Past Exhibitions

All Good Art is Political

Käthe Kollwitz and Sue Coe

October 26, 2017 - March 10, 2018

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 11, 2017 - October 13, 2017

The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017

You Say You Want a Revolution

American Artists and the Communist Party

October 18, 2016 - March 4, 2017

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Featuring Watercolors and Drawings from the Robert Lehman Collection

March 29, 2016 - July 1, 2016

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Art and Life

November 3, 2015 - March 19, 2016

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015

Leonard Baskin


April 23, 2015 - July 2, 2015

Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015

Marie-Louise Motesiczky

The Mother Paintings

October 7, 2014 - December 24, 2014

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014


Father & Son, Inside & Out

April 24, 2014 - July 3, 2014

Modern Furies

The Lessons and Legacy of World War I

January 21, 2014 - April 12, 2014

Käthe Kollwitz

The Complete Print Cycles

October 8, 2013 - December 28, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013

Face Time

Self and Identity in Expressionist Portraiture

April 9, 2013 - June 28, 2013

Story Lines

Tracing the Narrative of "Outsider" Art

January 15, 2013 - March 30, 2013

Egon Schiele's Women

October 23, 2012 - December 28, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012

Mad As Hell!

New Work (and Some Classics) by Sue Coe

April 17, 2012 - July 3, 2012

The Ins and Outs of Self-Taught Art

Reflections on a Shifting Field

January 10, 2012 - April 7, 2012

The Lady and the Tramp

Images of Women in Austrian and German Art

October 11, 2011 - December 30, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 5, 2011 - September 30, 2011

Decadence & Decay

Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz

April 12, 2011 - June 24, 2011

Self-Taught Painters in America 1800-1950

Revisiting the Tradition

January 11, 2011 - April 2, 2011

Marie-Louise Motesiczky

Paradise Lost & Found

October 12, 2010 - December 30, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 13, 2010 - October 1, 2010

Käthe Kollwitz

A Portrait of the Artist

April 13, 2010 - June 25, 2010

Seventy Years Grandma Moses

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Artist's "Discovery"

February 3, 2010 - April 3, 2010

Egon Schiele as Printmaker

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 3, 2009 - January 23, 2010

From Brücke To Bauhaus

The Meanings of Modernity in Germany, 1905-1933

March 31, 2009 - June 26, 2009

They Taught Themselves

American Self-Taught Painters Between the World Wars

January 9, 2009 - March 14, 2009

Elephants We Must Never Forget

New Paintings Drawings and Prints by Sue Coe

October 14, 2008 - December 20, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2008 - September 26, 2008

Hope or Menace?

Communism in Germany Between the World Wars

March 25, 2008 - June 13, 2008

Transforming Reality

Pattern and Design in Modern and Self-Taught Art

January 15, 2008 - March 8, 2008

Leonard Baskin

Proofs and Process

October 9, 2007 - January 5, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 5, 2007 - September 28, 2007

Who Paid the Piper?

The Art of Patronage in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

March 8, 2007 - May 26, 2007

Fairy Tale, Myth and Fantasy

Approaches to Spirituality in Art

December 7, 2006 - February 3, 2007

More Than Coffee was Served

Café Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna and Weimar Germany

September 19, 2006 - November 25, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 6, 2006 - September 8, 2006

Parallel Visions II

"Outsider" and "Insider" Art Today

April 5, 2006 - May 26, 2006


His First American Exhibtion

January 17, 2006 - March 18, 2006

Coming of Age

Egon Schiele and the Modernist Culture of Youth

November 15, 2005 - January 7, 2006

Sue Coe:

Sheep of Fools

September 20, 2005 - November 5, 2005

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

June 7, 2005 - September 9, 2005

Every Picture Tells a Story

The Narrative Impulse in Modern and Contemporary Art

April 5, 2005 - May 27, 2005

65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part II

Self-Taught Artists

January 18, 2005 - March 26, 2005

65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I

Austrian and German Expressionism

October 28, 2004 - January 8, 2005

Sue Coe: Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round and Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 8, 2004 - October 16, 2004

Animals & Us

The Animal in Contemporary Art

April 1, 2004 - May 22, 2004

Henry Darger

Art and Myth

January 15, 2004 - March 20, 2004

Body and Soul

Expressionism and the Human Figure

October 7, 2003 - January 3, 2004

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2003 - September 12, 2003

In Search of the "Total Artwork"

Viennese Art and Design 1897–1932

April 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003

Russia's Self-Taught Artists

A New Perspective on the "Outsider"

January 14, 2003 - March 29, 2003

Käthe Kollwitz:

Master Printmaker

October 1, 2002 - January 4, 2003

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002

Workers of the World

Modern Images of Labor

April 2, 2002 - June 15, 2002

Grandma Moses

Reflections of America

January 15, 2002 - March 16, 2002

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoscha

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

November 23, 2001 - January 5, 2002

The "Black-and-White" Show

Expressionist Graphics in Austria & Germany

September 20, 2001 - November 10, 2001

Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 26, 2001 - September 7, 2001

Art with an Agenda

Politics, Persuasion, Illustration and Decoration

April 10, 2001 - June 16, 2001

"Our Beautiful and Tormented Austria!": Art Brut in the Land of Freud

January 18, 2001 - March 17, 2001

The Tragedy of War

November 16, 2000 - January 6, 2001

The Expressionist City

September 19, 2000 - November 4, 2000

Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 20, 2000 - September 8, 2000

From Façade to Psyche

Turn-of-the-Century Portraiture in Austria & Germany

March 28, 2000 - June 10, 2000

European Self-Taught Art

Brut or Naive?

