Completion of a multi-year restoration and conservation project and Gustav Klimt's upcoming 150th birthday are reason enough for the Museum of Applied Art/Contemporary Arts (MAK) to mount a new exhibition in 2012. This special show will present a set of major exhibits from the museum's vaults: Klimt's designs for the stunning mosaic which was installed in the dining hall of the Stoclet palace in Brussels. Each measuring around one by two meters, the nine blueprints for the Stoclet frieze were created in 1910 and 1911. Klimt used the designs to flesh out his vision of how the completed work would look. By making a series of changes to the 1:1 scale drawings, Klimt slowly arrived at his final design for this well-known work of art. During the course of the restoration and conservation work, these changes were meticulously documented to reveal more about his working methods. The exhibition also compares his instructions with the finished Wiener Werkstätte mosaic tiles and workshop samples.
Gustav Klimt's famous painting Nuda Veritas is the centerpiece of a special exhibition at the Theater Museum. The naked truth, in the form of a striking, two-meter tall woman, holds a mirror to the beholder. Nuda Veritas is part of the estate of the writer Hermann Bahr, which is held by the Austrian Theater Museum. Bahr was a friend of Klimt and a major patron of contemporary art. His essay Against Klimt was composed in response to the unrelenting criticism directed at the artist from several quarters.
The Wien Museum owns a peerless Klimt collection, which will go on public display in its entirety for the first time during the Klimt anniversary year. A multi-genre collection of around 400 sketches, masterpieces and humble studies provides some interesting angles on each phase of Klimt's creative development. The decision to put all of the works on show in one place will give visitors to the city an unparalleled overview of this versatile artist's output. The sketches will be complemented by a number of paintings including the museum's star exhibit, the Portrait of Emily Flöge (1912).
The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art has 350 textile samples from the estate of Emilie Flöge (1874-1952). Ms Flöge - Klimt's partner and muse - was the owner of Viennese haute couture salon "Schwestern Flöge" on Mariahilfer Strasse, a dressmakers which catered to the capital's high society. Many of her dazzling embroideries, delicate lacework, fine trims and art nouveau fabrics will be on show for the first time. The majority of the pieces in the collection have their roots in Southeastern Europe.
In mid-July a new exhibition at the Upper Belvedere entitled 150 Years Gustav Klimt will carry on where the Gustav Klimt/Josef Hoffmann: Pioneers of Modernism show at the Lower Belvedere (until March 4, 2012) left off.
Meanwhile at the Künstlerhaus, a jubilee exhibition will shine the light on the artistic and biographical milestones involving Gustav Klimt and what was then Central Europe's leading artists' association. Klimt was an active member of the Künstlerhaus from 1891 to 1897. Membership elevated Klimt into a different circle of society and saw him appointed to numerous committees responsible for commissioning public works. The Künstlerhaus archives include a wealth of documents, letters and photos relating to Klimt's life and work during this period.
- Gustav Klimt: Expectation and Fulfillment. Cartoons for the Palais Stoclet Mosaic Frieze, Mar 21-Jul 15, 2012, MAK Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna, www.mak.at
- Against Klimt. Nuda Veritas and her defender Hermann Bahr, May 10-Oct 29, 2012, Austrian Theater Museum, Lobkowitzplatz 2, 1010 Vienna, www.theatermuseum.at
- Klimt. The Wien Museum Collection, May 16-Sep 16, 2012, Wien Museum, Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna, www.wienmuseum.at
- Objects in Focus: the Emilie Flöge Fabric Sample Collection, May 25-Oct 14 2012, Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, Laudongasse 15-19, 1080 Vienna, www.volkskundemuseum.at
- 150 Years Gustav Klimt, July 12 2012-Jan 6, 2013, Upper Belvedere, Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Vienna, www.belvedere.at
- Gustav Klimt and the Künstlerhaus, Jul 6-Sep 2, 2012, Künstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna,
- Visit www.klimt2012.info/en for all the latest on Klimt exhibitions in Vienna in 2012