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Everyday Art

Designed for Living
Grete Lihotzky (Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky)<br>Austrian, 1897-2000<br><i>Frankfurt Kitchen</i>, 1926-1930<br>Kitchen cabinetry and stove<br>Minneapolis Institute of Arts<br>Gift of Funds from the Regis Foundation
  Grete Lihotzky (Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky)
Austrian, 1897-2000
Frankfurt Kitchen, 1926-1930
Kitchen cabinetry and stove
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Gift of Funds from the Regis Foundation


This kitchen’s compact work space was designed back in the 1920s by a young woman, the Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. She wanted to modernize, simplify, and streamline everyday household tasks. Built-in, labeled aluminum bins with convenient handles and pouring spouts held dry provisions. A swiveling stool near the sink and window made it possible to prepare food under natural light. Continuous countertops and a built-in garbage drawer encouraged cleanliness. Other modern features include an adjustable ceiling light, a pass-through to the dining room, and a drop-down ironing board.

The museum’s Frankfurt Kitchen is one of more than ten thousand that were built for the Höhenblick apartment complex in Frankfurt, Germany. With two million soldiers returning home after World War I, German cities needed efficient, low-cost housing. The modern design of the Frankfurt Kitchen spread to housing developments in other German cities.

At that time, most German apartments had two rooms—a kitchen and a living room. The heart and soul of a home was the kitchen, where cooking, eating, bathing, and even sleeping took place, while the living-room was used only on special occasions. The small, modern Frankfurt Kitchen freed up space for family life and relaxation in the rest of the home.

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1. Twelve aluminum bins in the Frankfurt Kitchen stored dry foods.
2. This container, labeled “Feiner Zucker,” was for sugar.
3. The continuous counter and pullout garbage drawer made short work of cleanup.


September 2008