January 18, 2000 - March 11, 2000

Saved From Europe

In Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 6, 1999 - January 8, 2000

The Modern Child

(Images of Children in Twentieth-Century Art)

September 14, 1999 - November 6, 1999

Recent Acquisitions

(And a Look at Sixty Years of Art Dealing)

June 15, 1999 - September 3, 1999

Sue Coe: The Pit

The Tragical Tale of the Rise and Fall of a Vivisector

March 30, 1999 - June 5, 1999

Henry Darger and His Realms

January 14, 1999 - March 13, 1999

Becoming Käthe Kollwitz

An Artist and Her Influences

November 17, 1998 - December 31, 1998

George Grosz - Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler

Art & Gender in Weimar Germany

September 23, 1998 - November 11, 1998

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts About Looted Art)

June 9, 1998 - September 11, 1998


Repression and Revolt in Modern Art

March 26, 1998 - May 30, 1998

Sacred & Profane

Michel Nedjar and Expressionist Primitivism

January 13, 1998 - March 14, 1998

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

Master Draughtsman

November 18, 1997 - January 3, 1998

The New Objectivity

Realism in Weimar-Era Germany

September 16, 1997 - November 8, 1997

Recent Acquisitions

A Question of Quality

June 10, 1997 - September 5, 1997

Käthe Kollwitz - Lea Grundig

Two German Women & The Art of Protest

March 25, 1997 - May 31, 1997

That Way Madness Lies

Expressionism and the Art of Gugging

January 14, 1997 - March 15, 1997

The Viennese Line

Art and Design Circa 1900

November 18, 1996 - January 4, 1997

Emil Nolde - Christian Rohlfs

Two German Expressionist Masters

September 24, 1996 - November 9, 1996

Breaking All The Rules

Art in Transition

June 11, 1996 - September 6, 1996

Sue Coe's Ship of Fools

March 26, 1996 - May 24, 1996

New York Folk

Lawrence Lebduska, Abraham Levin, Isreal Litwak

January 16, 1996 - March 16, 1996

The Fractured Form

Expressionism and the Human Body

November 15, 1995 - January 6, 1996

From Left to Right

Social Realism in Germany and Russia, Circa 1919-1933

September 19, 1995 - November 4, 1995

Recent Acquisitions

June 20, 1995 - September 8, 1995

On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 1995

Earl Cummingham - Grandma Moses

Visions of America

January 17, 1995 - March 18, 1995

Drawn to Text: Comix Artists as Book Illustrators

November 15, 1994 - January 7, 1995

Three Berlin Artists of the Weimar Era: Hannah Höch, Käthe Kollwitz, Jeanne Mam

September 13, 1994 - November 5, 1994

55th Anniversary Exhibition in Memory of Otto Kallir

June 7, 1994 - September 2, 1994

Sue Coe: We All Fall Down

March 29, 1994 - May 27, 1994

The Forgotten Folk Art of the 1940's

January 18, 1994 - March 19, 1994

Symbolism and the Austrian Avant Garde

Klimt, Schiele and their Contemporaries

November 16, 1993 - January 8, 1994

Art and Politics in Weimar Germany

September 14, 1993 - November 6, 1993

Recent Acquisitions

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993

The "Outsider" Question

Non-Academic Art from 1900 to the Present

March 23, 1993 - May 28, 1993

The Dance of Death

Images of Mortality in German Art

January 19, 1993 - March 13, 1993

Art Spiegelman

The Road to Maus

November 17, 1992 - January 9, 1993

Käthe Kollwitz

In Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth

September 15, 1992 - November 7, 1992

Naive Visions/Art Nouveau and Expressionism/Sue Coe: The Road to the White House

May 19, 1992 - September 4, 1992

Richard Gerstl/Oskar Kokoschka

March 17, 1992 - May 9, 1992

Scandal, Outrage, Censorship

Controversy in Modern Art

January 21, 1992 - March 7, 1992

Viennese Graphic Design

From Secession to Expressionism

November 19, 1991 - January 11, 1992

The Expressionist Figure

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991

Recent Acquisitions

Themes and Variations

May 14, 1991 - August 16, 1991

Sue Coe Retrospective

Political Document of a Decade

March 12, 1991 - May 5, 1991

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, drawings and prints

January 22, 1991 - March 2, 1991

Egon Schiele

November 13, 1990 - January 12, 1991

Lovis Corinth

A Retrospective

September 11, 1990 - November 3, 1990

Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990

Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, Alfred Kubin

A Study in Influences

March 27, 1990 - June 2, 1990

The Narrative in Art

January 23, 1990 - March 17, 1990

Grandma Moses

November 14, 1989 - January 13, 1990

Sue Coe

Porkopolis--Animals and Industry

September 19, 1989 - November 4, 1989

The Galerie St. Etienne

A History in Documents and Pictures

June 20, 1989 - September 8, 1989

Gustav Klimt

Paintings and Drawings

