Religious Art at the Wiener Secession and Künstlerbund Hagen Exhibitions (1898–1933)

Dorota Kudelska

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin



The article presents the contexts in which two important modern art organisations in Vienna (Wiener Secession, Hagenbund) presented strictly religious works of art, paraphrasing biblical motifs based on non-canonical interpretations. At the Wiener Secession, the works of well-known old artists on this subject (e.g. Rubens) were exhibited from time to time, featuring special interior arrangements. Exhibitions were also shown where the subject of the paintings, mosaics, stained glass windows and sculptures used a modern language to present the heroes of the Old and New Testaments, also presenting liturgical equipment and architectural designs of chapels and churches. The first large exhibition of this type was the exhibition of Benedictine monks from Beuron (1905), and then the exhibition of Christian art and handicraft, organised by the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Christliche Kunst at the turn of 1925/1926. The authors of the texts in the catalogue of this second exhibition pointed to the necessary direction of revolutionary artistic changes in the interior furnishings of the church, believing that without the connection of art in temples with contemporary, innovative aesthetics, it would not be possible to propagate Christian ideas. They also noticed the necessity of aesthetic and religious education of the faithful, which was to lead to the acceptance of modern forms in church art.

            In Künstlerbund Hagen (Hagenbund), apart from occasional works related to Christian topics, interesting exhibitions of old religious art were organized twice: in 1929 – an exhibition of icons from the twelfth and seventeenth centuries from the USSR, and in 1933 – an exhibition of Austrian Gothic sculptures, as part of the Katholikentag. Both of these carefully prepared events were clearly, although in different ways, related to politics, as discussed in the article. The forms of icons and Gothic sculptures corresponded to the aspirations of modern art: two-dimensionality and the dramatic – sometimes aggressive – primitivisation of expression.

Although the presentation of works that were religiously involved was not a part of the programme assumptions of the Wiener Secession and Hagenbund, the meeting of conservative ideas with modern artistic trends gave creative effects, in opposition to the “saccharine sweetness” of official church art.

Keywords: Wiener Secession, Hagenbund, Beuron School, modern religious art, politics


The artists gathered in the Wiener Secession and the Künstlerbund Hagen (Hagenbund) created environments and places open to modernity, both in art forms and in customs, often at the then borderline of scandal. Of course, changes took place in both associations between 1898 and 1938 regarding the programme, membership rules, organisation and financing of exhibitions. Generally speaking, after the closing of “Ver Sacrum” (1903) and the departure of Klimt’s group (1905), the Wiener Secession presented a stream of art that was less challenging to the audience and less irritating to the authorities than Hagenbund’s repertoire. The reverse process was taking place in the subsequent exhibitions of the latter group, shown in the Zedlitzhalle, and the radicalisation of the exhibition of the formally experimental works ultimately led to the “homelessness” of Künstlerbund Hagen in 1912, which, however, continued to work.[1]

Of course, purely religious art related to Christianity or biblical topics[2] did not belong to the main trends exhibited in either of the galleries. However, frequency of presentation is not the only determinant of its rank. It is worth looking at the effects of the meeting of an innovative attitude challenging artistic habits with conservative ideology and proposals for changes in church art stuck in conservative academism. This subject matter appeared at the Vienna exhibitions in the years 1898–1933 in various contexts and intensities, and from time to time both associations organised very important exhibitions of religious art in line with the “spirit of the present day”. It should be mentioned that the source material, in the form of catalogues from individual exhibitions, is not full; some catalogues for the exhibitions of the Wiener Secession and Museum für Kunst und Industrie are missing. Either they were not printed (which happened sometimes), or they did not survive in any of the Vienna libraries.[3] For the exhibitions of religious art in Vienna, the first stepping stone was the year 1905 and the presentation of Beuronese works, the second was the year 1918, when the political system had changed, as had the church/state relations, and the third was the Katholikentag in 1933, when the social mood and political instrumentalization of art were already a foreshadow of the coming tragedy.

