Dallas Museum of Art: Goppion’s display case for the Wittgenstein Vitrine

11 Dec 2014

Among the numerous treasures protected by Goppion display cases, now there’s the splendid vitrine, which is the centerpiece of the show Modern Opulence in Vienna. The Wittgenstein Vitrine, which was inaugurated last month at the Dallas Museum of Art (from Nov. 15, 2014 to Oct. 18, 2015). The cabinet, which is over a meter and a half in height, is in solid silver and was created by Viennese artist Carl Otto Czeschka, who was a member of the Wiener Werkstätte, an exuberant group of Austrian artists, architects and designers. The piece was highlighted in the section dedicated to the group at the 1908 exhibition Kunstschau.

According to the director of the museum in Dallas, “The vitrine represents a significant moment in European design, and contributes to the understanding of the evolution of design aesthetics in the 20th century.” The use of precious materials and the stylized decorative details – caryatids, all kinds of leaves, birds and squirrels – shows the influence of artist Gustav Klimt, who was Czescha’s partner and whose paintings were also featured in 1908.

Steel magnate Karl Wittgenstein - who belonged to one of the richest and most influential families in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – purchased the vitrine at the 1908 show. It changed ownership over the years and was recently acquired by the American museum.

After careful restoration by the museum’s curators, today the vitrine is displayed in a case made especially by Goppion using its System Q, which allows for the most advanced technical and technological components to be assembled in ever new and different shapes. Thus Goppion’s cases are able to meet the client’s needs and expectations and can be perfectly integrated into a museum’s architectural elements.

To fully realize our objective, we created a prototype of the case and a mock-up of the original (which is part of our usual working process) to be placed inside in order to make sure everything worked properly.

Constructed to guarantee perfect air-tightness and equipped with a passive-control system for relative humidity (with gel compartment and Zorflex active carbon cloth filter), the display case features elegant, minimalist design as well as an LED lighting system with spotlights from the base and the ceiling that highlight particular decorative elements and the preciousness of the materials on display.