The Memory Factory
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The Memory Factory introduces an English-speaking public to the significant women artists of Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, each chosen for her aesthetic innovations and participation in public exhibitions. These women played important public roles as exhibiting artists, both individually and in collectives, but this history has been silenced over time. Their stories show that the city of Vienna was contradictory and cosmopolitan: despite men-only policies in its main art institutions, it offered a myriad of unexpected ways for women artists to forge successful public careers. Women artists came from the provinces, Russia, and Germany to participate in its vibrant art scene. However, and especially because so many of the artists were Jewish, their contributions were actively obscured beginning in the late 1930s. Many had to flee Austria, losing their studios and lifework in the process. Some were killed in concentration camps. Along with the stories of individual women artists, the author reconstructs the history of separate women artists' associations and their exhibitions. Chapters covering the careers of Tina Blau, Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Bronica Koller, Helene Funke, and Teresa Ries (among others) point to a more integrated and cosmopolitan art world than previously thought; one where women became part of the avant-garde, accepted and even highlighted in major exhibitions at the Secession and with the Klimt group.



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Date de parution 15 mai 2012
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EAN13 9781612492032
Langue English
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The Memory Factory
The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900
Central European Studies
Charles W. Ingrao, senior editor
Gary B. Cohen, editor
Franz A. J. Szabo, editor
The Memory Factory
The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900
Julie M. Johnson
Purdue University Press West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University Press gratefully acknowledges financial assistance provided for this book by the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the Department of Art and Art History of the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Cover image: Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, The Travelers , 1938. Oil on canvas. The Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, London. Photograph courtesy of MLVM Trust.
Copyright 2012 by Purdue University. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Johnson, Julie M.
The Memory Factory: The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900 / Julie M. Johnson.
p. cm. -- (Central European studies)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-55753-613-6 (pbk.) -- ISBN 978-1-61249-224-7 (epdf) -- ISBN 978-1-61249-203-2 (epub) 1. Women artists--Austria--Vienna--Biography. 2. Art and society--Austria--Vienna--History--19th century. 3. Art and society--Austria--Vienna--History--20th century. I. Title.
N6811.J64 2012
I dedicate this book to my daughter Isabel, with love and respect.
List of Illustrations
Chapter One
Writing, Erasing, Silencing: Tina Blau and the (Woman) Artist’s Biography
Chapter Two
Elena Luksch-Makowsky and the New Spatial Aesthetic at the Vienna Secession
Chapter Three
Broncia Koller and Interiority in Public Art Exhibitions
Chapter Four
Rediscovering Helene Funke: The Invisible Foremother
Chapter Five
Teresa Ries in the Memory Factory
Chapter Six
Women as Public Artists in the Institutional Landscape
Chapter Seven
The Ephemeral Museum of Women Artists
Chapter Eight
1900-1938: Erasure
Appendix: Biographies
Fig. 1. Teresa Ries, Lucifer , ca. 1897.
Fig. 2 . Egon Schiele, The Roundtable , 1918.
Fig. 3 . Tina Blau, View of Vienna , 1898.
Fig. 4 . Tina Blau, Spring at the Prater , 1882.
Fig. 5 . Josef Engelhart, The Cherry Picker , 1893.
Fig. 6 . August Geigenberger, The Painting Dames in the Marées Exhibition , 1909.
Fig. 7 . Tina Blau, Prater Spring , n.d.
Fig. 8 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, signature block and color woodcut, 1902.
Fig. 9 . Josef Hoffmann, installation of Wiener Werkstätte objects with Elena Luksch-Makowsky’s silverwork, 1907.
Fig. 10 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Self-Portrait with Son Peter , 1901.
Fig. 11 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Adolescentia , 1903.
Fig. 12 . Koloman Moser, installation, 10 th exhibition of the Vienna Secession, 1901.
Fig. 13 . Koloman Moser, installation, 10 th exhibition of the Vienna Secession, 1901.
