Steinhof Church by Otto Wagner
© WienTourismus/Karl Thomas

Vienna 2018: Beauty and the Abyss - Klimt.Schiele.Wagner.Moser.

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The period around 1900 was one of the most exciting ever in Vienna. The Austro-Hungarian double monarchy oscillated between beauty and the abyss. Numerous innovations in art, literature, architecture, music, psychology, philosophy, science and society characterized "Vienna Modernism". Artists were the pioneers. They prised open the encrusted Habsburg monarchy and dealt with the failure of liberal politics after the great stock market crash of 1873 in their works. Revolution arose in all disciplines. Until the horrors of the First World War swept the globe - a first turning point. The second followed with Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938.

Klimt, Schiele, Wagner and Moser were four important representatives of this art and culture epoch. The works of Klimt and Schiele were groundbreaking and still achieve premium prices throughout the world. The Belvedere and the Leopold Museum own the worlds biggest collections of the two painters (including Klimt's "The Kiss" and Schiele's "Wally Neuzil"). Wagner's buildings – above all the Post Savings Bank – were not only lovely to look at but also trendsetting. And they are still in use today, as can be seen by the many Stadtbahn rail stations (today U4 and U6). Moser was the first graphic designer. At a time when nobody knew the term "logo", he had already developed one. The Wiener Werkstätte, of which he was a co-founder, revolutionized the world of design from 1903 onward.

Many other towering intellects from around the turn of the last century were also of great importance and will be honored in 2018. After all, what would Vienna by without Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis? Or without Arnold Schönberg's twelve-tone music? Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos left their mark on Vienna's architecture. Berta Zuckerkandl invited politicians and intellectuals to her salon. And Gustav Mahler dusted off the venerable Vienna Court Opera.

In 2018, numerous museums will therefore focus not only on the four men (who died in 1918) but also on other personalities. These institutions include the Belvedere, MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Wien Museum, Leopold Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Literature Museum, Hofmobiliendepot (Imperial Furniture Collection), Jewish Museum Vienna, Arnold Schönberg Center, Ernst Fuchs Museum, Wittgenstein House, the Austrian Friedrich and Liilian Kiesler Private Foundation, the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien, the Theatre Museum, the House of Music, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute as well as the Klimt Villa. In addition, many certified tour guides track down signs of Vienna Modernism.

And there are still many of them in Vienna, especially in the city's architecture. Otto Wagner's wonderful Church of St. Leopold, his houses on Linke Wienzeile and the nearby Secession by Joseph Maria Olbrich are masterpieces of Modernism; Adolf Loos' house on Michaelerplatz and Josef Hoffmann's villas on the city's edge are stunning examples of modern architecture.

The Wiener Werkstätte, which closed in 1932, is still evident in Vienna. Many of the products designed by the artists of those days are still made: Woka Lamps Vienna manufactures exclusive luminaires according to original designs. The Viennese glass and lighting manufacturer Lobmeyr has classics such as the series "B" drinking glass by Josef Hoffmann in its product range. The Augarten Porcelain Manufactory also continues to implement its designs, including the famous melon service. And the Vienna Silver Factory offers flatware services and dishes to designs by Hoffmann and flatware by Otto Prutscher.


Exhibitions in 2018


  • "Klimt is not the end. Awakening in Central Europe”, March 22 to August 26, 2018, Lower Belvedere
  • "Egon Schiele – Ways of a collection", October 19, 2018 to February 17, 2019, Orangery

Leopold Museum

  • "Vienna around 1900! Klimt – Moser – Gerstl – Kokoschka", January 18 to June 10, 2018
  • Egon Schiele. The Jubilee show
    February 23 - November 4, 2018
    "Egon Schiele. The Jubilee show", February 23 to November 4, 2018
  • "Schiele – Brus – Palme", March 3 to June 11, 2018
  • "Gustav Klimt", June 22 to November 4, 2018
  • "Make me beautiful, Madame d'Ora. The photographer d'Ora 1907-1957", July 13 to October 29, 2018
  • "Moriz Nähr. Photography and Vienna Modernism", August 24 to October 29, 2018

MAK - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art

  • "Klimt's Magic Garden. A Virtual Reality Experience by Frederick Baker", February 7 to April 22, 2018
  • "Post Otto Wagner – From the Postal Savings Bank to Post-Modernism", May 30 to September 30, 2018
  • "Koloman Moser Universal Artist between Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann", December 19, 2018 to April 22, 2019

The Vienna Museum

  • "Otto Wagner", March 15 to October 7, 2018

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (Art History Museum)

  • "Stairway to Klimt Eye to Eye with Klimt + Nuda Veritas", February 13 to September 2, 2018

Literature Museum of the Austrian National Library

  • "Berg, Wittgenstein, Zuckerkandl. Leading figures of Vienna Modernism", March 22, 2018 to February 17, 2019

Hofmobiliendepot. Imperial Furniture Collection

  • "Wagner, Loos, Hoffmann. Furniture design of Vienna Modernism. Artists, Patrons and Producers", March 21 to October 7, 2018

Jewish Museum Vienna

  • "The place to be. Salons – Spaces of emancipation", May 30 to October 14, 2018

Arnold Schönberg Center

  • "Arnold Schönberg & Young Vienna", March 14 to June 29, 2018

Grillparzerhaus/Austrian State Archives

  • "Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Tractatus Odyssey (100 years of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)", October 15 to November 30, 2018

Ernst Fuchs Museum in the Otto Wagner Villa

  • "Old Viennese Salon Culture – Dazzling Stage for a Society", April 24 to September 30, 2018

Grillparzerhaus/Austrian National Archive

  • "Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Tractatus Odyssey" (100 years of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), October 15 to November 30, 2018

Austrian Friedrich and Lillian Kiesler private foundation

  • “Vienna 1924. Avant Garde Hotspot”, March 14 to June 1, 2018

House of Music. The Museum of Sound

  • "Vienna Modernism. A new musical era", February 22 to October 7, 2018

Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien

  • "Japonismus", October 10, 2018 to January 20, 2019

Theater Museum

  • "Applications. Koloman Moser and the stage", October 18, 2018 to April 22, 2019

Klimt Villa - Gustav Klimt’s Studio

  • "Klimt lost", May 5 to December 31, 2018

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography

  • "Young Vienna. Nature plus X", March 7, 2018 to April 27, 2019 (various locations)
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