Phillips' “Vienna and the Wiener Werkstätte” auction taking place in New York on March 3rd. If you are interested in design, and especially the precursors of Bauhaus and Modernism, check out their online catalog or visit the previews (in you live in London and New York). The Wiener Werkstätte (pronounced “Veen-nir Wurk-shtat”) was founded in Vienna by painter Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffman, and operated from 1903-1932. The WW was a collective that encouraged creative collaboration between artists and craftsman, producing work in a variety of mediums including furniture, glass, metal, ceramics, textiles and jewelry. (The centerpiece of the sale is a 1905 pendant necklace designed by Koloman Moser carrying an estimate of $300,000-$400,000.) Nevertheless the sale is dominated by furniture and decorative arts from interiors of important commissions including the Palais Stoclet, Brussels. Aesthetically, WW dismissed the ornamentation that had dominated 19th century styles whether historical pastiche or Art Nouveau. It is astounding that many of the forms created by the WW seem both contemporary and vital over 75 years after their inception. Auction Previews are great opportunities to see museum quality work for free. If you are in New York City be sure to visit Philips (in their new digs uptown) for the "Vienna and the Wiener Werkstätte" preview February 22 - March 2, with the sale the following day.