Fig. 14 . Koloman Moser, installation with Klimt wall, 10 th exhibition of the Vienna Secession, 1901.
Fig. 15 . Koloman Moser, installation, 10 th exhibition of the Vienna Secession, 1901.
Fig. 16 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, birth announcement for Peter Luksch, 1901.
Fig. 17 . Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Self-Portrait: Mother with Child , 1786.
Fig. 18 . Koloman Moser, 13 th exhibition of the Secession, 1902.
Fig. 19 . Alfred Roller, cover of the first issue of Ver Sacrum , 1898.
Fig. 20 . Ferdinand Hodler, Deep Emotion , 1901.
Fig. 21 . Ilse Conrat, Wet Hair , 1900-01.
Fig. 22 . Egon Schiele, Mother and Child ( Madonna ), ca. 1908.
Fig. 23 . Josef Hoffmann, 14 th Secession exhibition, 1902.
Fig. 24 . Josef Hoffmann, 14 th Secession exhibition, 1902.
Fig. 25 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Death and Time , 1902.
Fig. 26 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Sadko’s Viewing of the Brides , 1902.
Fig. 27 . Maximilian Lenz, panel for Beethoven installation, 1902.
Fig. 28 . Throne for Beethoven installation, 1902.
Fig. 29 . Ferdinand Andri, primitive-looking finials, 1902.
Fig. 30 . Josef Hoffmann, 14 th Secession exhibition, 1902.
Fig. 31 . Josef Hoffmann, 17 th Secession exhibition, 1903.
Fig. 32 . Josef Hoffmann, 17 th Secession exhibition, 1903.
Fig. 33 . Josef Hoffmann, 17 th Secession exhibition, 1903.
Fig. 34 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Melpomene frieze, 1905.
Fig. 35 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Melpomene frieze, 1905.
Figs. 36, 37 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Melpomene and the Tragic Chorus , 1905.
Fig. 38 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, The Abbey of Thélème , 1908.
Fig. 39 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Heroic Deeds and Sayings of Gargantua and His Son , 1907.
Fig. 40 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, The Sauna is Our Second Mother , 1908.
Fig. 41 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Woman’s Fate , 1910-12.
Fig. 42 . Elena Luksch-Makowsky, detail, Woman’s Fate , 1911-12.
Fig. 43 . Broncia Koller, Interior in Oberwaltersdorf , after 1912.
Fig. 44 . Broncia Koller, Seated Nude (Marietta) , 1907.
Fig. 45 . Broncia Koller, Still Life with Fruit and Parrot, 1910.
Fig. 46 . Broncia Koller, My Mother , 1907.
Fig. 47 . Egon Schiele, Portrait of the Painter Hans Massmann , 1909.
Fig. 48 . Erwin Lang, Nude (Grete Wiesenthal) , 1909.
Fig. 49 . Broncia Koller, Portrait of Emilie Bittner , 1911.
Fig. 50 . Vincent Van Gogh, Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle , 1889.
Fig. 51 . Anton Peschka, Portrait of Egon Schiele , 1916.
Fig. 52 . Koloman Moser, Kunstschau Painting Room, 1908.
Fig. 53 . Koloman Moser, Kunstschau Sculpture Room, 1908.
Fig. 54 . Josef Hoffmann, Kunstschau Wiener Werkstätte Room; ceramics by Berthold Löffler and Michael Powolny, 1908.
Fig. 55 . Alfred Roller, Kunstschau detail, Theater Arts Room, 1908.
Fig. 56 . Koloman Moser, Kunstschau Graphic Arts Room, 1908.
Fig. 57 . Koloman Moser, Kunstschau Klimt Room, 1908.
Fig. 58 . Broncia Koller, The Birdcage, 1907-08.
Fig. 59 . Broncia Koller, The Harvest, 1908.
Fig. 60 . Installation of the Koller-Shröder exhibition at the Galerie Miethke, 1911.
Fig. 61 . Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer II , 1912.
Fig. 62 . Broncia Koller, Arco , 1910-12.
