For one Austrian couple, a house move led to a deep interest in the life and work of designer architect Otto Prutscher. This, in turn, led to the acquisition of his works and those of his contemporaries. The resultant Schedlmayer collection gets a deserved public platform in a Leopold Museum exhibition.
- Main focus is works by selected design giants of Vienna Modernism
- First-time the public can view the collection
- Runs Sept 10, 2021 – Feb 20, 2022
- Just a normal museum entrance ticket* required
- See also: Leopold Museum visitor & ticket info
(View of the exhibition The Schedlmayer Collection © Leopold Museum, Vienna; photo: Reiner Riedler)
With its long history and famous personalities, Vienna offers its population the chance to find themselves living in buildings where great art once saw the light of day. Even as a visitor, you sup a coffee somewhere and discover Mozart and Beethoven once performed in the same vaulted rooms.
Lived history had an impact on Hermi (1941-2018) and Fritz Schedlmayer (1939-2013), too, after they moved into Villa Rothberger in Baden in 1989. This pretty spa town is about a 45 minute drive from the centre of Vienna; Beethoven, incidentally, spent many summers there.
Villa Rothberger once belonged to a member of the same-named family, who ran a department store on Vienna’s Stephansplatz square in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Moriz Rothberger commissioned the architect, designer and artisan, Otto Prutscher, to completely overhaul the house and its interior in 1912. The result became a remarkable example of Wiener Moderne design.
The origins of their striking residence proved pivotal in driving the Schedlmayers’ interest in Prutscher and his colleagues, which eventually led to efforts to acquire relevant works. And so the extensive Schedlmayer collection began to take form.
(The couple also undertook considerable research into Prutscher’s life and works, since documented in a 672-page book published in late December 2019 under the editorial guidance of Claas Duit.)
Fast forward to 2021 and we have the opportunity to benefit from the Schedlmayer’s dedication: an exhibition at the Leopold Museum features numerous items from their acquisitions. This is the first time the collection has entered the public eye.
Prutscher’s works and designs obviously form a centrepiece, but the collection also covers other notable genre contemporaries, such as Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser.
Nor did the Schedlmayers limit their efforts to Vienna and turn-of-the-century design. Their collection of paintings, for example, includes significant works from artists representing Austrian Modernism and German Expressionism.
Tickets and dates
Peruse highlights of the Schedlmayer collection from September 10th, 2021 to February 20th, 2022. A normal entrance ticket* for the museum suffices to view all the temporary exhibitions inside.
If you enjoyed the designs by Prutscher, Moser, Loos, etc., then be sure to visit the Leopold Museum’s Vienna 1900 permanent exhibition.
And for more turn-of-the-century design, consider a trip to the MAK museum (which has an additional focus on the Wiener Werkstätte). The MAK actually hosted an Otto Prutscher exhibition in 2019/2020 and holds a major Josef Hoffmann retrospective, for example, from December 15th, 2021 to June 19th, 2022.
How to get to the exhibition
See the main article on the Leopold for travel tips. When you leave the museum, nip around the other side of the building and use the lift to walk across the roof (now the MQ Libelle viewing platform).
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna