Past Exhibitions

Education

“As though my body were naught but ciphers”: Crises of Representation in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna


Fri, 02/11/2005 - 19:00 -- wds
“As though my body were naught but ciphers”: Crises of Representation in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
February 12, 2005—June 12, 2005 Busch-Reisinger Museum

Egon Schiele, Sleeping Figure with Blanket, 1910, Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum.

Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s 1902 reflection quoted in the exhibition title is emblematic of the crisis of representation experienced by both artists and writers in Vienna around 1900. This exhibition of 42 works explores these parallel crises by concentrating on the themes of decoration, abstraction, and the feminine. Drawn primarily from Harvard collections, it presents works on paper, illustrated books, and textile samples by artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and Josef Hoffmann alongside early editions of key publications by Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Hofmannsthal, and Arthur Schnitzler. This teaching exhibition complements Harvard Professor Peter Burgard’s core curriculum course “Repression and Expression: Literature and Art in Fin-de-Siècle Germany and Austria.” Organized by Laura Muir, Charles C. Cunningham Sr. Assistant Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum; and Peter J. Burgard, Professor of German, Department of Germanic Languages and Literature, Harvard University.