Fig. 63 . Broncia Koller, The Last Judgement , 1903.
Fig. 64 . Egon Schiele, Portrait of Dr. Hugo Koller , 1918.
Fig. 65 . Broncia Koller, Egon and Edith Schiele , ca. 1918.
Fig. 66 . Helene Funke, Portrait of a Child (Child from Hungary) , before 1910.
Fig. 67 . Helene Funke, In the Boudoir , 1908-10.
Fig. 68 . Photograph of Helene Funke on her studio terrace, 1913.
Fig. 69 . Helene Funke, Still Life with Two Fish , 1920.
Fig. 70 . Helene Funke, Still Life with Fruit and Vessels , 1931.
Fig. 71 . Helene Funke, Peach Still Life , 1918.
Fig. 72 . Helene Funke, Dancers, 1907-08.
Fig. 73 . Helene Funke, In the Loge, 1904-07.
Fig. 74 . Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Loge, 1874.
Fig. 75 . Helene Funke, The Dreamers, 1913.
Fig. 76 . Helene Funke, Still Life with Rose Basket , 1910-19.
Fig. 77 . Helene Funke, Still Life with Pheasant, Hunter’s Head, and Dog , 1922.
Fig. 78 . Helene Funke, Still Life with Tropical Plants , 1910-19.
Fig. 79 . Oskar Laske, Ship of Fools , 1923-49.
Fig. 80 . Teresa Ries, Death , 1898.
Fig. 81 . Teresa Ries, Eve , 1909.
Fig. 82 . Teresa Ries, Witch , 1895.
Fig. 83 . Teresa Ries, Sleepwalker , before 1894.
Fig. 84 . Teresa Ries, Bust of Jaromir Mundy , 1897.
Fig. 85 . Teresa Ries, Bust of Hans Wilczek, 1902.
Fig. 86 . Teresa Ries, The Invincibles , 1900.
Fig. 87 . Teresa Ries’s studio photographs, 1928.
Fig. 88 . Elsa Kalmar von Köveshazi in her studio, n.d.
Fig. 89 . Mark Twain in Teresa Ries’s studio, 1897.
Fig. 90 . Teresa Ries, Self-Portrait , 1902.
Fig. 91 . Teresa Ries, The Soul Returns to God , 1903.
Fig. 92 . Teresa Ries, The Soul Returns to God, 1903.
Fig. 93 . Teresa Ries, detail, Sleepwalker , before 1894.
Fig. 94 . Teresa Ries, detail, Sleepwalker , before 1894.
Fig. 95 . Teresa Ries, Penelope , ca. 1912.
Fig. 96 . Ilse Conrat, Wisdom , ca. 1912.
Fig. 97 . Ilse Conrat, detail, Wisdom , ca. 1912.
Fig. 98 . Ilse Conrat, Laundress fountain in progress, ca. 1914.
Fig. 99 . Josef Engelhart, Adam and Eve Fireplace , 1898.
Fig. 100 . Poster for opening of Teresa Ries’s work, 1928.
Fig. 101 . Teresa Ries, Eve , 1905.
Fig. 102 . Teresa Ries, Witch , 1895.
Fig. 103 . Olga Wisinger-Florian, At Breakfast in Karlsbad , 1895.
Fig. 104 . Gustav Pisko in his salon, ca. 1911.
Fig. 105 . Print Club logo.
Fig. 106 . The Art of the Woman exhibition, Central Historical Room, 1910.
Fig. 107 . The Art of the Woman exhibition, cross-shaped plan, 1910.
Fig. 108 . Berthe Morisot, In the Garden , 1882.
Fig. 109 . Eva Gonzalès, The Donkey Ride , 1880-82.
Fig. 110 . Installation of the 16th exhibition of the Secession with Manet’s Portrait of Mlle E.G. , 1870.
Fig. 111 . Marguerite Gérard, The Triumph of Raton , n.d.
Fig. 112 . Käthe Kollwitz, Unemployment , n.d.