April 11, 1989 - June 10, 1989

Fifty Years Galerie St. Etienne: An Overview

February 14, 1989 - April 1, 1989

Folk Artists at Work

Morris Hirshfield, John Kane and Grandma Moses

November 15, 1988 - January 14, 1989

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

June 14, 1988 - September 16, 1988

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

April 12, 1988 - May 27, 1988

Three Pre-Expressionists

Lovis Corinth Käthe Kollwitz Paula Modersohn-Becker

January 26, 1988 - March 12, 1988

Käthe Kollwitz

The Power of the Print

November 17, 1987 - January 16, 1988

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

April 7, 1987 - October 31, 1987

Folk Art of This Century

February 10, 1987 - March 28, 1987

Oskar Kokoschka and His Time

November 25, 1986 - January 31, 1987

Viennese Design and Wiener Werkstätte

September 23, 1986 - November 8, 1986

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, Drawings and Prints

May 27, 1986 - September 13, 1986

Expressionist Painters

March 25, 1986 - May 10, 1986

Käthe Kollwitz/Paula Modersohn-Becker

January 28, 1986 - March 15, 1986

The Art of Giving

December 3, 1985 - January 18, 1986

Expressionists on Paper

October 8, 1985 - November 23, 1985

European and American Landscapes

June 4, 1985 - September 13, 1985

Expressionist Printmaking

Aspects of its Genesis and Development

April 1, 1985 - May 24, 1985

Expressionist Masters

January 18, 1985 - March 23, 1985

Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna

November 13, 1984 - January 5, 1985

Grandma Moses and Selected Folk Paintings

September 25, 1984 - November 3, 1984

American Folk Art

People, Places and Things

June 12, 1984 - September 14, 1984

John Kane

Modern America's First Folk Painter

April 17, 1984 - May 25, 1984

Eugène Mihaesco

The Illustrator as Artist

February 28, 1984 - April 7, 1984

Early Expressionist Masters

January 17, 1984 - February 18, 1984

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Germany's Pioneer Modernist

November 15, 1983 - January 7, 1984

Gustav Klimt

Drawings and Selected Paintings

September 20, 1983 - November 5, 1983

Early and Late

Drawings, Paintings & Prints from Academicism to Expressionism

June 1, 1983 - September 2, 1983

Alfred Kubin

Visions From The Other Side

March 22, 1983 - May 7, 1983

20th Century Folk

The First Generation

January 18, 1983 - March 12, 1983

Grandma Moses

The Artist Behind the Myth

November 15, 1982 - January 8, 1983

Käthe Kollwitz

The Artist as Printmaker

September 28, 1982 - November 6, 1982

Aspects of Modernism

June 1, 1982 - September 3, 1982

The Human Perspective

Recent Acquisitions

March 16, 1982 - May 15, 1982

19th and 20th Century European and American Folk Art

January 19, 1982 - March 6, 1982

The Folk Art Tradition

Naïve Painting in Europe and the United States

November 17, 1981 - January 9, 1982

Austria's Expressionism

April 21, 1981 - May 30, 1981

Eugène Mihaesco

His First American One-Man Show

March 3, 1981 - April 11, 1981

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele

November 12, 1980 - December 27, 1980

Summer Exhibition

June 17, 1980 - October 31, 1980

Kollwitz: The Drawing and The Print

May 1, 1980 - June 10, 1980

40th Anniversary Exhibition

November 13, 1979 - December 28, 1979

American Primitive Art

November 22, 1977

Käthe Kollwitz

December 1, 1976

Neue Galerie-Galerie St. Etienne

A Documentary Exhibition

May 1, 1976

Martin Pajeck

January 27, 1976

Georges Rouault and Frans Masereel

April 29, 1972

Branko Paradis

December 1, 1971

Käthe Kollwitz

February 3, 1971

Egon Schiele

The Graphic Work

October 19, 1970

Gustav Klimt

March 20, 1970

Friedrich Hundertwasser

May 6, 1969

Austrian Art of the 20th Century

March 21, 1969

Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

October 31, 1968

Yugoslav Primitive Art

April 30, 1968

Alfred Kubin

January 30, 1968

Käthe Kollwitz

In the Cause of Humanity

October 23, 1967

Abraham Levin

September 26, 1967

Karl Stark

April 5, 1967

Gustav Klimt

February 4, 1967

The Wiener Werkstätte

November 16, 1966

Oskar Laske

October 25, 1965

Käthe Kollwitz

May 1, 1965

Egon Schiele

Watercolors and Drawings from American Collections

March 1, 1965

25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part II

November 21, 1964

25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

October 17, 1964

Mary Urban

June 9, 1964

Werner Berg, Jane Muus and Mura Dehn

May 5, 1964

Eugen Spiro

April 4, 1964

B. F. Dolbin

Drawings of an Epoch

March 3, 1964

Austrian Expressionists

January 6, 1964

Joseph Rifesser

December 3, 1963

Panorama of Yugoslav Primitive Art

October 21, 1963

Joe Henry

Watercolors of Vermont

May 1, 1963

