Neuland. Israeli artists of Austrian origin
March 14 to May 4, 1997
”Neuland. Israeli artists of Austrian origin” portrays Austrian emigrés and refugees working in the most diverse artistic professions - as visual artists, architects, writers, musicians, actors, directors, dancers etc. - in contemporary Israel. In the context of a project spanning several years, the photographer and film-maker Alisa Douer has researched the biographies and destinies of these people and has interviewed and portrayed them. In this exhibition, she will present the results of her research through photographic portraits and short biographies, introducing each artist by means of an object, either one typical example of his or her Oeuvre (paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, architectural models, …) ore something rather personal. In all, over 100 persons engaged on the cultural sector will be presented; among them are painters such as Shmuel Katz or Yosl Bergner, musicians such as Menahem Breuer or Edith Kraus, or writers and journalists such as Jeshajahu Ben Porat, Amos Elon, Teddy Kollek, Alice Schwarz-Gardos or Ari Rath. The exhibition has been organized with the help of the Federal Ministries of Science and Foreign Affairs and is sponsored by Mobil Oil Austria. The Exilbibliothek at the Literaturhaus in Vienna has placed numerous documents and loans at our disposal.
Curators: Gabriele Kohlbauer-Fritz, Alisa Douer
Emil Orlik. Prague - Vienna - Berlin (1870-1932)
May 16 to July 13, 1997
The Jewish Museum presents a comprehensive retrospective of the œuvre of Emil Orlik. The painter, graphic artist and craftsman Emil Orlik was born in Prague in 1870, the son of a Jewish tailor. He studied in Munich and soon established contacts in Vienna, where he joined the Secession movement already in 1899 and cultivated the friendship of colleagues like Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. The artist was also a key contributor to the production of Wiener Werkstätte. After his Viennese period, he enjoyed a successful career in Berlin, where he died in 1932.
Orlik distinguished himself above all as a graphic artist of the Jugendstil era, but also won recognition for his portraits. Around the turn of the century, numerous journeys took him to the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Scotland and Paris. Stylistically, his artistic development was decisively influenced by his travels to Japan, which he began around 1900. It was in the course of these journeys that Orlik familiarized himself with the technique of coloured woodcuts; his works from that period reflect Japanese elements. A second long trip in 1911 took him not only to Japan, but also to China, India and Egypt. These journeys had a profound influence on Orlik’s œuvre: one section of the exhibition deals with his travelling impressions. In addition to these and the engravings, Emil Orlik won his greatest fame for his portraits. Likenesses of Gerhard Hauptmann, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and other celebrities document his popularity. His designs, bookplates and illustrations are amongst the best-known examples of 20th-century commercial art.
The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of all creative stages of Orlik’s œuvre and links the artist’s career to his relationship with his most important patrons, the Gomperz family. The show features several portraits, numerous graphic works and many letters, thus also providing interesting information about the patronage extended by the Gomperz family as representatives of the wealthy Jewish haute bourgeoisie.
Curator: Otmar Rychlik
Oskar Marmorek, Architect and Zionist (1863-1909)
June 11 to September 14, 1997
“All things that are to become reality must first be dreams in the mind of their creator. A project for a house, too, is first and foremost a dream in the mind of the architect”, wrote Oskar Marmorek both on his work for the Zionist movement and as an architect in 1903, when he was at the top of his profession and at the same time one of the leading personalities of Zionism, along with Theodor Herzl.
Marmorek was a visionary both as an architect and Zionist - a visionary like Theodor Herzl, whom he greatly admired. He was also a writer-architect who was given the possibility to actually construct his dreams. Born in Galicia in 1863, he studied architecture in Vienna and was among the leading designers of the big late 19th-century exhibitions in the Vienna Prater. These temporary structures, such as the show “Venice in Vienna”, enabled Marmorek to give full reign to his imagination. As an architect, he designed numerous apartment blocks in Vienna and Budapest which to this day are striking features in the urban outlook of these cities - the best-known examples in Vienna are the “Rüdiger Hof” on the Wien River embankment, near the Naschmarkt, and the “Nestroy Hof” in Leopoldstadt, the second municipal district of Vienna. These structures are typical of Marmorek’s very personal, unmistakable style which, it is said, impressed even Otto Wagner, one of the most distinguished architects of that era.
