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Joseph Maria Olbrich

Joseph Maria Olbrich

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Joseph Maria Olbrich was an Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 and co-founder of the Vienna Secession
Vienna Secession
The Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects...

.

Life


Olbrich was born in Opava
Opava
Opava is a city in the northern Czech Republic on the river Opava, located to the north-west of Ostrava. The historical capital of Czech Silesia, Opava is now in the Moravian-Silesian Region and has a population of 59,843 as of January 1, 2005....

, Austrian Silesia
Austrian Silesia
Austrian Silesia , officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia was an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Austrian Empire, from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

 (today in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

).He was the third child of Edmund and Aloisia Olbrich. He had two sisters who died before he was born, and two younger brothers John and Edmund. His father was a prosperous confectioner and wax manufacturer who also owned a brick works, which is where Olbrich's interest in the construction industry has its early origin.

Olbrich studied architecture at the Wiener Staatsgewerbeschule
University of Applied Arts Vienna
The University of Applied Arts Vienna is an institution of higher education in Vienna, the capital of Austria. It has had university status since 1970.-History:...

 and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is an institution of higher education in Vienna, Austria.- History :The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was founded in 1692 as a private academy by the court-painter Peter Strudl, who became the Praefectus Academiae Nostrae. In 1701 he was ennobled as Baron of the Empire...

 where he won several prizes. In 1893, he started working for Otto Wagner
Otto Wagner
Otto Koloman Wagner was an Austrian architect and urban planner, known for his lasting impact on the appearance of his home town Vienna, to which he contributed many landmarks.-Life:...

 and probably did the detailed construction for most of Wagner's Wiener Stadtbahn
Wiener Stadtbahn
The Wiener Stadtbahn was a public transportation system operated under this name from 1898 to 1989. Today, the Vienna U-Bahn lines U4 and U6 and the Vienna S-Bahn run on its former lines....

 (Metropolitan Railway) buildings.

In 1897, Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects...

, Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann was an Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods.- Biography :...

 and Koloman Moser
Koloman Moser
Koloman Moser was an Austrian artist who exerted considerable influence on twentieth-century graphic art and one of the foremost artists of the Vienna Secession movement and a co-founder of Wiener Werkstätte....

 founded the Vienna Secession
Vienna Secession
The Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects...

artistic group. Olbrich designed their exhibition building, the famous Secession Hall
Secession hall (Austria)
The Secession building is an exhibition hall built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession, located in Vienna, Austria...

, which became the movement's landmark. In 1899, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
Ernest Louis Charles Albert William , was the last Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine from 1892 until 1918...

, founded the Darmstadt Artists' Colony
Darmstadt Artists' Colony
The Darmstadt Artists’ Colony refers both to a group of artists as well as to the buildings in Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt in which these artists lived and worked...

 and hired Olbrich among other leading artists to participate in the planning and execution of exhibition buildings. Olbrich gained Hessian citizenship in 1900 and was appointed to a professorship by the Grand Duke. In 1903, he married Claire Morawe.

In the following years, Olbrich executed the most diverse architectural commissions and experimented in other fields of applied arts and design. He designed pottery, furniture, several book bindings, and musical instruments. His contribution to the Louisiana Exhibition in St. Louis were highly recognized, and he was appointed corresponding member of the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

, probably at the instigation of Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

.

Shortly after his daughter Marianne's birth on July 19, 1908, Olbrich died from leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

 in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

 on August 8, aged 40. He remains among the World's most respected and influential architects. His architectural works, especially his exhibition buildings for the Vienna and Darmstadt Secessions, have had a strong influence on the development of the Art Nouveau Style.

Works

  • The Secession hall
    Secession hall (Austria)
    The Secession building is an exhibition hall built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession, located in Vienna, Austria...

    , Vienna
  • Residence for Hermann Bahr
    Hermann Bahr
    Hermann Bahr was an Austrian writer, playwright, director, and critic.-Biography:Born and raised in Linz, Bahr studied Philosophy, Law, Economics and Philology in Vienna, Czernowitz and Berlin. During a prolonged stay in Paris he discovered his interest in literature and art...

    , Vienna
  • Hochzeitsturm and other buildings at Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt
    Darmstadt
    Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation, prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat...

  • Department store
    Department store
    A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

     for Leonhard Tietz
    Leonhard Tietz
    Leonhard Tietz was born March 3, 1849 in Birnbaum an der Warthe, Province of Posen, Prussia and died November 14, 1914)...

    , Düsseldorf
    Düsseldorf
    Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

  • Vila for Josef Feinhals
    Collofino
    Josef Feinhals , aka Collofino, was a German cigar and cigarette maker, patron of the arts, and writer from Cologne. Under his pseudonym, he wrote Non Olet , an 1100-page scatological collection . He was a good friend of Herman Hesse's and assisted Hesse in some of his projects...

    , Cologne
    Cologne
    Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

    , built 1908 and destroyed in World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...