HAGENAUER

Carl Hagenauer, a trained gold and silversmith had founded the Hagenauer workshop in 1898 and was one of the first metal workers to embrace the new shapes of the Art Nouveau era. In 1919, Karl, his eldest son joined the workshop. His main focus was on the everyday implements that he provided with geometric contours and great functionality. In 1925, also the youngest son, Franz (1906-1986), came to work at his father’s shop, which at that time already florished and exported its goods even to the United States. Franz Hagenauer belonged to the Wiener Werkst├Ątte (Viennese Workshops) circle. He studied at the Viennese College of Applied Arts, where he was a student of Professors Franz Cizek and Dagobert Pech. During the years 1921 - 1926, he further received education at the studios of sculptor Anton Hanak and Josef Hortmann. Thus, Franz Hagenauer concentrated first on making sculptures, usually handmade and in brass. He designed a bust of the Madonna for the Curt Schlevogt Company as well as the sculpture "View" and the small sculptures "Duck", "Hare" and "Butterfly", which were also adopted as lid-handle pieces for cigarette cases. His work also includes a small moulded plaque featuring the head of Christ. Karl Hagenauer designed, among others, a coffee service and an elegant tea set that showed his penchant for simple, functional shapes. A series of African warriors, dancers and children demonstrate, in contrast, Europe’s interest in exotic cultures and foreign people, most pronounced in the beginning of the 20th Century. The Hagenauer workshop did not create naturalistic depictions, but decorative archetypes like a stylised sitting warrior and an African woman with child. Most coveted in the United States, were the decorative small bronze figurines by Hagenauer, like Felix the Cat as radiator mascot, from 1928, handmade in brass. In contrast to the Wiener Werkst├Ątte, that went bankrupt in 1936 due to the Great Depression, the Hagenauer workshop prevailed. In the 1950s, they started producing figurines of wood and even had a special furniture line. Franz Hagenauer continued to design elegant metal sculptures until his death in 1986.