In 1896, Theodor Herzl’s tract “Der Judenstaat” was published; the First Zionist Congress was held one year later in Basle. These two events formed a caesura in Marmorek’s life: from that moment on he devoted all his energies to the cause of Zionism. On 6 April, 1909, Marmorek shot himself in a fit of mental confusion on his father’s grave at Vienna’s Central Cemetery. With his death, Zionism lost one of its staunchest advocates and pioneers of the foundation of the State of Israel. The exhibition at the Jewish Museum presents both aspects of Oskar Marmorek: while the documentary section emphasizes his architectural œuvre, the biographical part of the show also focuses on his Zionist activities.
Curator: Markus Kristan
Masks. Approaching the Shoah
July 25 to October 26, 1997
”Masks” is neither a historic exhibition on the methodical destruction by the Nazi regime, nor it shows documentation of systematic and organized mass killings. It concentrates on individuals and raises questions about dignity of human beings and the relativism of ethical values. It is an attempt to show what the holocaust really was: murder.
The exhibition presents not only historical documents, but also 29 death masks of prisoners murdered in concentration camps. On the basis of this exhibition concept, the Austrian artist Valie Export presents steles in four selected places in the city center (in front of the Maria Theresa monument, on Michaelerplatz, on the Graben and in Dorotheergasse in front of the museum) referring to the installation-like exhibition at the museum.
Curator: Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, Hannes Sulzenbacher
Max Liebermann. Works 1900-1918
November 7, 1997 to January 18, 1998
On the occasion of the 150th birthday of Max Liebermann, the Jewish Museum Vienna presents a comprehensive exhibition documenting the artist’s œuvre from 1900 to approximately 1918. This show features a selection of exceptional paintings from a phase in Liebermann’s career that is commonly referred to as the “years of mastery”. His works from that period above all reflect the world of the haute bourgeoisie shortly after the turn of the century: scenes from beer-gardens and city cafés, the so-called high society and its pastimes, such as seaside holidays, polo and tennis. These paintings are expressions of modern lifestyles during an era of economic and cultural brilliance, a process in which the Jewish haute bourgeoisie played a major role.
“Neither better nor worse, just different” - that was Max Liebermann’s judgment when he first presented his works alongside French impressionist paintings. This self-evaluation also serves as a point of reference for the exhibition organized by the Jewish Museum Vienna for this German impressionist par excellence. The show, however, equally focuses on the citizen Max Liebermann who after the National Socialist takeover, at the end of his life, suddenly found himself an outsider, a pariah in the world of art, suffering a heavy blow to his prestige and reputation as an artist.
Max Liebermann owned an extensive collection of French impressionists: numerous works by Manet, paintings by Degas, Cézanne, Renoir, Pissarro, Daumier, Monet adorned his home in Pariser Platz near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate as well as his elegant villa on Lake Wannsee. Like his own works, these paintings were scattered all over the world after the National Socialists’ rise to power. Liebermann’s collection will be documented in its entirety in the catalogue published by DUMONT Verlag; in the exhibition, it will be represented by two works by Manet (including the famous “Asparagi” owned by the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne), one by Renoir and one by Pissarro. Liebermann’s artistic originality is especially highlighted by involving some of his most outstanding works in a dialogue with these French impressionist paintings. The Jewish Museum Vienna is the ideal location for a presentation of this dimension: the elegant Bel Etage of Palais Eskeles, a typical Viennese city palace, perfectly emulates the atmosphere and flair of Max Liebermann’s house in Berlin’s Pariser Platz.
Curator: Tobais G. Natter