Otto Prutscher

Vienna 1880 - 1949 Vienna

Otto Prutscher was born in Vienna in 1880. After an apprenticeship as carpenter, he began to study drawing and painting under Franz von Matsch at the School for Applied Arts in Vienna but his change to the architecture class of Josef Hoffmann in 1899 set the direction for his later career. In the circle of Hoffmann’s enthusiastic students he began to center his designs for his first objects of applied art around the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total art work”) already during the period of his studies. Alongside his work as an architect, Otto Prutscher made a name for himself above all as a designer in different areas: thus, he designed furniture, ceramics, glassware, textiles, metal and silverware, jewelry and leatherwork with equal success. Up until the First World War he became a leading figure – alongside Josef Hoffmann – of the modern design movement in Vienna by incorporating a number of important positions such as professor at the School for Applied Arts. He is regarded today as one of the most versatile and important artists of the Vienna Jugendstil and the Wiener Werkstätte.