Biedermeier-Inspired Products at the Milwaukee Art Museum Store

Posted on August 1st, 2006

Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity, September 16, 2006-January 1, 2007

Milwaukee, WI, August 2006— In conjunction with its upcoming feature exhibition, Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity , the Milwaukee Art Museum will have a specialized exhibition store featuring textiles, furniture, and accessories among other items inspired by the Biedermeier style. A Viennese Café and special menu in the Museum Café further serve to provide visitors with a “flavor” of cultural life during the time of Biedermeier.

Viennese Café

Viennese cafés served as important centers of intellectual and artistic life during the Biedermeier period. Immerse yourself in the ambience of café life in Vienna without the jet lag. Step inside the Viennese Café and relish authentic Viennese coffee ( Meinl Kaffee) and patisserie of the area, newspapers from Vienna and Berlin, live entertainment on select Saturdays and Sundays, and more.

Museum Café
German Fare “Beefs Up” Café Menu

11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

Inspired by the Biedermeier exhibition, the Museum Café adds a bit of German flavor to its regular menu. Among the new selections are Flammenkuchen (German-style pizza), Strauss Veal Bratwurst served with sauerkraut and German-style potato salad, and German wine, beers, and pastries.


It is said that Biedermeier was the era of the chair-and some stunning examples are available at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s exhibition store. Austrian craftsmen at John Leighton Ltd., a company based in the United Kingdom, have reproduced the elegant simplicity of the David Gilly chair, which is included in the exhibition and part of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Collection. The chair has sleek tapered legs and red Austrian upholstery. Crafted from black polished cherry wood, the chair has a striking silhouette.

A Biedermeier-inspired Blossom Back chair, similar to one in the Museum’s Collection and several on view in the exhibition, is also available. The Blossom Back chair from John Leighton Ltd., similarly crafted of cherry wood, has a fanned back that appears to blossom up from the seat, giving the chair its name.

Among the dramatic furniture from the Biedermeier period are signature floor clocks. Direct from the German manufacturer Kieninger Uhrenfabrik comes a statuesque and simple clock with a cherry burl finish in the Biedermeier style that resembles the Long Case Clock from 1820 in the Museum’s Collection.


Studio Printworks has created three wallpapers inspired by the Biedermeier wallpaper archives. The manually engraved, hand-printed wallpaper will appear on the gallery walls, providing a seamless Biedermeier-era setting for the works of art on view. While the wallpaper archive is extensive, Studio Printworks worked closely with the Museum to select three patterns that best represent the style and period. All three wallpapers are available for purchase in the exhibition store and have been integrated into Studio Printwork’s permanent line.


The postwar emphasis on the home and family life focused theories of interior design on the importance of creating a healthy environment. German polymath Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) set forth in his book Theory of Colours that certain colors, such as grey and green, contributed to one’s physical and mental well-being. Interior designers of the time incorporated his well-known theoretical studies into their work. With this in mind, the Museum has selected fabrics for a line of textile table runners and placemats along with a line of handbags, pouches, and totes. The Biedermeier-inspired fabric is produced by Backhausen, a textile mill in Vienna that wove the original design in the mid-nineteenth century, and is now being reproduced for the exhibition store.

Architex International, a partner in creating and importing the textiles for the exhibition store, strives to create design flexibility in its products by finding new avenues to create an appeal others frequently miss. Joint marketing and cross promotion are the inherent benefits of collaborating with the Museum and an international show of this caliber. Additionally, the Museum is in the talking stages of planning an Expo with participating Biedermeier designers and furniture manufacturers during the early months in 2007.


Looking to the rich patterns of Biedermeier textiles and ceramics in the exhibition, LFN Textiles has created two custom Biedermeier-inspired ribbons. The company in Indiana is known for its award-winning craftsmanship and for creating beautiful tapestries in miniature. Ribbons will be sold individually and featured on fingertip linen towels as well.


The exhibition store will feature a selection of matching earrings, pendants, and brooches, in gold and in silver, which highlight Friedrich von Amerling’s Young Girl painting. In addition to jewelry, a small porcelain jewelry box and pocket mirror will carry the Young Girl image. Jakob Alt’s painting View from the Artist’s Studio in Alservorstadt toward Dornbach is featured on the cover of the Biedermeier catalog; the image will also grace a ceramic mug, set of note cards, poster, and magnet.


Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity

This exhibition catalog showcases items from the first major North American exhibition of furniture, decorative objects, and fine art from the Biedermeier period (1815-1830). It reveals for the first time a clear definition of the aesthetic principles that form the Biedermeier style. The 400-page book contains 350 color images.

Perfect for giving, the hardcover edition catalog is also available as part of our Biedermeier Gift Set. Included are two Biedermeier exhibition admission vouchers and a $10 gift certificate from the Museum Store. This gift set is yours to give or enjoy for $85 (a $103 value).

Catalog prices

Hard cover $65/$58.50 Members

Soft cover $45/$40.50 Members

Gift set $85

A selection of items is available on the Milwaukee Art Museum’s online store at store.mam.org.

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