Otto Prutscher

1880 Vienna - 1949 Vienna

Otto Prutscher was born in Vienna in 1880. After an apprenticeship to become a carpenter, he started studying drawing and painting with Franz von Matsch at the School for Applied Arts in Vienna but he switched to the architecture class of Josef Hoffmann in 1899. This decision set the direction of his later career. In the circle of Hoffmann’s enthusiastic students, he created, already during his school days, his first handicraft works in accordance with the idea of the "Gesamtkunstwerk" (synthesis of art). Besides his work as an architect, Otto Prutscher became above all famous as a designer in different areas. He designed furniture, ceramics, glassware, textiles, metal and silverware, jewellery and leatherwork with equal success. Up until the First World War, he became a leading figure – next to 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. Otto Prutscher died in 1949 at the age of 69 years of a heart attack. He is today considered to be one of the most versatile and important artists of the Vienna Jugendstil and the Wiener Werkstätte.