Josef Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) was one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession. He had previously worked for Otto Wagner during the construction of the public transport system. It was he who designed the Secession building where the group held its exhibitions.The artist's colony was located in Darmstadt, Germany. Ernest Ludwig, the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt gathered together art noveau artists to design a town that would incorporate art nouveau elements. It was his intent that such a colony would be modern, yet productive, thus bringing an economic boost to his lands.