French Impressionists

March 8, 1963

Grandma Moses

Memorial Exhibition

November 26, 1962

Group Show

October 15, 1962

Ernst Barlach

March 23, 1962

Martin Pajeck

February 24, 1962

Paintings by Expressionists

January 27, 1962

Käthe Kollwitz

November 11, 1961

Grandma Moses

September 7, 1961

My Friends

Fourth Biennial of Pictures by American School Children

May 27, 1961

Raimonds Staprans

April 17, 1961

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin

March 14, 1961

Marvin Meisels

January 23, 1961

Egon Schiele

November 15, 1960

My Life's History

Paintings by Grandma Moses

September 12, 1960

Watercolors and Drawings by Austrian Artists from the Dial Collection

May 2, 1960

Martin Pajeck

February 29, 1960

Eugen Spiro

February 6, 1960

Käthe Kollwitz

December 14, 1959

Josef Scharl

Last Paintings and Drawings

November 11, 1959

European and American Expressionists

September 22, 1959

Our Town

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

May 23, 1959

Marvin Meisels and Martin Pajeck

May 1, 1959

Gustav Klimt

April 1, 1959

Käthe Kollwitz

January 12, 1959

Oskar Kokoschka

October 28, 1958

Village Life in Guatemala

Paintings by Andres Curuchich

June 3, 1958

Two Unknown American Expressionists

Paintings by Marvin Meisels and Martin Pajeck

April 28, 1958

Paula Modersohn-Becker

March 15, 1958

The Great Tradition in American Painting

American Primitive Art

January 20, 1958

Jules Lefranc and Dominique Lagru

Two French Primitives

November 18, 1957

Margret Bilger

October 22, 1957

The Four Seasons

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

June 11, 1957

Grandma Moses

May 6, 1957

Alfred Kubin

April 3, 1957

Franz Lerch

March 2, 1957

Egon Schiele

January 21, 1957

Josef Scharl

Memorial Exhibition

November 17, 1956

Irma Rothstein

May 19, 1956

Käthe Kollwitz

April 16, 1956

A Tribute to Grandma Moses

November 28, 1955

As I See Myself

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

May 20, 1955

Juan De'Prey

April 19, 1955

Erich Heckel

March 29, 1955

Freddy Homburger

March 2, 1955

Masters of the 19th Century

January 18, 1955

Oskar Kokoschka

November 29, 1954

Isabel Case Borgatta and Josef Scharl

October 12, 1954

James N. Rosenberg and Eugen Spiro

April 30, 1954

Per Krogh

April 2, 1954

Cuno Amiet

February 16, 1954

Eniar Jolin

January 14, 1954

Irma Rothstein

December 8, 1953

Josef Scharl

November 11, 1953

Grandma Moses

October 21, 1953 - October 24, 1953

Wilhelm Kaufmann

September 30, 1953

Lovis Corinth, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

May 27, 1953

A Grandma Moses Album

Recent Paintings, 1950-1953

April 15, 1953

Streeter Blair

American Primitive

February 26, 1953

Paintings on Glass

Austrian Religious Folk Art of the 17th to 19th Centuries

December 4, 1952

Hasan Kaptan

Paintings of a Ten-Year-Old Turkish Painter

October 29, 1952

Margret Bilger

May 10, 1952

American Natural Painters

March 31, 1952

Ten Years of New York Concert Impressions by Eugen Spiro; Four New Paintings by

January 26, 1952


Watercolors of New York by a Chinese Artist

December 1, 1951

Käthe Kollwitz

October 25, 1951

Drawings and Watercolors by Austrian Children

May 21, 1951

Grandma Moses

Twenty-Five Masterpieces of Primitive Art

March 17, 1951

Roswitha Bitterlich

January 18, 1951

Oskar Laske

Watercolors of Vienna and the Salzkammergut

October 14, 1950

Tenth Anniversary Exhibition

Part II

May 11, 1950

Austrian Art of the 19th Century

From Wadlmüller to Klimt

April 1, 1950

Chiao Ssu-Tu

February 18, 1950

Anton Faistauer

January 1, 1950

Tenth Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

November 30, 1949

Autograph Exhibition

October 26, 1949

Gladys Wertheim Bachrach

May 24, 1949

Oskar Kokoschka

March 30, 1949

Eugen Spiro

February 19, 1949

Frans Masereel

January 13, 1949

Ten Years Grandma Moses

November 22, 1948

Käthe Kollwitz


October 18, 1948

American Primitives

June 3, 1948

Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

April 5, 1948

Miriam Richman

February 7, 1948

Vally Wieselthier

Memorial Exhibition

January 10, 1948

Christmas Exhibition

December 4, 1947

Fritz von Unruh

November 10, 1947

Käthe Kollwitz

October 4, 1947

Grandma Moses

May 17, 1947

Lovis Corinth

April 16, 1947

Hugo Steiner-Prag

March 15, 1947

Mark Baum

January 11, 1947

Eugen Spiro

November 25, 1946

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

May 17, 1946

Ladis W. Sabo

Paintings by a New Primitive Artist

April 8, 1946

Georges Rouault

The Graphic Work

February 26, 1946

Käthe Kollwitz

Memorial Exhibition

November 21, 1945

Fred E. Robertson

Paintings by an American Primitive

June 13, 1945