In general perception, modernity is by definition set in opposition to religion/Christianity, and yet the continuity of spiritual and intellectual traditions has never been completely broken. In the years 1898–1914, the Bible appears in several contexts, but at the Hagenbund’s (own and guest) exhibitions, motifs derived from it appear only sporadically during that time, while the Secession catalogues allow us to identify certain trends. Paintings on this subject presented then were mostly not intended for worship. It is first and foremost a point of unrestricted cultural reference, the basis of universal concepts and values ​​(not only in the aspect of their rejection). New, difficult existential questions were directed towards fundamental texts, and references were made to high culture. Secondly, religious topics before 1918 were combined with generic scenes from the life of the people (places of worship, prayer and rituals), giving it the appropriate national touch. Thirdly, there were special exhibitions, mostly or entirely devoted to old or contemporary religious art. At the Secession exhibitions, retrospections were introduced, and old art was shown in surprising contexts, for example Rubens (Christ in the House of Simon, Esther, Ahasfer), Tintoretto and El Greco among the works of association members or surrounded by works of other artistic groups, such as at the Entwicklung des Impressionismus in Malerei und Plastic[4] exhibition. Typically, such exhibitions were guest shows of private collections, occupying a part of the exhibition space. Of course, original subjects related to the religions of Japan, China and other parts of Asia were also presented in a similar manner, which was characteristic of the symbolic syncretism that had been developing since the 1880s until World War I.[5] Objects of worship were shown not only as an example of exotic artistic craft, but, as can be judged from exhibition photographs and descriptions, they were also included in stylised arrangements of temples. Such exhibitions did not take place at the Hagenbund, where one can see the dominance of a different exhibition profile (there were fewer literary, and therefore biblical, themes). However, in both cases (before 1914), biblical images dispersed among other works shown were often associated with breaching moral taboos. For example, in Gustav Klimt’s Judith (Wiener Secession 1903), the distance to modernity is greater, there is no attack on the customs of the clergy as in Egon Schiele’s Cardinal and Nun (Hagenbund 1912), where, Wally Neuzel, the artist’s friend, appears as a nun. In the Hagenbund, the permission for formal expressionistic experiments was greater, but it was the Beuronese, during the exhibition at the Secession, who included ethnographic references, sometimes ambiguous in relation to the violence of Christianisation [figs. 1–2].

* This text was created thanks to the following grants: Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna: Grant Belvedere / 21er Haus CIR Programme 2015 and Polish Artists in Vienna: Education and Participation in Exhibitions 1726–1938 (Akademie der bildenden Künste, Kunstgewerbeschule, Künstlerhaus, Wiener Secession, Hagenbund, Galerie Miethke and Galerie Pisko), NCN number: UMO-2015/17/B/HS2/01683.

[1] Before 1918, there were statutory and programme differences between these two competing groups, and a difference in their material and administrative situations, much more favourable for the Wiener Secession (it had a mortgage on a building and larger ministerial subsidies). The Hagenbund rented a building from the city at Zedlitzgasse 6, which made the group dependent on the assessment of councillors (who in 1912, having acknowledged the Neukunstgrupp’s exhibition as obscene, took the building from them). It received its own headquarters only in 1920. Hagenbund sought a balance between the requirements of the conservative government administration and the left-liberal attitude, it was less commercial than the Secession, more open to all Austro-Hungarian nations (including Poles after 1918) and attracted artists from all over Europe. Although both galleries were equally often of interest to Austrian and European artistic critics, much more was written in later scholarly publications about the Wiener Secession. Until recently, the Hagenbund was also marginalised in Austrian research. For the Wiener Secession, see L. Hevesi, Acht Jahre Sezession (März 1898 – Juni 1905). Kritik – Polemik – Chronik, Wien 1906; R. Waissenberger, Wiener Secession, Wien–München 1971; J.B. van Heerde, Staat und Kunst. Staatliche Kunstförderung 1895–1918, Wien–Köln–Weimar 1993. First study on Hagenbund: R. Waissenberger, Hagenbund 1900–1938. Geschichte der Wiener Künstlervereinigung, “Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Galerie Belvedere” 16, 1972, pp. 54–130; Sonderausstellung des Historischen Museums der Stadt Wien, exhibition catalogue, 18 Sept. – 30 Nov. 1975, Wien 1975; wider study: Hagenbund. Die Verlorene Moderne. Die Künstlerbund Hagen 1900–1938. Eine Ausstellung der Österreichischen Galerie im Schloß Halbturn, Burgerland, exhibition catalogue, 7 May – 26 Oct. 1993, Konzeption der Ausstellung und Katalog G.T. Natter, Wien 1993. In the years 2013–2015, the Belvedere Museum team, under the Hagenbund grant, developed a distributed group documentation and basic groups of issues related to its activities (e.g. all the exhibitions were counted for the first time). The result of this work was the merger and development of distributed documentation regarding the group’s activities, an international exhibition (Belvedere 2014/2015) and a scholarly publication: Hagenbund. A European Network of Modernism 1900 to 1938, eds. A. Husslein-Arco, M. Boekl, H. Krejci, Wien 2014; P. Chrastek, Expressionism, New Objectivity and Prohibition. Hagenbund and its Artists. Vienna 1900–1938, Vienna 2016.

 [2] By religious art I mean art that was intended for places of worship or individual prayer. By art with biblical/sacral motifs I mean all artistic references to the Bible, theology and iconography, also controversially connected with the dilemmas of existence and the philosophy of a given time; the majority of this type of parareligious/museum/collector’s works have been presented at exhibitions since the 1880s. The Wiener Secession also showed reconstructions of temples of other religions (e.g. Zen) that are not the subject of my analysis.

[3] There are no copies at the Archiv Wiener Secession and the Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst library, or at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek or the Bibilothek Museum Belvedere.

[4] Entwicklung des Impressionismus in Malerei u[nd] Plastik. XVI. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession Wien, Jan.–Feb. 1903, Wien 1903, cat. nos. 2, 3.

