Manufactured by Danhauser’sche Möbelfabrik (Vienna, Austria, 1804–1839)
Settee, ca. 1815
Mahogany veneer, gilding, reconstructed upholstery
44 1/2 × 84 1/4 × 26 in. (113.03 × 214 × 66.04 cm)
Gift of René von Schleinitz Memorial Fund, by exchange M2001.61
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
During the Biedermeier period, family virtues were exalted. Austrian Emperor Francis I enjoined his subjects: “Preserve unity in the family and regard it as one of the highest goods.” Wealthy Austrians outfitted each room to serve a particular function, such as sewing, writing, taking coffee, or making music; in smaller homes, discreet clusters of furniture within a single room served the same purpose. Early in his career, the Viennese designer Josef Ulrich Danhauser produced this exquisite mahogany and gilt sofa for just such a domestic setting, becoming the period’s most prolific and largest of furniture suppliers to the middle and upper classes. Danhauser and other contemporary furniture makers emphasized clarity of form, relying on the inherent beauty of their materials, which included richly grained woods.
Stoodley, Sheila Gibson. Birth of the Modern, Art & Antiques (June 2016): 41, color illus. p. 38. Ottomeyer, Hans, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, and Laurie Winters. Biedermeier. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2007, p. 82, cat. 21, color illu.s p. 82-3. Ottomeyer, Hans, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, and Laurie Winters. Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2006, p. 342, cat. II-35, color pl. 57. (German ed. cat. II-36) Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, pp. 19, 68, cat. 22, color illus. p. 19. Winters, Laurie. An Introduction to the Biedermeier Period, The Magazine Antiques 165, 1 (January 2004): 178-79, color pl. 2, 2a. Witt-Dörring, C. A Group of early Seat Furniture with Composition Decoration, from the Danhauser Furniture Factory, The Journal of the Furniture History Society 29 (1993): figs. 1, 19, 20.
Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity, Milwaukee Art Museum, September 16, 2006-January 1, 2007; Albertina, Vienna, Austria, February 2-May 13, 2007; Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany, June 8-July 2, 2007; Musee du Louvre, Paris, France, October 15, 2007-January 15, 2008.
This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.