Sustainable measures for the Weiner Werkstatte exhibition at the Neue Galerie included the reuse of existing display cases, already built and stored at the museum, cutting down on the use of new materials and labor. All new cases were built locally to minimize freight and shipping. Additionally, select newly built cases were topped with existing glass bonnets, minimizing new labor and material usage.
Finally, the museum intends to store some of the new cases designed for the Weiner Werkstatte exhibition to be reused in future shows.
Weiner Werkstatte, 1903-1932: The Luxury of Beauty was a temporary exhibition at the Neue Galerie in New York City. This exhibition was the first American museum exhibition to showcase a selection of works of the Weiner Werkstatte during its existence. It showcased over 400 objects from private and public collections that embodied craftsmanship and glamour during a time when industrialization and standardization were beginning to take over the design industry.
The museum’s three main galleries featured the early work from the period 1903-1912, when exhibitions occurred in department stores and shops throughout Austria. The second gallery showing objects from the 1912-1918 period, was designed to reflect the classical nature of the work by placing them in a symmetrical installation with fluted walls and monumental casework. With its acceptance throughout Europe the Werkstatte’s exhibition at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris (1925) was enormously influential. The third gallery emulates this exhibition.
Working with the curators, the exhibition attempts to suggest exhibitions and interiors of that time and includes furniture, jewelry, fashion, decorative objects, metalwork, ceramics, drawings, wallpaper, and graphic design objects. Designers such as Josef Hoffmann, Dagobert Peche, Koloman Moser and Joseph Urban are featured among others. The architect’s role was to transform the existing galleries into environments that illustrated their narrative. Casework and surfaces such as the fluted walls in the middle gallery were created to illustrate aspects of Weiner Werkstatte interiors and create an immersive experience for the visitor.