[5] The Japanese were also interested in contemporary European culture, especially in Klimt; see J. Wieninger Gustav Klimt and the Art of East Asia, in: Gustav Klimt. In search of the “Total Artwork”, ed. J. Kallir, co-ed. A. Weidinger, exhibition catalogue, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere Wien, Hangaram Art Museum – Seoul Arts Center, 1 Feb. – 5 May 2009, Munich–Berlin–London–New York 2009, pp. 51–59.

[6] For example, in the case of Leon Wyczółkowski’s Christ (Katalog der I. Kunst-Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, 26 Mar. – 15 Jun. 1898, Wien 1898, cat. no. 4) at least two paintings may be involved: Head of Christ from the National Museum in Krakow and Crucifixion (Wawel Crucifix); the reviews do not make the investigation easier.

[7] Katalog der V. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, [Nov.–Dec. 1900], [Wien 1900,], cat. no. 237.

[8] Józef Mehoffer: Ausstellung der Vereinigung Polnischer Künstler “Sztuka“, [Vienna, 6 Feb.–Mar. 1908], Wien 1908, cat. no. 99: A stained glass design for the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow; Katalog der Kaiser-Huldigungs-Ausstellung. Hagenbund–Manes–Sztuka, [Vienna, 11 Apr. – 4 Oct. 1908], Wien 1908, cat. no. 68: A stained glass design for the Radziwill Chapel in the Wawel Cathedral. Henryk Uziembło: Katalog der XXIX. Ausstellung des Künstlerlerbundes Hagen, [Vienna, 3 Apr. – 15 Aug. 1909], Wien 1909, cat. no. 33, fig. 1: Early Spring. Made at the Krakow stained glass and glass mosaic factory.

[9] Wyspiański’s designs of stained glass windows for the Lviv Cathedral had already been shown at the 1st Wiener Secession exhibition (Katalog der I. Kunst-Ausstellung… 1898 (fn. 6), cat. nos. 2, 3). The attention of the Viennese reviewers was, however, drawn by his Wawel cartoons (XV. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession Wien, Nov.–Dec. 1902, Wien 1902, cat. nos. 88, 94, 103). It is not accidental that their unusual expression was praised by Franz Servaes, the later promoter of Schiele, even suggesting organising an individual exhibition for Wyspiański in Vienna, which, however, never took place (F.S., Secession, “Neue Freie Presse”, 1902, no. 13, p. 4). Of course, the Austrian reviewers did not address the questions, which were of such important to the Polish critics, as to whether the design is suitable for the interior of the cathedral, or the problem of the relationship between the religious and historical themes.

[10] Katalog der III. Kunst-Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, Max Klinger “Christus im Olimp”, Const[antin] Meunier van Rysselberghe, 10 Jan. – 20 Feb. 1899, Wien 1899, cat. no. 9: C. Meunier, Ecce Homo (plaster and bronze; currently at the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels), Katalog der XXII. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, Jan.–Feb. 1905, Wien 1905, cat. no. 12: C. Meunier, Christus, bronze).

[11] Katalog der I. Kunst-Ausstellung… 1898 (fn. 6), cat. nos. 111, 128.

[12] Katalog der IV. Kunstausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, [Mar.–May 1899], [Wien, 1899], Pult B.

[13] Bolesław Biegas showed David, unknown today, cf. Katalog der VII. Kunst-Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, Mar.–May 1900, [Wien 1900], cat. no. 55.

[14] For example, IX. Kunst-Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, Feb. 1901, [Wien 1901], cat. no. 43; Katalog der II. Kunst-Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, [Nov.–Dec. 1898], Wien 1898, cat. no. 97; Katalog der XV. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, Nov.–Dec. 1902, Wien, 1902, cat. no. 138.

[15] One of the most popular allegorical presentations of such a theme is the School of Plato by Jean Delvill (1880, Musée d’Orsay) and the Holy Grove or the Ancient Sorbonne, a painting by Pierre-Cecile Puvis de Chavannes (completed 1889, Grand Amphithéâtre de la Sorbonne). The composition of both gardens resembles the form of this kind of conventional space in early Renaissance paintings, but Delvill’s Plato, iconographically characterised as the teaching Christ, placed among naked idealised youths, is an obvious artistic provocation. On the other hand, in de Chavannes’s scholarly garden, the centre is dominated by an allegorical female figure personifying a school, stylised as a Renaissance Madonna, and most of the numerous other figures are women.

[16] Katalog der II. Kunst-Ausstellung… (fn. 14), cat. nos. 97, 99.

[17] M. Klinger, Christ on Olympus, 1890–97, oil on canvas, 362 × 722 cm; until 1938 at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna, now at the Museum der bildenden Künste in Leipzig; P. Kühn, Aufsatz, in: Katalog der III. Kunst-Ausstellung… 1899 (fn. 10), pp. 13–15.

[18] Katalog der IIII. Kunstausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, Mar.–May 1899, [Wien 1899], cat. no. 35.

