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Spirit and Voice at Otto Wagner’s Opus

Spirit and Voice at Otto Wagner’s Opus

The Church at Steinhof, the gilded Jugendstil edifice built by Otto Wagner at the beginning of the 20th century, is a majestic setting for VOCuMENTA’s monthly music programme. The organization’s stated purpose, to present “outstanding works of western vocal sacred music”, is emphasised by its distinctive name, a neologism joining “vox” (voice) and “mens” (spirit) together. In this […]

The Man Who Was Everything

To this day, people debate just what it was that mattered about Joseph Urban. Some know him as a stage designer in the golden days of Broadway in NYC, some as the architect of a U.S. Presidential retreat, others of palaces in Europe, and others as a gold medal winner for the 1904 St. Louis World’s […]

Vienna for Valentines

February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day, when lonely hearts woo would-be lovers with anonymous missives. All very odd given that the saint in question was an obscure third century Roman poet, with little proven interest in targetting Cupid’s bow. That said there is little doubt regarding Vienna’s part in the most romantic day of the year: […]

Wagner’s “Crazy Church”

“Next stop psychiatric hospital” the monotonous female voice in the speakers of bus No. 48 announces. Through the giant, mint green iron bars, a grey building emerges from behind towering fir trees, laurel wreaths decorate the walls and two side wings in brick. Over the doorway, in large mint green block letters, Otto Wagner Spital, […]

Mucha’s Women

Mucha’s Women

Delicate figures of pale women with knee-long waves of silky hair vaguely supported by a large flower, frail hands, large piercing eyes and seducing forms: This is the Mucha woman, an image of romantic perfection and part of the enduring mystique of fin-de-siècle Vienna that is the subject of a major exhibition at the Lower […]

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