Otto Rapp, 2008
Adolf Böhm's Vienna Woods windows were first displayed at the Secession's Fifth Exhibition in 1899.
by Kempf-Hartenkampf, 1898
Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien
Otto Wagner ( 1841-1918) was born in Vienna's 14th District. He was an architect and an urban planner whose Jugenstil designs were still primarily set out to be utilitarian. His complete design for Vienna's public transit system included elevated and underground portions of railway, bridges, stations, even the covering over of part of the Vienna River which had flowed through the the city just beyond the city walls. He held the post of Professor of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Although not a founding member, he joined the Vienna Secession, leaving in 1905 with Gustav Klimt and others to form a group more in line with their artistic aims.
Steinhof Sanitarium, in 1900, was the largest mental hospital in Europe. The proposed church was for the use of patients and staff. Otto Wagner's design was accepted and and the building was completed in 1907. The stained glass windows and mosaics are by Koloman Moser, the angels are the work of Othmar Shimkowitz, and the statuary fronting the dome, representing St. Leopold and St. Severin, the patron saints of Lower Austria, are by Richard Luksch.
As the years progressed, Otto Wagner found his son to be less than he had hoped. Although Otto Emmerich became an established architect, he was not seen so by his father, who wrote in 1919: "I have never seen any body with so little artistic flair and with so little taste. This worries me greatly, for what are all my buildings going to look like if it is left to him to complete them?" Otto Emmerich died in 1945. He was buried in the family vault, which he himself had designed, in the Hietzing cemetary in Vienna.
Art historian and architect, Camillo Sitte (1843-1903) received much attention in 1889 with the publication of his book City Planning According to Artistic Principles. The richly illustrated book emphasized the creation of an irregular urban structure with spacious plazas enhanced by monuments and other aesthetic elements.
Georges-Eugene Hausmann was chosen by Emperor Napolean III in 1853 to modernize Paris. Hausmann designed the massive, straight boulevards that Paris is known for; partly to aid in commerce, partly as a defensive measure against barricade-building revolutionists.
Hans Richter (1843-1916) was a thorough and accomplished conducter who spent most of his career in England. Highly esteemed, he was chosen by Richard Wagner himself to conduct the first complete performance of Der Ring des Niebelungen in Bayreuth.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), one of Vienna's musical giants, was made conductor of the Vienna Court Opera in 1897. His tenure there was a stormy one. He was ackowledged as a genius in his presentation of opera, particularly in the works of Richard Wagner, Mozart, and Beethoven. He completed nine symphonies and shorter pieces that are considered some of the most important works of his day. His conversion to Catholicism notwithstanding, he was subjected to anti-Semitic attacks in the press and in Viennese society. Finally, due to the pressures of work and the attacks, he left the Court Opera in 1907. He left Vienna to conduct the New York Metropolitan Opera and later the New York Philharmonic. He died in 1911 from complications due to a defective heart valve.
Josef Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) was one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession. He had previously worked for Otto Wagner during the construction of the public transport system. It was he who designed the Secession building where the group held its exhibitions.The artist's colony was located in Darmstadt, Germany. Ernest Ludwig, the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt gathered together art noveau artists to design a town that would incorporate art nouveau elements. It was his intent that such a colony would be modern, yet productive, thus bringing an economic boost to his lands.
Looking for new income after the disastrous and costly wars against the Italians in 1859 and the Prussians in 1866, the Ministry of Finance planned, along with raising taxes, on selling large tracts of the Vienna Woods. Josef Schöffel (1832-1910) started a campaign in 1870 against the proposed sale. When bribes failed, the timber interests went so far as to plan a “hunting accident” for Schöffel, which was thwarted when he was warned of it. He continued his campaign and finally the government withdrew the planned sale at the end of 1872. The Preservation Act of 1873 did just that and the Vienna Woods today comprise a green belt of 1350 square kilometers. At right, a contemporary image of the “Savior of the Vienna Woods.”
Wagner’s Majolikahaus and adjoining Medallionhaus. Still private apartments, they overlook Vienna's outdoor market, the Naschmarkt, which sits atop the now underground portion of the Vienna River, covered by Wagner in his construction of the Stadtbahn system.
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was a private U.S. security guard and detective agency established by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. During the labor unrest of the late 19th and early 20th century, the Pinkerton Agency was hired to provide agents to infiltrate unions, to supply guards to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and sometimes to recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. The company still operates as Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations.
Venice in Vienna opened in the Prater in 1895. Oscar Maromek, a pupil of Otto Wagner, designed the attraction with replicas of Venetian buildings, navigable canals, and forty imported gondolas complete with gondoliers.
Braunau am Inn lies on the German border north of Salzburg. It has the dubious distinction of being the birthplace of Adolf Hitler.