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Birth of the Modern

Style and Identity in Vienna 1900

written by Jill Lloyd, Christian Witt-Dörring

Hirmer Publishers | ISBN 9783777434414

Hardback – 304 pages


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Vienna in 1900 was home to a thriving arts and intellectual culture that included many important thinkers and a substantial group of prominent artists, including the founder of the Secession Gustav Klimt. A common thread throughout music and the fine and decorative arts was the redefining of individual identity for the modern age, as the search for a specifically modern Viennese sense of self prompted a dialogue about ornamentation and inner truth in the arts of the age. Edited by distinguished curators Christian Witt-D"orring "and Jill Lloyd, "Birth of the Modern "explores new attitudes--particularly those toward gender and sexuality--that surfaced in Viennese culture in the early twentieth century. The book features essays by, among others, Philipp Blom on the question of identity, Claude Cernuschi on psychological portraiture, Alessandra Comini on music in imperial Vienna, and Jean Clair on the "joyous apocalypse," alongside images of works by fine and decorative artists, including Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and Koloman Moser. There is an additional emphasis on fashion with illustrations of important clothing and accessories from the period. A fascinating exploration of the early days of Viennese modernism and a pivotal moment in the development of Austrian history and the arts, "Birth of the Modern "will be of interest to anyone curious about literature, culture, and intellectual history in turn-of-the-century Vienna.

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