Completed Projects

This section provides access to the outcomes of completed research projects, including image databases and interactive visualizations concerning Austrian artists' associations and groups such as the Vienna-based Hagenbund and the Nötsch Circle.

Knowledge Memory
o. T. (detail) from the series Knowledge Memory, 2013
Photo: Stefan Lehner / Belvedere, Vienna

The Hagenbund’s International Network (1900 to 1938)

 

Funding body: Austrian National Bank's Anniversary Fund (no.15244)
Running time: April 2013 – April 2015
Idea and concept: Harald Krejci
Project management: Matthias Boeckl (University of Applied Arts Vienna)
Project team: Harald Krejci (team leader), Verena Gamper, Kerstin Jesse, Maximilian Kaiser, Axel Köhne

Ausschnitt aus dem Hagenbund Plakat
Hagenbund Plakat
© Belvedere, Vienna

Compared to the Secession and the Künstlerhaus, the Hagenbund was by far the most versatile of the three significant artist associations that dominated the artistic and cultural life of Vienna up to the beginning of the Second World War. Under the Hagenbund umbrella, groups who were politically and socially marginalized based on their nationality, gender, religion, age, or simply because of their preferred style, still found a place. The diverse makeup of its membership was one of the reasons for both the domestic and international success of the Hagenbund. The association came to a historical end with dissolution in 1938, its archives destroyed at the same time. What has been entirely preserved for scholarly research about the Hagenbund artist association, however, are catalogues of the major biannual exhibitions and corresponding reviews in the daily newspapers. Also preserved have been individual members' partial and split estates, which are now scattered over several institutional and private collections. Research has drawn from these collections since the rediscovery of the Hagenbund in the 1970s.

 

Interactive Visualization

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The International Network

A key aspect of the Hagenbund, as yet still unresearched at the commencement of this project, was its national and international positioning starting with the departure of Gustav Klimt and others from the Secession until its dissolution by the National Socialists in 1938. Today, we can speak of a Hagenbund network that was established locally and operated internationally. But previously, there was little research into contacts with artists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and therefore the question of their influence on stylistic approaches adopted by various Viennese artists was not known in detail or subject to an accurate art historical assessment. Only a conscientious study of sources concerning the various international networks of artists and critics, of art historians and columnists close to the Hagenbund, provided a new and broadened perspective on the development of art in Austria and Vienna.

 

 

 

Network Analysis

Linking art history and sociology offers the opportunity to review source materials based on the method of network analysis. This approach, which has been adopted in art history for quite some time now, provides a differentiated insight into the social dynamics of the art field and is an appropriate tool to apply in art historical analysis and evaluation.

On the heels of academia’s more than thirty years’ research into the Hagenbund, the Secession, the Künstlerhaus, and the gallery scene, the project took on the goal of opening new perspectives for scholarly debate on the Hagenbund artists’ association by conducting in-depth foundational research and critically reviewing existing sources. In recent years, art historical network research has also attracted the interest of the research community at large. (Burcu Dogramaci and Karin Wimmer, eds., Netzwerke des Exils. Künstlerische Verflechtungen, Austausch und Patronage nach 1933, Berlin 2011).

 

 

 

Objective

It was our objective to not only present a comprehensive account of the relationships between the artists of the Hagenbund, but to also examine their connections with other institutions both in Vienna and throughout Europe. After all, a detailed description of the connections between artists on the one hand, and between artists, critics, journalists, exhibition organizers, and cultural politicians on the other, presents an opportunity to clarify why, at specific times, particular art movements such as Expressionism, New Objectivity, Magical Realism, or Abstraction come into prominence. The project was intended to counter what was thus far only rudimentary coverage of the Hagenbund, despite historical reappraisals since 1993. Updated biographies of individual artists and the near-complete clarification of their exhibition histories and Hagenbund activities have shed new light on a critical chapter of Austrian art history.

 

 

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Neue Freie Presse [New Free Press] from 1901 to 1910

 

Funding body: Austrian National Bank's Anniversary Fund (no.15585)
Running time: October 2013 – January 2016
Project management: Alfred Weidinger
Project team: Julia Dostal, Luzia Reinthaler

Research Center, Aktenwand
Foto: Clemens Niederhammer, © Belvedere, Wien

In the early 20th century, print media presented the most important sources of information for visual arts reception. Around 1900, the Neue Freie Presse, the leading daily newspaper of the Habsburg Monarchy of the time, published twelve times a week. The research project's scope encompassed an in-depth survey of Austrian and international art activities and their reception. The concrete facts of exhibitions and art purchases and urban planning processes were thus clarified thanks to a meticulous documentation process. Specific topics stood out due to recurring and in-depth coverage, such as the faculty paintings by Gustav Klimt and Franz Matsch. The history of monuments similarly received considerable attention in the morning and evening papers. Daily art features included collecting events and reviews relevant to art history, and these were laid out in the project both chronologically and by rubrics. The desired goal of capturing and structuring a vast amount of data has thus been achieved, providing an orderly overview of this crucial period in art history. The in-depth indexing of all art-historically relevant content in the Neue Freie Presse during one of the most critical decades of Austrian art, cultural, and intellectual history represents a considerable stride forward for research into fin de siècle Vienna.

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  The Nötsch Circle

 

Funding body: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
Running time: 1999 – 2004
Project management: Regine Schmidt
Project team: Sigrid Diewald, Bettina Schweighofer

Porträts der vier männlichen Mitglieder des Nötscher Kreis
Nötscher Kreis
© Belvedere, Vienna

 

The Nötsch Circle comprised four painters: Franz Wiegele (1887–1944) and Sebastian Isepp (1884–1954), both of whom were born in the village of Nötsch in the Carinthian Gailtal, and Anton Kolig (1886–1950) and Anton Mahringer (1902–1974), who made their home there, hailing from Moravia and Germany, respectively. Within their individual approaches, each of these painters supported the principle of creating space through color and thus contributed uniquely and instrumentally to the art historical phenomenon of independent Austrian Expressionism.

Therefore, the Nötsch Circle ranks among the most influential of artist groups in Austria between the two world wars and played a significant role in shaping the image of Austrian painting in the first half of the 20th century. The group's prominence was by no means confined to their immediate realm of Carinthia – rather, it can instead be placed in a global context. The artists' extensive travel activities and their many complex relationships with intellectuals of the time are of great cultural and historical interest. As part of the research project, all accessible works by the Nötsch Circle artists were gathered, documented comprehensively in scientific terms, and made available in an image database. This project provides a reliable foundation for future scholarly research and appreciation.

 

The Nötsch Circle

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