[19] Peter (Desiderius) Lenz (1832–1928) – German painter, sculptor, Benedictine (from 1872); studied (from 1849) at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich under the supervision of the Nazarene Peter Cornelius (hence the sensitivity to Catholic religious art). He ran a sculpture studio at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Nuremberg (from 1859); thanks to Cornelius, he received a state scholarship in Rome (1863), where he collaborated with painters Gabriel Würger and Lukas (Fidolin) Steiner; he studied mystical texts of various religions (including Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor, India), their forms of worship and art (especially architecture, vase painting, early Christian art, Byzantine art and Giotto). Together with the monk Rudolf (Maurus) Wolter and Würger, they founded a Benedictine monastery (1868). After leaving for Rome (1869), together with Würger and Steiner, he designed the wall paintings for the St Maurus Chapel in Beuron (completed in 1871). In 1872, the artists entered the monastery there, taking monk names: Desiderius (Lenz), Gabriel (Würger, a convert from Calvinism) and Luke (Steiner – perhaps through a relationship with the Brotherhood of Saint Luke). Designed as Gesamtkunstwerk, the St Maurus Chapel is considered the beginning of Beuroner Kunstschule. Lenz was the author of aesthetic treatises and textbooks on painting (along with Würger) promoting the renewal and opening of church art and, more broadly, Christian art to modernity in all areas of creativity. The basis was to be: a perfect proportion of architectural elements (based on the geometry of ideal figures), a return to two-dimensional painting and symbolism of forms derived from other religions, and in music – the human voice and a mathematical construction of chants. The formation of this monastery influenced many artists and outstanding figures of the 19th and 20th centuries (including Edith Stein before she joined the Carmelite nuns); see H. Siebenmorgen, Lenz, Peter, in: Neue Deutsche Biographie, Bd. 14, Berlin 1985, pp. 234–235; H. Siebenmorgen, Die Anfänge der “Beuroner Kunstschule”. Peter Lenz und Jakob Wüger 1850–1875. Ein Beitrag zur Genese der Formabstraktion in der Moderne, Sigmaringen 1983; D. Lenz, “The aesthetic of Beuron” and other writings, introduction and appendixed by H. Krins, afterword and notes by P. Brooke, transl. J. Minihane, J. Connolly, London 2002.

[20] On Dutch Benedictines, see K. Veelenturf, Jan Stuyt, Piet Gerrits, Willibrord Verkade en de School van Beuron, “Deesipientia: zin & waan” 18, 2011, no. 1, pp. 36–43; see also: P. Sérusier, List do Jana Verkade, transl. H. Ostrowska-Grabska, in: Moderniści o sztuce, selected, edited and introduced by E. Grabska, Warsaw 1971, pp. 367–368 (translation based on: P. Sérusier, ABC de la Peinture (suivi d’une corréspondance inédite), Paris 1950 (3rd ed., extended).

[21] Rudolf Jettmar (1869–1939) – Austrian painter born in Tarnów; Marianna Stokes (1855–1927) came from Austria, member of the Pont Aven colony, in her work in England she used folk motifs stylised after the Pre-Raphaelites; Paul A. Besnard (1848–1934) was a conservative artist, stylistically close to Salon paintings.

[22] At the exhibition, Charles R. Ashbee (1863–1942) presented many objects designed by the famous architect, associate of Arts & Crafts: liturgical vessels, book bindings, candlesticks, lamps and “objects for altar boys”. Myrbach, as the director of Kunstgewerbeschule, encouraged students to travel to England, especially to the school at the Kensington Museum, from which many have benefited, including Karol Frycz (L. Kuchtówna, Karola Frycza lata studiów i podróży, “Pamiętnik Teatralny” 48, 1999, nos. 2–4, pp. 109–155) and Henryk Uziembło (Archives of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Personal folder: Henryk Uziembło, BP 3062/32: no. 13: Curriculum Vitae; thanks to Dominika Plewik for information).

 [23] R. von Kralik, Zur Einfüfrung, in: XXIV. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, Nov.–Dec. 1905, Wien 1905, pp. 3–6.

[24] M. Dreesbach, Peter Desiderius Lenz OSB von Beuron, Theorie und Werk, Müchen 1957, p. 103.

[25] The monastery and the church were completely demolished during the Second World War. The paintings in the reconstructed complex do not resemble the work of the Beuronese in any way.

