman-moser.html