Max Liebermann

The Graphic Work

April 18, 1945

Vienna through Four Centuries

March 1, 1945

Eugen Spiro

January 20, 1945

Grandma Moses

New Paintings

December 5, 1944

Käthe Kollwitz

Part II

October 26, 1944

A Century of French Graphic Art

From Géricault to Picasso

September 28, 1944

Max Liebermann

Memorial Exhibition

June 9, 1944

Juan De'Prey

Paintings by a Self-Taught Artist from Puerto Rico

May 6, 1944

Abraham Levin

April 15, 1944

Lesser Ury

Memorial Exhibition

March 21, 1944

Grandma Moses

Paintings by the Senior of the American Primitives

February 9, 1944

Betty Lane

January 11, 1944

WaIt Disney Cavalcade

December 9, 1943

Käthe Kollwitz

Part I

November 3, 1943

Will Barnet

September 29, 1943

Lovis Corinth

May 26, 1943

Josephine Joy

Paintings by an American Primitive

May 3, 1943

Oskar Kokoschka

Aspects of His Art

March 31, 1943

Eugen Spiro

February 13, 1943

Seymour Lipton

January 18, 1943

Illuminated Gothic Woodcuts

Printed and Painted, 1477-1493

December 5, 1942

Abraham Levin

November 4, 1942

Walt Disney Originals

September 23, 1942

Documents which Relate History

Documents of Historical Importance and Landmarks of Human Development

June 10, 1942

Honoré Daumier

April 29, 1942

Bertha Trabich

Memorial Exhibition of a Russian-American Primitive

March 25, 1942

Alfred Kubin

Master of Drawing

December 4, 1941

Egon Schiele

November 7, 1941

Betty Lane

June 3, 1941

Flowers from Old Vienna

18th and Early 19th Century Flower Painting

May 7, 1941

Weavings by Navaho and Hopi Indians and Photos of Indians by Helen M. Post

January 29, 1941

Georg Merkel

November 7, 1940

What a Farm Wife Painted

Works by Mrs. Anna Mary Moses

October 9, 1940

Saved from Europe

Masterpieces of European Art

July 1, 1940

American Abstract Art

May 22, 1940

Franz Lerch

May 1, 1940

Wilhelm Thöny

April 3, 1940

French Masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries

February 29, 1940

H. W. Hannau

Metropolis, Photographic Studies of New York

February 2, 1940

Oskar Kokoschka

January 9, 1940

Austrian Masters

November 13, 1939


The Art of Patronage in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

March 8, 2007 - May 26, 2007


Andri, Ferdinand

Hoffmann, Josef

Hoppe, Emil

Jungnickel, Ludwig Heinrich

Kammerer, Marcel

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Bohuslav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kubin, Alfred

Peche, Dagobert

Roller, Alfred

Schiele, Egon

Snischek, Max

Wiener Werkstätte


Fin-de-siècle Vienna is widely hailed for the groundbreaking achievements of artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Less well known, however, are the patrons who supported these artists and thereby made their achievements possible. Vienna in 1900 was a city poised at a crossroads between two collecting paradigms: aristocratic patronage, on the one hand, and the capitalistic art market, on the other. Historically, the Catholic Church and the Imperial Court had been the principal patrons of the arts in Austria, but around 1800, these institutions began to relinquish their hegemony to the emerging bourgeoisie. Over the course of the ensuing century, industrialization multiplied both the number and the fortunes of bourgeois collectors. Increased mobility turned Vienna into a modern metropolis. People representing a broad mix of cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds streamed in from all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire, creating a dynamic, melting-pot society. By 1910, Vienna's population stood at two million. (It is today 1.6 million). A late-nineteenth-century building boom gave the city the most advanced infrastructure in all of Europe.


Nevertheless, in other ways Vienna was more backward than the rest of Europe. To begin with, Austria was less heavily industrialized and thus less well integrated into the international economy. Consequently, Austria's cultural ties to Western Europe were looser than was the case, for example, in neighboring Germany. And unlike Germany or France, Austria at the turn of the twentieth century had not yet developed an effective cadre of entrepreneurial art dealers. Throughout Western Europe, dealers played a key role in promoting modern art. They acted as impresarios, publishers and intermediaries, connecting artists to a far-flung array of adventuresome new collectors. Comparable dealers did not emerge in Austria until after World War I. It was largely left to the fin-de siècle Viennese avant garde to promote their own innovations. Direct contact between artist and patron--possible only under relatively provincial circumstances--remained the norm in Austria much longer than elsewhere in Europe.


