Vienna around the late 1800s and early 1900s was full of multitalented artists who spread their creative wings in various directions and endeavours (and presumably got away without doing the housework).
One such individual was Koloman Moser. An exhibition at the MAK museum pays tribute to his genius.
- Major exhibition for a key figure behind the Secession, Viennese Modernism and Jugendstil
- Reviews his artistic development with the help of hundreds of exhibits
- Open Dec 19, 2018 to Apr 22, 2019
- Requires an adult ticket* to the MAK (or one-time free entry with a Vienna Pass sightseeing pass)
- See also: Events in Vienna
What’s it all about?
The year 1918 stole various artistic greats from the world, including Schiele, Klimt, and Otto Wagner. Another was Vienna-born Koloman Moser, cofounder of both the Secession artist group (1897) and the Wiener Werkstätte workshop community (1903) that had such a massive influence on design and production over the following decades.
(Anonymous, Portrait Photograph of Koloman Moser, ca. 1903 © MAK)
Moser’s creative fingers poked into numerous pies in the world of graphic arts and design. Tableware, interior fittings, stamps, furniture, windows, posters, fashion, jewellery and much more all bore his name. As such, he played a critical role in the rejuvenation of Viennese art that gave birth to Jugendstil and Viennese Modernism.
Subtitled Universal Artist between Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann, the Koloman Moser exhibition at the MAK Museum of Applied Arts displays several hundred of his works, placing them in the context of that dynamic period of artistic change formed by the last decades of the Habsburg empire.
Mostly drawn from the MAK’s own collection, many items are on public view for the first time.
The displays form five thematic sections:
- Vienna as a Stage for the Arts – exploring the late 19th-century social, economic and artistic environment that shaped Moser
- The Unity of Form and Function – focusing on Otto Wagner and his credo of utility as a fundamental requirement of art
- Koloman Moser’s Early Years – well, not a lot of explanation needed, but this covers the late 19th century, as Moser begins to move away from realism in the visual arts
- The Unity of the Arts – presenting the Secession movement and Moser’s evolution into an artist active in diverse fields, joining and driving the trend toward the Gesamtkunstwerk and developing the Viennese style
- Farewell to the Unity of the Arts – in the final years of his life, Moser returns to his first artistic love: painting
When people think of Vienna around 1900, they think of those artists that have gained widespread international recognition. A Klimt painting can fetch US$150 million, a Moser painting a mere fraction of that. The MAK exhibition demonstrates, however, why the latter’s name also deserves its own page in the big book of art and design history.
Dates and tickets
The exhibition runs from Wednesday, December 19, 2018 to Monday, April 22, 2019. There is no extra fee for viewing the exhibition. Just get a normal entrance ticket on site or online* for the MAK museum (or you can go in for free with a Vienna Pass). The MAK opens Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm (10 pm on Tuesday nights).
The MAK is very good about providing information in English, and all labels and information posters for the Moser exhibition are bilingual.
How to get to the Koloman Moser exhibition
See the main MAK article for tips on public transport. If you’re walking around the Ring boulevard that’s home to many of Vienna’s iconic sights, you’ll bump into the museum to the southeast of the city centre, at one end of the Stadtpark city park.
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