[26] This comes close to the discussed assumptions of Les Nabis, although to a very different degree. Sérusier repeatedly returns to the concept of symbolism of colour and the mysterious “ideal proportion” of objects, phenomena and elements of art, also in ABC de la peinture. Together with Denis, they published a series of texts in Paris on the spiritual aspects of Eastern art – the Bibliothèque de l’Occident (in the years 1905–1949), one of the first items is: P. Lenz, L’Esthétique de Beuron, traduite de l’allemand par P. Sérusier. Introduction de M. Denis, Paris 1905. Denis has included his introduction to: M. Denis, De Gauguin et de Van Gogh au classicisme, Paris 1909 (also in Bibliothèque de l’Occident). K.M. Kuenzil wrote about the mystical symbolism of Les Nabis, also in connection with Catholicism (The Nabis and Intimate Modernism: Painting and the Decorative at the Fin-de-Siécle, Surrey–Burlington–Vermont 2010), but despite citing a translation of Lenz in Bibliothèque de l’Occident, she does devote a single line to Beuron. On religious motifs in M. Denis’s paintings: A. Reiß, Rezeption frühchristlicher Kunst im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Christlichen Archeologie und zum Historismus, Dettelbach 2008, pp. 179–183. A great synthetic description of the European reception of the works of Lenz and his confreres: C. Rius, Antoni Gaudí: Casa Bellesguard as the key to his symbolism, transl. F. Mazzaferro, Barcelona 2014 (1st ed. 1963): Part III, The Life and work Peter Lenz, pp. 45–84.

[27] H.H. Hofstätter, Symbolizm, transl. from German S. Błaut, Warszawa 1987, p. 123.

[28] XXIV. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, [Nov.–Dec. 1905], Wien 1905, cat. nos. 3, 4, 16–25, 41–47, 59 a–d.

[29] H. Haberfeld, Religiöse Kunst in der Wiener Secession, “Kunst und Künstler. Illustierte Monatschrift für bildende Kunst und Kunstgewerbe” IV, 1906, Heft 1, p. 169.

[30] As can be judged from the illustrations, the influence of the Beuronese was very distinct, as evidenced by other exhibitions, e.g. Die Ausstellung für Christliche Kunst, Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie, [Sept.–Oct. 1912], Wien 1912.

[31] Ibid.

[32] What is more astonishing today is the lack of any information about the attitudes towards Nazism of many public figures (including artists and antiquarians) in their biographical entries, and the fact that in Austria after the war no legal action was taken even against active NSDAP activists and criminals, although the effects of their actions continue to this day.

[33] After the war, the Wiener Secession and Hagenbund, by virtue of a state order (government proclamation of the Republic of German-Austria of December 12, 1918), redefined the rules of membership. The basic requirements were: Austrian nationality and/or citizenship of the Republic of Austria, which excluded members from former Galicia and Hungary residing in newly-formed states. The Hagenbund, unlike the Secession, did not comply with the regulations restrictively; see O. Rathkolb, “Promotion of Patriotic Artistic Efforts”. The Hagenbund and the Art Policy Framework from the Monarchy to the Chancellor Dictatorship, in: Hagenbund 2014 (fn. 1), p. 15; about the Wiener Secession in this context: D. Kudelska, Dukt pisma i pędzla. Biografia intelektualna Jacka Malczewskiego, Lublin 2008, pp. 537–542. Regarding these specific political contexts, see W.M. Johnston, Österreichische Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte. Gesellschaft und Ideen im Donauraum 1848 bis 1938, Wien–Köln–Graz 1980; M.H. Hacohen, Karl Popper. The Formative Years 1902–1945. Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna, Cambridge 2002; Interwar Vienna. Culture between Tradition and Modernity, eds. D. Holmes, L. Silverman, Rochester–New York 2009.

[34] For example, LIV. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Secession-Wien, I Teil, Apr.–May 1919, [Wien 1919].

[35] In 1924, it was removed from the Galerie Würthle’s window as a result of protests by many passers-by; see O. Rathkolb, “Promotion of Patriotic Artistic Efforts”, in: Hagenbund 2015 (fn. 1), p. 14.

[36] Herbst Ausstellung der Wiener-Secession, [Nov.–Dec. 1923], [Wien] 1923, cat. nos. 4, 14–16, 29, 30 (St Agnes, St Margareta, Christ’s Nativity, St Cecilia, St Notburga, St Katharina); cat. nos. 73, 150. Previously, Feistauer was a member of the avant-garde Neukunstgruppe, alongside Egon Schiele and Anton Kolig.

[37] Katalog LXXXIII. der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession, mit Kollektion Max Slegovt, May–Jun. 1925, Wien 1925; August Brömse (1873–1925) – a German-Czech painter, graphic artist and decorator, he only studied privately. Awarded many times for graphic series at European exhibitions.

[38] Katalog LXXXIV. der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession, Kollektion Abel Pann Jerusalem, Aug.–Sept. 1925, Wien 1925; Abel Pann (1883–1963; real name Abba Pfeffermann) – an outstanding graphic artist and painter born in Lithuania or Belarus. Until 1913 he travelled all over Europe and studied in various places (Poland, Russia, Ukraine); in Paris (from 1903) he studied at Académie Julian with Bouguereau, lived in La Ruche (where he met Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine) and earned a living by selling illustrations to newspapers. He learned the canon of European modern painting. During the First World War, he painted a series of expressive paintings with the theme of violence. In the years 1920–1924 he taught at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem (he brought his wife and lithographic press here from Vienna). From 1924, he made graphics almost exclusively. At the end of his life, he took up the subject of pogroms and also the Holocaust. For information about Abel Pann and portfolios of works with biblical topics, see The Bible (Genesis: From the Creation until the Deluge. Complete Portfolio of 25 Original Lithographs), [accessed: 12 Dec. 2016].

