Gustav Klimt and the Kunstschau 1908 exhibition
Client: Austrian Gallery Belvedere
Location: Vienna / Austria
Supervision: Horst Campman
On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the show is going to be revived in the Belvedere’s exhibition: as from October 2008, a part of the original exhibits - which will partly be presented in replicas of the former exhibition rooms and additional works by artists that were presented at the Kunstschau 1908 as well as documentary photographs, models, original plans, and a film, will serve to illustrate the details and dimensions of this extraordinary event. An architectural model will demonstrate the location of the Kunstschau premises within their urban context.
An authentic spatial experience is going to be conveyed by three halls to be reconstructed in their entirety: “Room 50”, with works by leading members of the Wiener Werkstätte, “Room 10”, with reproduced posters pasted directly onto the walls as they were then, and “Room 22” which was designed by Koloman Moser using major works by Gustav Klimt, the highlights of the show - both then and today. Among other works, Gustav Klimt presented Fritza Riedler (1906), Adele Bloch- Bauer I (1907), The Three Ages of Woman (1905), Danaë (1907/08) and his most famous work The Kiss (1908), which was acquired for the collection now housed in the Belvedere while the exhibition was still running.
Further exhibits come from the former rooms devoted to “Theatre Art”: Richard Teschner’s monumental glass mosaics and puppets, stage designs by Alfred Roller, and a two-metre-high costume design by Emil Orlik for Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, staged by Max Reinhardt. For “Room 27”, Otto Prutscher had designed an impressive wall ensemble of marble, ornamental brass sheet, and a glazed display cabinet; its individual parts have been assembled from all over Europe and now appear reunited. From the original room “Art for Children”, Magda Mautner von Markhof’s doll’s house has been made available as a loan; the “General Painting” section is represented by works of Adolf Hölzel, Wilhelm List, Leopold Blauensteiner, Maximilian Kurzweil, Broncia Koller-Pinell, Elena Luksch-Makowska and others.
Research conducted for this exhibition has led to a new scholarly approach to numerous artists who appeared in the Kunstschau and have largely fallen into oblivion today, such as the sculptor Franz Metzner, to whose work the Kunstschau devoted two rooms.