In 1899 Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine summoned Josef Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) - and six other artists - to the newly founded Mathildenhohe Artists' Colony in Darmstadt. It was here that a very productive phase began for Olbrich, although it would come to an end all too soon with his untimely death in 1908. The first edition of Ideen von Olbrich was published in 1900, attesting to the supreme success of his work in Vienna up to 1899, which he dedicated 'in reverence and in gratitude to his Grand Duke'. This new publication is an unrevised reprint of the second edition of 1904, with the addition of many hitherto unknown examples of works and sketches from Olbrich's time in Darmstadt. The book is now published again in its original format to commemorate this great artist, around 100 years after his death.
Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) studied architecture at the Wiener Staatsgewerbeschule and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and was an apprentice at Otto Wagner's master class in Vienna. In 1897, Gustav Klimt, Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser founded the Vienna Secession artistic group. Olbrich designed their exhibition building, the famous Secession Hall, which became the movement's landmark. In 1899, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, founded the Darmstadt Artists' Colony and hired Olbrich among other leading artists to participate in the planning and execution of exhibition buildings. 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 recognised. Olbrich 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.
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