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Enamel on copper
Base: 8.3 x 7.7 cm (3 1/4 x 3 1/16 in.); Body: 10.7 x 8.9 cm (4 3/16 x 3 1/2 in.)
Educational Purchase Fund 1930.71.1
The colorful enameled surface and stylized form of this feline bookend, one of a pair, express the child-like simplicity of its design.
Artisans working in Austria, especially in Vienna, during the years before the First World War embraced the concept that within every child is an artist and in every artist there is a child. This idea conveyed a sense of liberation from the strictures of formality and tradition. In the 1920s the Vienna Workshop (Wiener Werkstätte) promoted the work of prominent toy designers as serious expressions of art to be studied alongside other artistic genres such as painting and sculpture admired by adults. The colorful compositions and sense of whimsy in these designs for children reflected Viennese decorative art in general between the wars.
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