Around 1900, Vienna was a city of vibrant, stimulating intellectual life, a dynamic capital of elite’s that did pioneering work in many fields. Otto Wagner remarked in 1905 that “in spite of unfavourable conditions, Vienna is marching at the head of cultural nations”. In a similar vein, international critics noted that Vienna was virtually unsurpassed in the sheer wealth of modern architecture that it had to offer at the time.

Gustav Klimt and his adherents left the traditionalist guild of fine artists in 1897 and founded their own association (“Secession”). Josef Maria Olbrich built them a house that was a Gesamtkunstwerkin its own right. Otto Wagner put his stamp on architectural Vienna, achieving a break-through for the new style with his Wienzeile houses and constructing stations of the new metropolitan railway in the Jugendstil. Critics, including Hermann Bahr, soon made their appearance, called to the scene by the new style’s rapid success.

The new movement, which was joined by Otto Wagner and Josef Hoffmann and had Max Fabiani among its ranks, cut down on décor and advocated the sparing use of geometric and disciplined ornaments, while maintaining the claim to create a Gesamtkunstwerk. Vienna’s foremost building from this phase is Otto Wagner’s Postal Savings Bank. But it was Adolf Loos who was most persistent in moving towards Modernism: he rejected all ornaments and even turned against the Gesamtkunstwerk concept.

Nevertheless, Modernism was to remain of marginal importance for Viennese architecture over the next decades. A new style known as Heimatstil prevailed, which was rooted in the Biedermeier period. A major representative of this movement that consciously returned to the past was Leopold Bauer, who succeeded Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts. 

Image artist function date
Max Fabiani architect 1865-1962
Franz and Hubert Gessner architects 1879-1975 / 1871-1943
Josef Hackhofer architect 1863-1917
Josef Hoffmann architect and designer 1870-1956
Gustav Klimt painter 1862-1918
Adolf Loos architect, designer, cultural philosopher 1870-1933
Kolo Moser designer 1868-1918
Friedrich Ohmann architect 1858-1927
Joseph Maria Olbrich architect 1867-1908
Josef Plecnik architect 1872-1957
Otto Wagner architect 1841-1918
Cover Author Description date Link
Frederike Demattio Jugendstil Guide Wien
Über 100 Bauwerke laden die Leser dieses City Guides zu einer Entdeckungsreise durch die Architektur der Jahrhundertwende ein und zeigen anhand von kurzen Texten, welch wesentlichen Beitrag die Wiener Baukunst zur Entstehung der »Modernen Architektur« geleistet hat. Der Bogen spannt sich dabei von der Secession über die Otto-Wagner-Kirche bis zum Palmenhaus im Burggarten. Die übersichtliche Gestaltung und die wunderbaren Fotos machen diesen neuen Stadtführer zu einem unentbehrlichen Begleiter durch das Wien um 1900.
Metroverla ISBN: 978-3-99300-007-3
2010
Network News Vienna

Monet · Van Gogh · Klimt The 2018 autumn exhibition in the Kunstforum is devoted to “Japomanie” – the West’s passion for the aesthetics and world of images of the Far East. The exhibition traces its development, starting with the fascination for the exotic and the new and the first stirrings in the 1860s to… Read more »

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In the Koloman Moser-anniversary year, the Theatermuseum exhibits previously little known stage creations of this versatile “jack of all trades”. In addition to the overall show in the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Moser’s works for the intimate cabaret stage as well as the grand opera set will be presented, like for… Read more »

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Network News Vienna

Hidden Treasures shines the spotlight on central works from the Leopold Museum which have not been exhibited for a long time due to their precarious state of preservation. The presentation affords exciting insights into the many facets of the collection, which includes paintings by Tina Blau, Kolo Moser and Anton Kolig, graphic works by Lovis… Read more »

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Network News Vienna

The Leopold Museum houses the world’s largest and most eminent compilation of works by Egon Schiele as well as an equally unique collection of masterpieces of Viennese art around 1900. The exhibition KLIMT – MOSER – GERSTL showcases select works by the main exponents of Viennese Jugendstil, Gustav Klimt and Koloman Moser, as well as… Read more »

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Network News Vienna
19/12/2018 > 22/04/2019
Exhibition

Exhibition Koloman Moser at the MAK in Vienna

Universal Artist between Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann On the centenary of the death of Koloman Moser (1868–1918), the MAK is hosting a large exhibition to showcase his wide-ranging oeuvre, which covers the disciplines of painting and graphic design, applied art, interior design, fashion, and scenography. More informationPicture: Koloman Moser © MAK Wien

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Network News Vienna

Female artists in Vienna from 1900 to 1938 Today, hardly anyone knows who they were, even though they made a part of art history: artists such as Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Helene Funke, and Erika Giovanna Klien contributed significantly to Viennese Modernism and artistic trends that manifested after the First World War. To commemorate these artists, their… Read more »

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Network News Vienna

In 2018, 100 years after his death, a special exhibition is dedicated to the central artist of the Leopold Museum’s collection, Egon Schiele (1890–1918): unique in its combination of paintings, works on paper and archival material, the exhibition touches upon the most important themes in the artist’s oeuvre: first of all, his self-confident breaking with… Read more »

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Network News Vienna

Birth of Modernism With its newly conceived presentation of the collection, the Leopold Museum is creating an opulent tableau which affords uniquely rich and complex insights into the fascination of Vienna around 1900 and the atmosphere of this vibrant time. Around the turn of the century, the Danube metropolis was the capital of both the… Read more »

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Network News Vienna

Expressionist, Migrant, European – A retrospective The Leopold Museum is dedicating one of the most comprehensive retrospectives to date to Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), once dubbed the “chief wildling” among artists. Featuring some 260 exhibits, including key works from international collections as well as works that have rarely or never been shown before, the exhibition’s curator… Read more »

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Network News Vienna Josef Hoffmann, Chaise longue, Model no. 670 “Sitting Machine”, Vienna, ca.1905 ©MAK, Georg Mayer

To commemorate Thonet’s 200th anniversary, the MAK is presenting a major exhibition on modern furniture, in which the signature bentwood furniture of the world famous company is placed in the context of contemporary technological, typological, aesthetic, and historical developments. Thonet’s bentwood chairs are compared with chairs made of tubular steel and plastic as well as with classic office chairs and avant-garde furniture experiments.

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