Title sheet Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2009.10
People
Koloman Moser, Austrian (Vienna, Austria 1868 - 1918 Vienna, Austria)
Title
Surface Decoration
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Surface Decoration
Original Language Title: Flächenschmuck
Classification
Prints
Work Type
portfolio
Date
1902
Culture
Austrian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/56214
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Cover: relief print in black ink on tan paper mounted to board
Technique
Lithograph
Dimensions
25.6 x 29.8 x 0.5 cm (10 1/16 x 11 3/4 x 3/16 in.)
Provenance
Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA, purchase, 1920, transfer to Fine Arts Library, 1969. Acquired with the Charles Sumner Fund in 1920 (per Amanda Bowen, 5/4/04). Transferred to Fine Arts Library 3/24/69 (stamp inside portfolio cover).
Harvard College Library Fine Arts Library, Cambridge, MA, transfer from Harvard College Libraries, 1969, long-term loan to HUAM, 2005. Transferred to Fine Arts Library 3/24/69 (stamp inside portfolio cover)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of the Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library
Accession Year
2009
Object Number
2009.10
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The porfolio of 30 lithographs has a board cover on which the title appears in relief print in black ink on tan paper mounted to the board. The case is bound on the left side with khaki green tape (torn).
Commentary
This portfolio of thirty graphic designs by the Austrian artist Koloman Moser was created as a pattern book for surface coverings of all kinds. Published in Vienna in 1902, it was the third in of a series of commercial graphics portfolios produced under the name "The Source" (Die Quelle) and took its place among the many other model and pattern books that had become popular around the turn of the century. Each lithograph in the portfolio is printed in one of four pairs of colors and inset with a decorative cartouche bearing the design's title and intended use in carefully coordinated script. In some cases Moser also incorporated a complementary emblem or motif. Moser's creations range from his whimsical bathroom wall decoration "Waves of the Danube" (no. 4), composed of rows of interlocking mermaids, to more severely abstract designs for carpets, printed fabrics, and endpapers, illustrating the Viennese taste for repeated geometric forms and flat decorative pattern. Together the designs exemplify the turn-of-the-century belief that art should enter every aspect of life, which became a guiding principle for the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops), the design collaborative that Moser co-founded in 1903 with Josef Hoffmann and Fritz Wärndorfer.
Publication History

Kirk Varnedoe, Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture and Design, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, NY, 1986), p. 115

Maria Rennhofer, Koloman Moser: Master of Viennese Modernism, Thames & Hudson (London, 2002), pp. 134-137

Exhibition History

“As though my body were naught but ciphers”: Crises of Representation in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, Harvard University Art Museums, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 02/12/2005 - 06/12/2005

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu