„It is the mission of this museum to trace the genuine, here and in the rest of the world, to show it, to confront it with works made by others, and to preserve it, so that the thread to culture, already ominously thin, will not get torn, for the genius that lives in our environment is of sensitive delicacy and needs a protective and promoting hand.“
Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975), who already enjoyed international renown as a young sculptor in Vienna in the late 1920s and 1930s, exercised a formative influence on Austrian sculpture after 1945 as both an artist and a teacher. In 1963, his first large retrospective was staged at the 20er Haus. After Wotruba’s death, his widow and heir attended to his extensive artistic estate. When she had passed away, this task was taken over by the Fritz Wotruba Society in 1985. In 2007, the sculptor’s estate was entrusted to the Fritz Wotruba Private Foundation: some 500 works in stone, bronze, and plaster, 2,500 drawings, 1,500 prints, and 14 oil paintings by Wotruba, as well as the estate’s archives and documentation.
In 2008, the Fritz Wotruba Copyright Collecting Society was founded. The Fritz Wotruba Private Foundation and the Fritz Wotruba Copyright Collecting Society have now transferred Fritz Wotruba’s artistic estate to the Belvedere for a period of twelve years. The Belvedere presents Wotruba’s works at the 21er Haus in the form of permanent and temporary exhibitions and provides storage, archival, and office facilities to the Foundation. The Fritz Wotruba Copyright Collecting Society contributed the amount of 1.5 million euros (1 million euros during construction phase I) to the costs involved in the construction and equipment of the respective rooms and floor space. The first Fritz Wotruba exhibition at the 21er Haus has been curated by Wilfried Seipl and Gabriele Stöger-Spevak and designed by Arno Grünberger. The future programme will be organized by the Belvedere.
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