[39] Az Elsö Budapesten Osztŕak Representative Képzömüvészeti Kiállitás, exhibition catalogue, Nemzeti Szalon in Budapest, 16 May – 14 Jul. 1925, Budapest 1925. Associations which exhibited there: Genossenschaft der Bildenden Künstler Wiens, Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession, Künstlerbund Hagen, Bund Österreichischer Künstler (Kunstschau). Two paintings by Leopold Gottlieb were shown there (cat. nos. 38 and 39).

[40] LXXXVI. Ausstellung der Wiener Secession. Ausstellung für Christliche Kunst – Kunsthandwerk, [XII 1925 – I 1926], [Wien 1925].

[41] Der III. Ausstellung  Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Christliche Kunst zum Geleit, in: ibidem, pp. 4–8; A. Weißenhofer, Programm und Ziel der Ausstellung von 1925, in: ibidem, pp. 12–18. Josef Anselm Weißenhofer (1883–1961) – theologian, priest, Doctor of Art History at the University of Vienna. From 1924 (from 1931 as associate professor), he lectured at the Kunstgewerbeschule, on such topics as Christliches Kunstgewerbe (Christian arts and crafts). As pastor and minister, he worked in the Viennese Schottenkirche, and in the years 1933–1938 at the castle chapel. From 1930 he was a custodian at the Gemäldegalerie des Wiener Schottenstifts, from 1940 he was the director of the Erzbischöfliches Dom- und Diözesanmuseums (Archdiocesan Museum of the Cathedral and the Diocese of Vienna). Biographical entries do not state what his attitude towards Nazism was; he remained in office during the war. From 1947 at the Vienna Akademie der bildenden Künste, he managed the Abteilung Kunsterziehung (Department of Artistic Education). He published: Die ältesten Ansichten der Stadt Wien (Wien 1923), Alt-Wiener Kalender 1924 (Wien 1924); he published further works in the publishing houses Verein für Geschichte der Stadt Wien (he was a member of its board in 1945–1961) and Verein für Landeskunde von Niederösterreich; see F. Czeike, Anselm Weißenhofer, in: Historisches Lexikon Wien, Bd. 5, Wien 1997, p. 607.

[42] This echoes the views of Alois Riegel, denying passing judgement on art, in which the temporal sequence naturally dominates.

[43] The author’s identity can be inferred not only from the style and logic of the arguments, but also from the examples used – Viennese works used in contexts corresponding to those from Weißenhofer’s scholarly works mentioned.

[44] Weißenhofer 1925 (fn. 41), p. 18.

[45] Ferdinand Andri (1871–1956) graduated from the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna (graphic design, painting), during the exhibition he was a professor there (fresco painting), later a vice-chancellor (1938–1939), as a Nazi he chaired the Academy’s appointed board (1939–1945); member of the Wiener Secession (president in 1899–1909; 1905/1906) and Österreichischer Werkbund (from 1912); he published in “Ver Sacrum”. Andri belonged to the Nazi Deutscher Kulturbund (from 1938), he collaborated with Künstlerhaus (from 1939), strongly promoting national socialism. After the war, he lived in a town not far from the capital – Sankt Pölten.

[46] The ideas of the Germanic language-cultural community, always important in Austria, gained ground after 1918, especially in view of the post-war political and economic difficulties of the country, which lost the rank of a European power. Pan-Germanism was a breeding ground for the clearly growing strength of fascism and nationalism starting in the second half of the 1920s. The search for a new state and political identity manifested itself in the capital particularly sharply, intensified by the reaction to the rule of the “Red Vienna”. It should be noted that extreme groups, both right-wing and leftist, shared the desire to remove the pluralism of parliamentary democracy. Various parties were in favour of a merger with Germany.

[47] Anton Hanak (1875–1934) – a student of evening sculpture classes in Vienna, cooperated with the Wiener Werkstätte while a member of the Wiener Secession (from 1906), which was not common. Ernst Barlach (1870–1938) – German sculptor, painter, writer and poet, he was an excellent representative of lyrical expressionism at the turn of the century. After 1918, he created outstanding sculptures with anti-war and existentialist themes. The Nazis took away his membership in the Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften, forbade him from practising his profession and considered his work to be so-called degenerate art – most of his sculptures were destroyed. Josef Furthner (1890–1971) – a graduate of the Kunstgewerbeschule.