The turn-of-the century Viennese avant garde grew up during a period when official patronage was enjoying an intense but short-lived efflorescence. The grand public buildings erected along Vienna’s Ringstrasse in the second half of the nineteenth century proved a boon for architects, and many artists found employment painting murals within these edifices. Gustav Klimt got his start as just such a muralist, working in partnership with his brother Ernst and the artist Franz Matsch. The team began in the provinces and gradually worked their way to the capital, distinguishing themselves there with the ceiling paintings for the new Burgtheater. But following Ernst Klimt's untimely death in 1892, Gustav's career took an unexpected turn. In three canvasses commissioned for the great hall at the University of Vienna, Klimt eschewed the celebratory allegories customary for such projects and instead presented his assigned subjects--Medicine, Jurisprudence and Philosophy--as futile bulwarks against despair and mortality. A petition denouncing the paintings was circulated among the University's professors, and an anti-Klimt campaign was launched in the press, until finally the artist bowed under the onslaught and in 1905 renounced the commission. Klimt's renunciation marked the unofficial end of official patronage in Vienna, which in any case had been tapering off of its own accord.


Nonetheless, the concept of government patronage remained Klimt's ideal, for only the government could provide artists with a public forum in which to deliver grand statements about human existence. Lamenting the fact that such a forum was no longer available, Klimt instead advocated the formation of a Künstlerschaft, a community uniting artists with likeminded collectors. The mainstays of the Viennese avant garde, the Secession (founded in 1897) and the Wiener Werkstätte (founded in 1903), both embraced this concept. The aesthetic corollary to the Künstlerschaft was the Gesamtkunstwerk, which entailed leveling the fine and applied arts in order to create all-encompassing artistic environments. Collectors were encouraged to deck themselves out, from head to toe and floor to ceiling, in the art and artifacts exhibited at the Secession and produced by the Wiener Werkstätte. Friederike Maria Beer, the only person to be painted by both Klimt and Schiele, recalled that she was "a walking advertisement for the Wiener Werkstätte. . . . Every stitch of clothing I owned was designed by them. When I got an apartment of my own, all the furniture, even the rugs, was made by them."


Patronage was a lifestyle choice. As Mäda Primavesi, the daughter of one of the Werkstätte's financiers put it, the idea was "not just to buy paintings or sculptures, but to live the life, humanly, intellectually, socially." Industrialists such as Mäda's father, Otto Primavesi, Fritz Waerndorfer (the Werkstätte's first backer) and Karl Wittgenstein (who paid for the Secession's building) poured huge sums into these ventures. Primavesi and Waerndorfer were eventually bankrupted by their largesse. But all the great Viennese collectors of the early twentieth century bought generously. Wittgenstein owned half a dozen paintings by Klimt and gave numerous commissions to the architect Josef Hoffmann, a driving force behind both the Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte. Waerndorfer, too, patronized Klimt and Hoffmann in depth, in addition to supporting the Secession and the Werkstätte with more broadly scattered purchases. August and Serena Lederer owned over a dozen major paintings by Klimt and several hundred of his drawings. Adele and Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer owned seven Klimt oils, including two large portraits of Adele, painted in 1907 and 1912. The entire Zuckerkandl family actively promoted the avant garde: Berta was a journalist in whose salon the cultural intelligentsia hatched its plans; her brother-in-law Victor gave the Wiener Werkstätte its first big architectural commission, the Purkersdorf Sanatorium, and his wife, Paula, was painted by Klimt; Victor's other sister-in-law, Amalie, also sat for a Klimt portrait (unfinished at the time of the artist's death).


Klimt was able to thrive with the support of only a few patrons, because many of them were repeat customers and because his prices were very high. (Klimt charged 10,000 Kronen for a life-sized portrait, roughly eight times the annual salary of an elementary school teacher.) But this relatively narrow client base did not bode well for the Austrian art market as a whole. Though the Secession was geared more to the fine arts and the Wiener Werkstätte more to the applied arts, the major players, such as Klimt, Hoffmann and the designer Koloman Moser, were active in both, and as time went by, it seemed that this group was monopolizing the market. Since the Secession, run by and for artists, not only exhibited but also sold its members' work, conflicts of interest were inevitable. The Vienna Secession might have ameliorated these conflicts by following the example of its Berlin counterpart, which in 1899 engaged the art dealers Bruno and Paul Cassirer to manage its business affairs. In fact, the Vienna Secession did have a de facto alliance with the commercial Galerie Miethke, run by the Secessionist painter Carl Moll and Klimt's friend and sailing companion, Paul Bacher. However, the relationship with Miethke only exacerbated the perceived conflict of interest. When the so-called Klimtgruppe suggested that the Secession buy the Galerie Miethke, the rest of the membership revolted and, by a narrow vote, defeated the proposal. In 1905, Klimt and his group resigned, leaving the Secession without its most talented members and those members without an exhibition space.


The Vienna Secession and, eventually, the Wiener Werkstätte, were hobbled by an unavoidable clash between artistic ideals and commercial realities. According to Klimt, the Secession's founding President, its goal was to put "exhibitions on a purely artistic footing, free from any commercial considerations." The turn-of-the century Viennese avant garde had a profound distrust--not to say loathing--of the capitalist marketplace. Professional art dealers, they felt, were corrupt mercenaries. Conveniently ignoring the fact that their bourgeois patrons were equally if not more corrupted by contact with capitalism, the artists believed the collectors' motives were pure. And this was largely true: these people felt so secure in their wealth that their purchases were uninfluenced by any thought of profit or the sort of investment talk so common today. On the contrary, supporting artists was a way to purge money of its capitalistic taint, to put it in the service of a higher aesthetic cause. For the nouveau-riche collector, patronage was a way of aping the prerogatives of a hereditary aristocracy to which, honorary titles notwithstanding, they could never entirely belong. Fin-de-siécle patronage used the fruits of modern capitalism to emulate and prolong an aristocratic tradition that was nevertheless moribund.


