Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fourteenth Secessionist Exhibition catalogue, featuring Gustav Klimt's "Beethoven" frieze (facsimile edition)

My wife and I were traveling for a good potion of August and had the pleasure of spending three days in Vienna two weeks ago. Vienna is an incredible place, full of some of the finest art, architecture and design I've ever seen in person. One of the highlights was the Secession Building, which featured Gustav Klimt's "Beethoven" frieze. The frieze was made for the Secessionist group's fourteenth exhibition; the focus of this show was Max Klinger's statue of Beethoven, which was presented in the center atrium of the building. It's strange to think of the great Klimt in a support role, but his frieze was essentially that, presented in a side foyer of the building with spaces planned throughout the frieze so that viewers could see Klinger's statue.

In the gift shop of the Secessionist Building, I found this incredible facsimile of the XIV Exhibition catalogue - it's full of gorgeous woodcuts and Secessionist designs. Here is the title page and the endpapers:

The book's entirely in German, which unfortunately is lost on me, but the text is set beautifully with illustrated dropcaps:

And here's a great spread of Secessionist members' signatures (it was a blast to see these crop up in paintings throughout the Leopold and Belvedere):

This facsimile was limited to only 300 copies -- at only something like 30 EUR I thought it was a must-buy. A beautiful souvenir from a fantastic city.

Currently reading:
Krazy by Michael Tisserand

Currently listening to:
Frank Ocean, "Blond"