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Vienna Secession 1918-2018: Gustav Klimt & Egon Schiele Dr Anne Anderson Thursday 11 January 2018

One hundred years ago the Viennese artists who led the famous Secession were struck down by the Spanish influenza: Schiele, his wife and unborn baby died.  This talented artist was only 28. Otto Wagner, the architect who attempted to transform Vienna into a City Beautiful, also died as did the painter Gustav Klimt. In 1897 Klimt had led the Secession, a ‘break-away’ group who strove to live by their manifesto ‘To each age its Art, to Art its freedom’.  These words were inscribed above the door of the Secession Building where the very latest modern art was shown: paintings by Klimt and Schiele shocked and dismayed the Viennese. They were accused of creating pornography, of reveling in the ugly and bringing art down into the gutter. Both tackled taboo subjects; Klimt celebrated the femme fatale, while Schiele was fascinated by the fragility of youthful innocence. Their paintings can be mysterious and baffling. The surface of Klimt’s The Kiss (1907) is richly covered with complex patterns that are esoteric and hard to decipher. Yet we are fascinated by such images, as we are by the man himself; Klimt’s obsessions spilled over into real life, his amorous liaisons the stuff of legend.  ‘Fin de siècle’ Vienna continues to fascinates us.

Anne Anderson graduated in Art History and Archaeology from Leicester University in 1978 and worked as an archaeologist for 8 years - elected to the Society of Antiquaries in 1997. 1993-2007 senior lecturer on the Fine Arts Valuation degree courses at Southampton Solent University, specialising in the Aesthetic Movement, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Modernism. She is currently Hon. Research Fellow at Exeter University and a course director at the V&A Learning Academy and consultant for Leighton House, Kensington.  She has published books on Roman pottery, Art Deco teapots and Edward Burne-Jones. A lecturer for The Arts Society since 1993, Anne toured Australia in 2000, 2006, 2009 and has lectured on cruises. Her television credits include BBC's Flog It! 

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