Think Klimt. Vienna after the end of the Second World War and the break-up of the huge Austro Hungarian Empire was a city with the rug pulled from under it. Off balance, it was a city and populace in search of new values and ideas which would sustain it or, at least, defend it from total implosion. This excellent hard back book of over 250 pages, in excellent condition, tells the stories of the designers who tried to create a new future from devastation.
Influenced by the Vienna Secession - which inspired much of Europe from Art Nouveau to the chilly climes of Glasgow and the MacIntosh School - the Wiener Werkstatte embraced a return to the basics of hand-crafted designs.
This book is beautifully illustrated with original gouache drawings, pattern books and samples taken from the 20,000 now in the Austrian Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna.
The patterns of Wiener Werkstatte became the most popular and successful designs of the early 20th century - not just for clothes but also for furnishing fabrics.
What I liked about this book was the compilation of biographies of the individual artists - suddenly these wonderful designs became personal and alive.
I have to say these designs make my heart sing whenever I see them.