Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) in Vienna - Part II
Otto Wagner′s ultimate masterpiece, and the most important Jugenstil building of Vienna is outside of the city: The Kirche am Steinhof was built for a mental hospital and still serves its original purpose. Back to the inner city: Just by the Hofburg you can find the "Schmetterlingshaus" ("House of the Butterfly"), a Jugendstil greenhouse full of - you guessed it - butterflies.
It was transferred from Schönbrunn to the Burggarten in front of the Albertina Art Museum. Even further inside Vienna you can watch the Engel Apotheke, a pharmacy with a Jugendstil mosaic in its fašade. Even more famous is the Anker Clock by the Hoher Markt Square, which attracts dozens of tourists every day at noon. Finally, the Karl-Borromäus-Church on the Zentralfriedhof Central Cemetery is somewhat inconsistent in its Jugendstil, but generally considered to be a building of some significance (I disagree, but fully admit that I am a layman and neither an art historian nor an architect).
For actual fine arts in the sense of painting, you should go the Schloss Belvedere, which has some works on the Jugendstil of Vienna. Or try the Leopold Museum in the MuseumsQuartier, with its impressive collection of classic modern art including many works by Gustav Klimt, a leading force of the Secession movement.
Supplementary Vienna Sights for Jugendstil Fans
Strolling around in Vienna and spotting the odd Jugendstil fašade can be rewarding, too. To finish your Jugenstil tour, stop by at the Postsparkasse, one of Vienna′s very few Art Deco buildings by Otto Wagner. Here you can see how the borders between these two styles are somewhat blurred and how Jugendstil developed on. In the inside of the Postsparkasse, there are usually temporary exhibitions on modern architecture.
For the craft and design part that I have mentioned above, go to the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum for Applied Arts), which has a large collection of both Jugendstil items and products of the Wiener Werkstätte ("Vienna Workshop"). This workshop was founded by Kolo Moser, who started as a Secession artist and later expanded his prolific artistic interest to all sorts of materials, items and techniques. The result can be seen in the MAK or in the windows of the many antique dealers of the First District.
A side-phenomenon of Vienna′s Jugendstil is the architecture of Adolf Loos, best witnessed at the Loos Haus at the Michaelerplatz Square. In his famous pamphlet "Ornament and Crime", Loos attacked both the style of the Ringstraße and Jugendstil for their fondness of decorations in architecture. He is one of the key contributors to a distinct Austrian tradition in modern architecture and probably the reason why so many architects from Austria feel as being nothing less but artists.
Return to "Vienna Jugendstil - Part I"
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