HGSCEA at CAA 2023 New York


Vienna 1900/Vienna 1938

Chairs: Megan Brandow-Faller and Laura Morowitz

Friday, February 17, 2023
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
New York Hilton Midtown – 3rd Floor – Mercury Ballroom

During the last three decades Viennese 1900 has exploded in popular culture and academia: in countless exhibitions dedicated to painting, architecture, and the applied arts, in myriad books on every well-known Viennese designer, and in the “Klimtomania” that covers umbrellas, scarves and shopping bags. Yet the popularity of Viennese Modernism and the commercial “Vienna 1900” industry simultaneously obscures a problematic series of historical erasures and gaps. All too often, the glittering culture of “Vienna 1900” is studied in isolation from the political exigencies of 1938 and thereafter. Our panel will interrogate the intentional neglect and repression of specific figures, organizations and movements who have faded in the shadow of larger Viennese superstars and a now familiar narrative, or who have been intentionally white-washed. The papers will call attention to some of the “absences” linked directly to the years of 1938-1945, to the “de-Jewification” of the Viennese street scape, to the careful art historical narrative surrounding certain careers, to the reshaping of a “Vienna-in-Exile” within the artistic establishment of post-war New York. In addition, we will show how the very celebration of Vienna 1900 cannot be understood apart from the uses to which it was put following the war,  for it cannot be denied, and indeed is richly ironic, that the same period suppressed in Nazi discourse has been used to suppress Austria’s turbulent Nazi past.


Nathan J. Timpano, University of Miami, Suppressing Max Oppenheimer’s Gay and “Jewish Traces”

Steven Beller, Independent Scholar, Washington D.C., As if they were never there: the Viennese cityscape and the ethnic cleansing of memory

Frances Tanzer, Clark University, The Emigration of Egon Schiele: Jewish Refugees and Austrian Modernism in New York