• Jacques and Jacqueline Groag, Architect and Designer: Two Hidden Figures of the Viennese Modern Movement
    Ursula Prokop
    Laura McGuire and Jonee Tiedemann
    DoppelHouse Press, 2019
    DoppelHouse Press

Jacques Groag, Doppelhaus 45-46, Werkbundsiedlung, 1932, Wien 13, Austria. Photo: Martin Gerlach Jr. Courtesy of Wien Museum.

Ursula Prokop’s meticulously-researched history restores architect and designer Jacques and Jacqueline Groag to their rightful places in the pantheon of Viennese Modernists. The couple studied and worked with Ludwig Wittgenstein, Adolf Loos, Paul Engelmann, Josef Hoffmann, and Franz Čižek, as well as others at the Wiener Werkstätte. Prokop explores the couple’s contributions, beginning with the Groags’ individual careers and early collaborations in the 1930s, to their works in pre-Reich Vienna, Czechoslovakia, and later in postwar Britain for exhibitions, monuments, furniture and textile design. Jacques Groag’s solutions to Vienna’s housing crisis, his painterly use of materials and color, his ingenious space-saving furniture, and insights into the Wittgenstein house construction are discussed as well as Jacqueline Groag’s later rise as an influential designer in Britain creating textiles for Heal’s, for British Rail and airlines, and—as a Royal Designer for Industry in 1984—even a dress for the future-queen Elizabeth II.

Ursula Prokop, a Viennese art and architecture historian, has written several books and regularly lectures on her research in the fields of architecture and cultural history of the early–mid 20th century. She has contributed to numerous publications, collaborative studies, and research for exhibitions. In addition to writing the definitive biography and analysis of Jacques and Jacqueline Groag and their work, she is the author of an acclaimed biography of Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein and also authored the first comprehensive biography of Rudolf Perco, the controversial model student of Otto Wagner and Prix-de-Rome winner of 1910 who became a Nazi architect. Her research has focused on Viennese business buildings 1910–14, Adolf Loos and Karl Kraus, Margaret Wittgenstein, the Jewish legacy in Viennese architecture, and she has cooperated on several research projects with the Vienna Architectural Centre/AzW for the Database of Viennese Architects, 1780–1945.

Laura McGuire is assistant professor of architecture at the University of Hawaii’s School of Architecture in Manoa. She specializes in early- and mid-century architecture and design history with a combined PhD in those fields from University of Texas, Austin. A Fulbright Scholar in Austria in 2009, she has spent the last decade working on exhibitions, articles, book chapters, and other editorial projects that reflect on Vienna’s unique cultural contributions through immigrant and exiled cultural figures, including designer Paul T. Frankl, architect and artist Frederick Kiesler, and philosopher Otto Neurath.

Jonee Tiedemann is a certified translator and interpreter from Germany who lives in Argentina, has studied in the United States, and works between the three languages: German, Spanish, and English. He specializes in architecture and design books, as well as self-published German indie literature.

Founded in 2011, DoppelHouse Press is an independent publisher with a focus on architecture, design, and art, as well as histories of immigration and exile. We began our work looking at the developing styles and attitudes within 20th-century Central European modernism, which is intertwined with the perspective of exiles, for many of whom statelessness and belonging to broader cultural and aesthetic movements preceded their physical dislocation. Our mission is to bring together a plurality of voices through biography, memoir, critical texts and select fiction in order to examine the complex dynamics between sociopolitical forces and aesthetic forms; to present specific issues like human rights, free expression, and personal liberties; and to explore existential truths. Our books hinge around art and bravery, conviction and perseverance, as well as circumstances and critical thought that have driven people to seek to build or create better lives for themselves and subsequently for others.