Fig. 113 . Catharina Sanders van Hemessen, Madonna and Child , n.d..
Fig. 114 . Judith Leyster, Portrait of a Child , n.d.
Fig. 115 . Ernestine Lohwag, Portrait of a Child , n.d.
Fig. 116 . Lucia Fairchild Fuller, Portrait of a Child , n.d.
Fig. 117 . Marie Cazin, The Nanny , n.d.
Fig. 118 . Elisabeth Nourse, Procession in Brittany , n.d.
Fig. 119 . Hermine Heller-Ostersetzer, Going to Church in Taufers , n.d.
Fig. 120 . Angelika Kauffmann, Marital Happiness , n.d.
Fig. 121 . Elisabetta Sirani, Martha Scolds Her Vain Sister , 1665.
Figs. 122, 123 . The Art of the Woman installation, 1910.
Fig. 124 . H. Albrecht, At the Exhibition , 1893.
Fig. 125 . Trude Waehner, Self-Portrait in Dieulefît , ca. 1960.
Fig. 126 . Trude Waehner, Golgotha or Auschwitz.
Fig. 127 . Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, This Is How the World Looks, My Child , 1930.
Fig. 128 . Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Interrogation I , 1934-38.
Fig. 129 . Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, The Travelers , 1938.
Fig. 130 . Lilly Steiner, Baroque Composition, 1938.
Fig. 131 . Nora Exner, Icarus , 1908.
Fig. 132 . Ilse Conrat, Brahms Memorial , 1903.
Fig. 133 . Antonio Canova, Tomb for Archduchess Maria Christina , 1798-1805.
Fig. 134 . Ilse Conrat, Gerhardi Family Memorial , 1902.
Fig. 135 . Ilse Conrat, Bust of Empress Elisabeth, 1907.
Fig. 136 . Ilse Conrat, Bust of Empress Elisabeth , 1907.
This book would not have been possible without the assistance of many, to whom I express my sincere gratitude. My first thanks go to Gary Cohen for supporting this project at Purdue University Press and for his erudite comments. Michael Gubser, who read the entire manuscript, also made excellent suggestions. I owe a debt of gratitude to the entire Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I cannot name them all here, but would like to single out Greg Elliott for his unwavering support and spectacular advocacy for this book. I am also indebted to Judy Sobré, who is a marvel in all things regarding art history, and to Kent Rush, for getting me started at UTSA. The brilliant artist Cornelia Swann and her team member Chris Castillo in the Visual Resource Center have helped me with images, always cheerfully and always delivering the best quality possible. Dan Gelo, Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, provided financial support for color images, for which I am very grateful.
Chapters 1 , 6 , and 7 have their roots in my University of Chicago dissertation. I would therefore like to thank all of my teachers there; among those especially relevant for this project, Reinhold Heller, Martha Ward, Barbara Stafford, and the late Miriam Hansen stand out. At a National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored postdoctoral seminar on gender and German studies organized by Biddy Martin of Cornell University, I received substantial advice and a new reading list from Dagmar Herzog. It was a relatively brief encounter that made a long-lasting difference.
Chapters 1 , 4 , and 7 have been previously published as “Writing, Erasing, Silencing: Tina Blau and the (Woman) Artist’s Biography,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 4, no. 3 (Autumn 2005), php/autumn05/ ; “Rediscovering Helene Funke: The Invisible Foremother,” Woman’s Art Journal 29, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 2008): 33-40; and “From Brocades to Silks and Powders: Women’s Art Exhibitions and the Formation of a Gendered Aesthetic in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna,” Austrian History Yearbook 28 (Winter 1997): 269-92. They are reprinted here with permission. Chapter 7 has been significantly revised and updated. These chapters benefited from the editorial comments of outside readers. Chapters 3 and 4 also benefited from audience comments at presentations at annual meetings of the College Art Association.
