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Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture, and Turn-of-the-20th-Century Culture

“To every age its art; to every art its freedom.” This manifesto of the Secession Movement is our invitation to explore the rich culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna. The Habsburg capital’s transition from a world of aristocratic conservatism to a center of avant-garde modernism transpired in the city’s famous coffeehouses within just a few decades, marking an explosion of creativity in art, literature, music, philosophy, and science. First, we will survey the 19th-century background of “old Vienna” and the comfortable Biedermeier lifestyle of the waltz city. We then will turn to the innovations in art and architecture that take us from the middle-class successes of the Ringstrasse era to the bolder work of Secession artists, including Otto Wagner, Gustav Klimt, and Josef Hoffmann. We will conclude with a look at the starker work of the expressionists Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka on the eve of World War I.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Knowledge of the rich culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna
  • An understanding of Vienna’s transition from a world of aristocratic conservatism to a center of avant-garde modernism

Ideal for

  • The curious and creative
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.