Paradoxically, the foregoing circumstances forced the artists themselves to assume the loathsome role of the capitalistic dealer. And the artists weren't particularly good at this. As the Secession split demonstrated, artists' individualistic aesthetic agendas made it difficult for them to serve the needs of a diverse community of colleagues. The Wiener Werkstätte, by comparison, comprised a more cohesive body of artists and artisans. However, their commitment to the highest standards of workmanship and materials led to persistent cost overruns and deficits, which the organization's generous backers constantly had to make good. Opposition to mass production prevented Hoffmann from sanctioning the sort of lower-priced items that might have attracted a broader clientele and kept the Werkstätte financially afloat. The Wiener Werkstätte was not a competently run business, but then, that was never its goal. It is a testament to the endurance and wherewithal of the fin-de-siècle patron class that the Werkstätte managed to survive as long as it did, weathering two brushes with bankruptcy before finally succumbing under the impact of the Great Depression in 1932.


Indeed, the collectors who had patronized the Secession prior to the Klimtgruppe’s resignation in 1905 remained loyal to the aesthetic program launched during those formative years and carried forward by the Wiener Werkstätte. These patrons were not, as a result, especially supportive of the younger Expressionists who came on the scene toward the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. If at all, the fin-de-siècle collectors bought the Expressionists’ work grudgingly and sparingly. The new style was abrasive, the portraits painted by artists such as Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele far from flattering. The heiress Magda Mautner-Markhof, a great champion of the Wiener Werkstätte, found Schiele’s work “quite alien”; gritting her teeth, she bought a relatively tame landscape. Fritz Waerndorfer also owned a Schiele landscape. Klimt introduced Schiele to August and Serena Lederer, but it was their fifteen-year-old son, Erich, who invited the artist to paint his portrait, using the proceeds of a winning lottery ticket given him by his grandmother. While Erich would become a great collector of Schiele’s work, his parents never got used to the artist, whom they considered a bad influence.


If the fin-de-siècle patron class was composed largely of the haute bourgeoisie, Schiele’s principal collectors were for the most part middle-class professionals (with the notable exception of Carl Reininghaus, heir to a paint factory and brewery fortune). This cast of characters included the art critic Arthur Roessler, the railroad inspector Heinrich Benesch, the innkeeper Franz Hauer and Oskar Reichel, a well-to-do doctor. In keeping with the Viennese tradition of patronage, most of these collectors were prepared to become actively involved in Schiele’s life: they acted as friends and advisors, ran errands, bailed him out of financial scrapes and sometimes even functioned as dealers. Schiele’s early collectors were also willing to buy in depth: together, Roessler, Reininghaus and Reichel purchased over half the oils painted by the artist in 1910. Benesch, the least well-off of the group, amassed dozens of Schiele watercolors and drawings. But there was a major difference between Schiele’s collectors and the patrons who had supported the Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte: the former group had far less money, and Schiele, whose prices were less than one-thirtieth of Klimt’s, found it hard to keep his head above water financially. Less pure of heart than the members of Klimt’s ideal Künstlerschaft, Reichel often used Schiele’s straightened circumstances to drive shrewd bargains, causing the artist to complain, “I will never be able to forget that someone who owns a Van Gogh can speak so crudely.” Roessler, who wore several hats as a writer, friend and de-facto agent for Schiele, increasingly fell prey to acrimonious misunderstandings about what, if anything, he was owed for his services. Schiele’s relationships with all his early collectors gradually soured.


The obvious alternative to the foundering system of private patronage was the relatively buoyant German art market. Unlike Austria, Germany had collectors in a number of urban centers and a network of active dealers connecting them all. At the start of his career, Oskar Kokoschka relied on his mentor, the architect Adolf Loos, to get him portrait commissions, almost all of which were rejected by the sitters. But the artist soon decamped to Berlin, where he exhibited at Herwarth Walden’s Sturm gallery. More than just a salesman, Walden organized shows throughout Europe, brought foreign modern art to Germany, and promoted Kokoschka and other artists through his magazine, also called Der Sturm. By 1916, Kokoschka had transcended the avant-garde circle represented by Walden and was given an exclusive contract by the much better established dealer Paul Cassirer. Both Walden and Cassirer were instrumental in furthering Kokoschka’s reputation and in placing his work in many more collections than the artist would have been able to reach on his own. Moreover, these dealers created a stable market, which was especially significant when it came to resales. In Austria, collectors wishing to deaccession work often had to trade the paintings directly among themselves, which severely limited their options. By way of contrast, in 1918 roughly half of Kokoschka’s paintings had already found their way into the hands of German collectors, many through resale.