[48] Albin Egger-Lienz (1868–1926) – Austrian genre and historical painter; initially under the influence of Hodler, he later developed a specific archaizing redaction of symbolism (medieval stylization, especially of human figures). He often depicted scenes from folk life (ploughing, evening prayer, supper in ascetic interiors) and the struggle of the insurgents for Tyrol’s independence (marches with arms, fighting, the fallen). Lienz’s works were often exhibited and propagated by the Nazis after his death. Aloys Wach (Wachelmayr, Wachelmeier) (1892–1940) – Austrian expressionistic sculptor. Ferdinand Kitt (1897–1962) – a graduate of the Vienna Akademie der bildenden Künste, member of the Wiener Secession (from 1919, president 1926–1929); in the years 1928–1944 professor in Wiener Frauenakademie. During the Second World War he was artistically active in Vienna and Munich, which indicates at least a friendly attitude towards the Nazis. However, he signed (along with Josef Dobrowsky, Josef Hoffmann, Ernst Huber, Robin Ch. Andersen) a petition to the region’s authorities regarding the release of friend Ludwig Neumark, which testifies to the ambiguity of his attitude and civil courage. Kitt’s workshop was destroyed in 1949, so after the war he moved to Gschwandt; see, among others: Österreichischer Kunstsenat, [accessed: 15 Oct. 2016].

[49] Robin Ch. Andersen (1890–1969) – Austrian sculptor, he learned jewellery and engraving, studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule (under A. Hanak, graduated in 1923). Until 1940 he made many decorations in the churches of Lower Austria; during the war he served in the German Wehrmacht (until 1944 in Tyrol); sick, he was released from a French prison (1945); see Karl Bodingbauer, exhibition catalogue, Museumsverein Korneuburg, 2006/2007, Konzept und Gestaltung P. Langhammer, R. Schröpfer, Text H. Paulhart, Korneuburg 2006.

[50] One of them, according to an insert, offering interior furnishings and organ cases, even had a branch in Warsaw: Cäilia, see: LXXXVI. Ausstellung der Wiener Secession… (fn. 40), p. unnumbered (inserts).

[51] 87. Ausstellung der Wiener Secession. Jahrhundertschau Deutscher Malerei, Mar.–Apr. 1926, Wien 1926, cat. nos. 21–24, 28; XCIII. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession. Frühjahrs-Ausstellung mit Gedächtnis-Ausstellung August Brömse, Apr.–Jun. 1927, [Wien 1927], cat. nos. 85–174; CXIV. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession, 8 Nov. – 21 Dec. 1930, [Wien 1930], cat. nos. 1, 5, 10, 14, 18; CXXI. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession, Apr.–Jul. 1932, [Wien 1932], cat. nos. 108, 124, 160, 164, 166, 208–219.

[52] Hagenbund. Sowjet-Russiche Ausstelleung, March 1928, Wien 1928. Organised by: Gesellschaft für kulturelle Verbindung der Sowjetunion mit dem Aussland and Österreichische Gesellschaft zur Förderung der geistigen und wirtschaftlichen Beziehungen mit der UdSSR.

[53] Denkmäler Altrussischer Malerei. Russische Ikonen vom XII. bis XVIII. Jahrhundert. Ausstellung veranstaltet von Volksbildungskommissariat der RSFSR, dem Künstlerbund Hagen, Wien und der Österreichischen Geselschaft zur Förderung der geistigen und wirtschaftlichen Beziehungen. U.d.S.S.R. In der Raumen Hagenbundes, Sept.–Oct. 1929, Wien 1929. The exhibition was previously presented in Berlin.

[54] As noted by Harald Krejci, this geographical extension probably led to the participation in the exhibition committee of Prof. Josef Strzygowski, who had been emphasising for a long time in publications the prime importance of Armenia in the continuation of the ideas and artistic traditions of Christianity as a forgotten basis for the beginnings of Western Christian civilization; see H. Krejci, Monuments of Old Russian Painting Russian Icon from the 12th to 18th Century, in: Hagenbund… 2014 (fn. 1), p. 218.

[55] A. Łunaczarski, Zum Geleit, in: Denkmäler… 1929 (fn. 53), pp. 5–6. Anatoly Vasilyevich Lunacharsky (1875–1933) – a Soviet philosopher, theoretician of culture and social education. Educated in Zurich, familiar with Europe. From early youth, he was involved in the communist movement, in the years 1917–1929 he was a Bolshevik peasant commissar of education, he established rules and organised the state supervision of children and youth. He was a supporter of radical replacement of family care by social organisations. A new citizen was supposed to be shaped by overcoming illiteracy and the general and state-organised access to cultural goods (of course properly selected and politically explained), as an ideologist he dedicated extensive studies to this cause.

[56] Regarding the actual stages of the robbery, see D. Pospielovsky, The Russian Church under the Soviet regime 1917–1982, St Vladimir’s Seminary, vol. 1, New York 1984; S. McMeekin, Największa grabież w historii. Jak bolszewicy złupili Rosję, transl. Aleksandra Czwojdrak, Kraków 2013.

