When war broke out in 1914, the painting Danse Macabre of 1809 (1908) by Austrian artist Albin Egger-Lienz (1868-1926) was seen to have been a prescient forewarning of what was to come. An exhibition opening at the Belvedere Palace Orangery will focus on Egger-Lienz’s artistic development and shine a light on various interpretations of his work. The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the centenary marking Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bertha von Suttner’s death are the inspiration for a joint exhibition project hosted by Vienna, Brno and Sarajevo. Human Dignity [Working Title] will provide food for thought at MUSA, which is home to the City of Vienna’s art collection. The exhibition will then go on show in Sarajevo at the National Gallery of Bosnia-Herzegovina from June 28, 2014 before opening in Brno’s Dům umění (House of Art) in the autumn.
Doomsday – Jewish Life and Death in World War I at the Jewish Museum Vienna will provide an opportunity to explore the far-reaching consequences of the First World War and the end of the old order for Jews in Austria-Hungary. Under the monarchy they were known as the most loyal of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s subjects – a ruler who guaranteed their legal rights and rejected anti-semitism. Around 350,000 Jewish soldiers served in World War I. The Eastern front laid waste to the biggest area of Jewish settlement, in Galicia. This exhibition looks at the biographies of various soldiers, politicians, rabbis, artists, revolutionaries and pacifists – including a significant number of women. While the vast majority of exhibitions in the Austrian capital during the 2014 anniversary year will focus on the Sarajevo assassination and its devastating consequences, the Weltmuseum Wien (formerly the Museum of Ethnology) will instead be taking a look at the Austrian heir to the throne’s journey around the world in 1892/93. Franz is here! Franz Ferdinand’s Journey Around the World opens up a number of new and fascinating insights into the world of this complex and highly divisive character. Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este returned from his travels with an impressive haul of more than 14,000 objects collected over a period of just ten months, just under 10,000 of which are in the Weltmuseum Wien collection.
The Austrian National Library exhibition To My Peoples! The First World War 1914-1918 examines the historical interplay between euphoria and soberness, heroism and bereavement, propaganda and misery, while juxtaposing life at the front lines with the everyday wartime experience of women and children. Many items from the War Collection of the former court library will go on display for the first time in the library’s State Hall on Josefsplatz. Opening on May 8, 2014 at the Technical Museum, War and Technology examines the impact of the conflict in an exhibition centered on the front line, everyday life in wartime, and the propaganda war. World War I broke out just a short time before the museum was scheduled to open, so a look at the origins of the conflict also touches on the museum’s early days.
The Leopold Museum’s Nevertheless Art! Austria 1914-1918 uses various masterpieces, photographs, handwritten documents and other contemporary sources to cast light on the fate of various Austrian artists during this period, with the war-time experiences of Egon Schiele, Albin Egger-Lienz and Anton Kolig providing a particular focus. Works by contemporary artists based in some of the countries that fought against the Austro-Hungarian empire provide a thematic link to the present day. On 28 July 1914 the war press office was established in Vienna following the declaration of war on Serbia. This made it possible for the regime to directly influence public opinion, with war reporting incorporated into military structures, and the press continually supplied with dispatches. Special Edition! The Media and the War 1914-1918, at the Palais Porcia, has been organised by the Federal Chancellery and the Austrian State Archive to mark the 100th anniversary of these historic events.
The Museum of Military History will open redesigned exhibition rooms covering World War I on June 28, 2014. A chronological guide to the war will be accompanied by illuminating exhibits on important geographical areas and the key themes of the time. Thanks to the copious collections from the 1914-18 period, the museum is able to display various unique exhibits, including the uniform worn by Archduke Franz Ferdinand when he was assassinated in Sarajevo, and the car he was riding in. World War I was the first war that involved the civil population on such a massive scale. The city became the “home front” and its inhabitants participated in a war that, although being fought far away from Vienna, had a direct impact on the life of each individual citizen. The exhibition World War I in Vienna – City Life in Photography and Graphic Art at the Wien Museum Karlsplatz will look more closely at the “home front” from a variety of different perspectives.
- Danse Macabre. Egger-Lienz and the War, Mar 7-Jun 6, 2014, Belvedere – Orangery, Lower Belvedere, Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna, www.belvedere.at
- Human Dignity [Working Title], Mar 25-May 31, 2014, MUSA Museum Start Gallery Artothek, Felderstrasse 6-8, 1010 Vienna, www.musa.at
- Doomsday – Jewish Life and Death in World War I, Apr 2-Sep 9, 2014, Jewish Museum Vienna, Palais Eskeles, Dorotheergasse 11, 1010 Vienna, www.jmw.at
- Franz is here! Franz Franz Ferdinand's journey around the world, Apr 9-Nov 2, 2014, Weltmuseum Wien, Neue Burg, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna, www.weltmuseumwien.at
- My Peoples! The First World War 1914-1918, Apr 10-Nov 2, 2014, State Hall of the Austrian National Library, Josefsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna, www.onb.ac.at
- War and Technology, May 8-Dec 12, 2014, Museum of Technology, Mariahilferstrasse 212, 1140 Vienna, www.technischesmuseum.at
- Art Nevertheless! Austria 1914-1918, May 9-Sep 15, 2014, Leopold Museum, MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien, www. leopoldmuseum.org
- The Media and the War 1914-1918, Jun 2-Oct 31, 2014, Palais Porcia, Herrengasse 23, 1010 Vienna, www.oesta.gv.at
- Museum of Military History, Arsenal, Objekt 1, 1030 Vienna, www.hgm.or.at
- World War I in Vienna – City Life in Photography and Graphic Art, Sep 18, 2014-Jan 11 2015, Wien Museum, Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna, www.wienmuseum.at