Steinhof Church by Otto Wagner

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 (the wonderful “Kassensaal” can only be viewed until 30 June 2018) – 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 as well as the Klimt Villa and the House of Music. 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”, 22 March to 26 August 2018, Lower Belvedere
  • "Egon Schiele – Ways of a collection", 10 October 2018 to 17 February 2019, Orangery

MAK - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art

  • "Koloman Moser", 20 December 2018 to 22 April 2019

The Vienna Museum

  • "Otto Wagner", 15 March to 8 October 2018

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (Art History Museum)

  • "The plain truth. Klimt confronted", probably March to September 2018
  • Stairway to Klimt (Klimt bridge in the stairway of the KHM), 13 February to 2 September 2018

Literature Museum of the Austrian National Library

  • "Berg, Wittgenstein, Zuckerkandl. Three central figures of Vienna Modernism", April 2018 to February 2019

Hofmobiliendepot. Imperial Furniture Collection

  • "Wagner, Loos, Hoffmann. Furniture design of Vienna Modernism. Artists and producers", 21 March - 7 October 2018

Jewish Museum Vienna

  • "Arnstein, Todesco, Zuckerkandl. Hostesses and their salons between art and politics", 24 April to 30 September 2018

Arnold Schönberg Center

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

Leopold Museum

  • "Egon Schiele. Expression and Poetry", February to end of October 2018

Ernst Fuchs Museum in the Otto Wagner Villa

  • "The salon culture of old Vienna - glamorous stage of a society", June to September 2018

Bulgarian Cultural Institute Wittgenstein House

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

Austrian Friedrich and Lillian Kiesler private foundation

  • “Vienna 1924. Aspects of the Avant Garde”, 14 March - 1 June 2018
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