[57] I. Grabar, Denkmäler Altrussischer Malerei. Russische Ikonen vom XII–XVIII Jahrhundert, in: Denkmäler… 1929 (fn. 51), pp. 9–19. Igor Grabar (1871–1960) – a Russian painter, art historian, lawyer (he graduated in Saint Petersburg in these fields), artistically trained and active in Paris, Rome and Munich. He was a member of the Moscow Mir iskusstva; he co-edited the History of Russian Art (1910–1914, vol. 1–6); he was the director of the Tretyakov Gallery (1913–1925). As a Bolshevik, he supervised the confiscation of church art; he managed the conservation of the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius. During the Stalinist purges he withdrew from politics; after the Second World War he organised the removal of works of art from museums in Germany and other lands occupied by the Soviet Army and their deployment in the USSR. Winner of many state awards.

[58] The Christlichsoziale Partei Österreich, ruling Austria since 1920, was in crisis. Its leader, Engelbert Dollfuß as chancellor and minister of foreign affairs (from 1932) outlawed both the social democratic SPADÖ (February 1933), as well as the Austrian branch of the NSDAP (June 1933). He established the Vaterländische Front (V 1933) and introduced authoritarianism combining Catholic social science and Mussolini’s fascism. He insolently suppressed workers’ rebellions. Dollfuß was killed during a coup (25 Jul. 1934), which initiated a chaotic period in Austria.

[59] The outlawed NSDAP had secret members and very many supporters also among the cultural elite in Austria. This was important when transforming artistic associations and taking over their property, along with establishing racist membership rules and new strategies for planning and organising exhibitions. Immediately after the annexation (or joining – according to some historians) of Austria to the Third Reich, the artists could act only within the framework of the Reichskammer der bildenden Künste, which only accepted “pure Aryans”. There were relatively many members of Jewish origin in the Hagenbund, only Josef Drobner belonged to the NSDAP, which was why the group was dissolved in 1938. In the Wiener Secession and Künstlerhaus as well as in other artistic institutions, there were more supporters of the new power, which is why new management boards were immediately formed from among the members, and then these organisations were merged. On the consequences of the political choices of artists, see E. Klamper, Art in the Service of Power. The Cultural Policy of Austrofascism 1934 to 1938 and the Dissolution of the Hagenbund, in: Hagenbund… 2014 (fn. 1), pp. 349–356; J. Shedel, Art and Identity. The Wiener Secession 1887–1939, in: Secession. Permanence of an Idea, concept O. Kapfinger, ed. E. Louis, exhibition catalogue, Ostfindern bei Stuttgart, Stuttgart 1997, pp. 13–57.

[60] Earlier Katholikentage in Vienna were held in 1877, 1889, 1905, 1907, and 1922. For a synthetic description of the political situation in which the Katholikentag was organised in 1933, see E. Klamper, Art in the Service…

(fn. 59), p. 349.

[61] See. E. Klamper, Die Mühen der Wiederverchristlichung. Die Sakralkunst und die Rolle der Kirche während des Austrofaschismus, in: Kunst und Diktatur. Architektur, Bildhauerei und Malerei in Österreich, Deutschland, Italien und der Sowjetunion 1922–1956, hrsg. v. J. Tabor, Baden 1994, pp. 148–180, on the Katholikentag discussed here pp. 152–153.

[62] Klemens Holzmeister (1886–1983) – an outstanding Austrian architect, chancellor of the Vienna Akademie der bildenden Künste (from 1931), during the Anschluss he was carrying out a project in Turkey (the building of the local parliament), which is how he retained his freedom, though all his property was confiscated. He returned to Austria in 1954.

[63] The catalogue was published in cooperation as an issue of the “Kirchenkunst” magazine, Sonderheft, 1933; F. Kieslinger, Mittelalterliche Religiöse Plastik aus Österreich, in: Mittelalterliche Religiöse Plastik aus Österreich, [31 Aug. – Oct. 1933], Wien 1933, p. 3.

[64] Franz Kieslinger (1891–1955) studied art history at the University of Vienna (under M. Dvořak and J. Strzygowski, doctorate in 1919), worked at the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung (1913–1915). He fought on the front during World War I. Kieslinger published many scholarly studies on Gothic architecture (Glasmalerei in Österreich, ein Abriß ihrer Geschichte, Wien [1922]); he was a valued appraiser, including at the Dorotheum, an author of introductions to exhibition catalogues, and an art critic with right-wing views. Immediately after the Anschluss of Austria, he joined the NSDAP, directed the “restoration of Aryanism” in the art market – confiscating private collections and antique shop resources (Vienna, Munich, including Shiele’s large collections). In 1940, he co-organised the theft of works of art in Poland and the Netherlands; he administered a warehouse of looted objects, from where he sold them to Nazi dignitaries and the Lange and Weinmüller auction houses, and to the Dorotheum. After the war he did not go to court, he did not undergo denazification, he was still a valued expert in the Dorotheum and he mediated in art trade (mostly collaborating with Rudolf Leopold, later founder of the Vienna Leopold Museum). On the nationalist tendencies at this time also in Hagenburg, see E. Klamper, Art in the Service… (fn. 59), pp. 349–535; Klamper, Die Mühen der Wiederverchristlichung… (fn. 61), pp. 148–180, here also on the ideological relations of “German patriotism in Austria” with the Church.

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