It is not surprising that, after a rather desultory exhibition at Vienna’s Galerie Miethke, Schiele began pestering Roessler to get him a dealer in Germany. Roessler obliged, and in 1911 Schiele started showing at Hans Goltz’s Munich gallery, Neue Kunst. But the artist could not get used to working with a commercial dealer, who, unlike a patron, had to make a profit in addition to meeting considerable overhead expenses. The artist refused to sign an exclusive contract, which would have strengthened Goltz’s commitment to him. “That sort of contractual stipulation should apply only to operetta singers,” Schiele wrote Roessler. “If I want to, I will send my work wherever I want.” After an unsuccessful one-man show in 1913, Goltz severed his ties with the artist, pronouncing Schiele’s paintings “unsalable.” A burgeoning relationship with the Vienna dealer Guido Arnot similarly collapsed when Schiele refused to yield to the gallery’s pricing demands. “The Galerie Arnot cannot survive simply by the honor of exhibiting the work of Mr. Egon Schiele,” the dealer caustically noted. To the end of his brief life, Schiele never overcame his aversion to dealers. In 1917, he began talking about founding a Kunsthalle, an artist-run exhibition and sales venue much along the lines of the Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte. Schiele was determined to save the “remnants of noble culture” from the “materialistic tendencies of our civilization.” Notwithstanding his own fractious experiences with private patronage, Schiele could not abandon the dream of an enlightened Künstlerschaft. His final triumph, less than a year before his death in October 1918, was a sold-out exhibition at the Vienna Secession.


The greatest paradox besetting Vienna’s modernists was that, despite all their talk of creating an art befitting the age, they were extremely selective about embracing the exigencies of the modern era. After the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the abdication of the last Habsburg monarch in 1918, nostalgia for the lost aristocratic past threatened to completely overwhelm liberal thought. The Viennese intelligentsia had never put much faith in democracy: the strife within the democratically governed Secession, the culture wars fought by Klimt on behalf of his University paintings, and similar battles waged by such diverse figures as Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg reinforced a disdain for the judgment of the majority. Culture was the business of a self-chosen elite. The avant garde also harbored intensely ambivalent feelings toward the bourgeoisie. At its best, the bourgeoisie was the backbone of the Künstlerschaft, a group so devoted to culture that, in the absence of public transportation following World War I, they would walk to the Vienna suburb of Mödling to study music with Schoenberg. Yet much as these bourgeois devotees might admire the “noble culture” of the past, they were products of the “materialistic” present. From their ranks came the despised war profiteers and the “speculative” art dealers. And often, the devoted connoisseur and the despicable speculator were one and the same person.


In the 1920s, nostalgia for the aristocracy and fear of bourgeois capitalism helped further Austria’s peculiar brand of socialism, which comfortably amalgamated the bureaucracy, paternalism and the top-down hierarchical governance of the old monarchy. Most ominously, these anti-capitalistic trends also furthered anti-Semitism. Involvement in the financial services, an area historically off-limits to Christians, had given Jews a leg up in the growth of industrial capitalism. Jewish industrialists, by this time largely assimilated if not baptized into Christian society, figured prominently among the turn-of-the-century patrons of the arts. Lacking ties to the more conservative cultural traditions of the Christian aristocracy, the Jewish bourgeoisie was arguably more open to modernist experimentation. They appropriated the trappings of aristocratic patronage but remade its content. The Bloch-Bauers, the Lederers, Oskar Reichel, Karl Wittgenstein and the Zuckerkandels were Jewish. Other collectors married Jews. For example, Otto Benesch, the son of Heinrich, wed Eva Steiner, the daughter of the Jewish collectors Hugo and Lily Steiner, who in addition to patronizing Schiele, commissioned Adolf Loos to design their home. Schiele’s lawyer, Alfred Spitzer, and dentist, Heinrich Rieger, were Jewish, and both amassed considerable collections of the artist’s work, partly in exchange for their services. Among the key Viennese dealers who promoted the Austrian avant garde in the period between the two world wars, Lea Bondi-Jaray at the Galerie Würthle and the book-seller Richard Lanyi were Jewish, as was Otto Kallir [-Nirenstein], who founded the original Neue Galerie in 1923. Following the Nazi Anschluss in 1938, these patrons or their descendents were all driven from Austria, some to their deaths and others to exile. As a result, the seeds of the fin-de-siècle cultural revolution were scattered to the winds. Some of those seeds sprouted roots in foreign soil--such as Otto Kallir’s Galerie St. Etienne and Ronald Lauder’s Neue Galerie New York. Detached from its historical origins, the art became a memento of a lost time, a golden age now gone.


We would like to express our warmest thanks to all the lenders whose generous cooperation made our presentation possible, including Merrill C. Berman, the Neue Galerie New York, and several anonymous private collectors. Checklist entries include catalogue raisonné numbers, where applicable. Unless otherwise indicated, image dimensions are given for the prints and full dimensions for all other works. Copies of Saved from Europe, which documents the history of Otto Kallir’s galleries in Vienna and New York, may be ordered for $25.00 in hardcover or $15.00 in paperback. Shipping and handling charges are $6.00. New York residents, please add sales tax.