World of Biedermeier, interior designer
Linda Chase and German antiques expert Karl
Kemp explore "the first great flowering of the
haute bourgeois," a German era and style named
for a cartoon character, Gottlieb Biedermeier.
Biedermeier was a schoolteacher and poet from
small-town Germany invented by the publishers
of a satirical magazine. The authors and photographer
Lois Lammerhuber present a lavish tribute to
the castles, table settings, "austere and simple"
furniture and master Biedermeier craftsmen such
as Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Biedermeier furniture
and interior design are recognized today as
the first great flowering of haute bourgeois
taste in design. Biedermeier is a style with
great range, from austere to sumptuous, but
it is never ostentatious in its celebration
of comfort, domestic intimacy, and practicality.
Beginning in the early 19th century, these bourgeois
ideals in design were pursued by a wide range
of society from the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollern
to the middle class, from Middle Europe to Italy,
yet Biedermeier's innate classicism, its lyrical
yet elegant forms, have made it an influential
inspiration in our own time. The World of
Biedermeier celebrates the elements of a
wonderfully appealing style—the furniture, decorative
elements, paintings, crystal, porcelain, fabrics—as
no other recent book on furniture and design.
Created out of an enraptured obsession with
Biedermeier—shared by Karl Kemp, the renowned
antiques dealer, and Linda Chase, the noted
interior designer and writer—this book is an
extraordinary paean to an irresistible style.
The hundreds of brilliant color photographs
by Lois Lammerhuber set a new standard for design
and furniture photography, and the book has
been opulently designed and produced. To experience
the story of Biedermeier, we explore enchanting
castles, royal residences, a Roman-inspired
bathhouse, museum attics, and storage annexes
in Vienna, Berlin, and elsewhere. Lammerhuber
was the first photographer granted free access
to the extraordinary holdings of the Hofmobiliendepot,
the Imperial Furniture Collection in Vienna.
Here too are the treasures of the Hofburg Silberkammer
museum, plus features on the work of the great
Biedermeier designers Joseph Danhauser and Karl
Friedrich Schinkel. A chapter on current uses
of Biedermeier illustrates the timeless quality
of this style, from full traditional settings
to the way that Biedermeier furniture looks
fresh and alive in contemporary settings. This
lovely collection will be devoured by art historians
and interior designers- useful too by providing
an illustrated reference section indispensable
to anyone interested in Biedermeier.