Much of the primary research was conducted with funding from the Austrian Fulbright Commission and the University of Chicago. In Vienna, I thank especially Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber and Jenö Eisenberger for sharing research materials. Plakolm-Forsthuber has pioneered research on women artists in Austria, and has been a beacon of scholarly generosity over the years. As a fellow researcher in the field, I especially appreciate her ability to find hidden documents and lost works of art and to solve mysteries in uncharted territories. Another debt of gratitude goes to the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK), Vienna’s Institute for Cultural Studies, and its wonderful staff and scholars. Particularly helpful in regard to this project has been one of its affiliated scholars, Heidemarie Uhl, who has done much to establish the field of memory and history in Austria.
To the many collectors, heirs, and institutions who gave me permission to reproduce images, I am very grateful. Thanks to Athina Chadzis, who helped me find the heirs and images for Elena Luksch-Makowsky, and to the Eisenberger family, who provided images of paintings from The Eisenberger Collection. I would also like to thank the librarians and archivists in Vienna, including the friendly staffs at the Bildarchiv, the Belvedere, the Liechtenstein Archive, the Literaturarchiv, the Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, the Niederösterreichisches Landesarchiv, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, and the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek. At Purdue University Press, I would also like to thank Charles Watkinson, Becki Corbin, and last but not least, Dianna Gilroy.
A final note of thanks for my family: to Felix Tweraser, my first reader, I give my undying gratitude. Kurt and Gene Tweraser and my parents, Harvey and Barbara Johnson, have done much to help this project along, more than I could ever repay.
Although studies of the cultural life of Vienna 1900 have become a veritable industry over the last thirty years, there is still much to be uncovered and analyzed about the development of art, literature, scholarship, science, and popular culture in that rich milieu. Julie M. Johnson’s The Memory Factory: The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900 presents a rich, multifaceted examination of Viennese women artists from the end of the nineteenth century into the era of the first Austrian Republic. It is indeed striking that in the large body of work on modernist culture in early twentieth-century Vienna, little has been written outside of specialist studies in art history on any of the visual artists beyond the painters Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka and the designers Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann. These were all towering figures who deserve close attention, but their milieu included other significant figures, among them a number of women of striking originality who contributed much to Viennese and Austrian artistic life at the time and to the development of early twentieth-century modernist art.
The work of Tina Blau, Ilse Conrat, Helene Funke, Broncia Koller, Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Teresa Ries, and others attracted much attention in artistic circles in early twentieth-century Vienna and deserves serious examination now. That we know little or nothing about the women artists derives not merely, though, from scholars of Vienna 1900 focusing on first-rank figures such as Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Moser, and Hoffmann. As Johnson convincingly demonstrates, a number of them were celebrated at the beginning of the century; but then a sustained process of erasure set in, reaching a peak after the Anschluss in 1938. The systematic forgetting denied the importance of the women artists’ work and ultimately largely excluded them, as women, from any broader discussion of Viennese and Central European artistic life.
Johnson’s study encompasses several projects. It recovers the work of Vienna’s women artists and places them back in the artistic and cultural life of their time and place. Johnson also analyzes closely the reception of these artists’ works, their display in exhibitions and galleries, and their treatment in criticism and surveys of art of the time and later. That analysis shows vividly how the gender politics of producing art criticism and eventually writing art history worked to denigrate the work of the women artists and eventually to erase much of their contributions from memory. This book contributes much that is new to our appreciation of the breadth and richness of early twentieth-century modernist art in Vienna and to our understanding of how gender politics can affect the exhibiting of art, producing art criticism, and constructing canons and narratives in art history. Readers interested in Viennese and Austrian cultural history, the history of modern art, the development of art history as a discipline, gender studies, and cultural studies will find much of interest here.
—Gary B. Cohen Series Editor
“Too much Feodorowna Ries! A windstorm of publicity is blowing through the Viennese leaflet-woods.” 1 This was Karl Kraus’s complaint on the media interest that sculptor Teresa Ries (1874-1956) attracted when she opened her atelier at the Palais Liechtenstein to a ten-year show of her work. Ries, who won the admiration of Mark Twain and Stefan Zweig for her life-size sculpture of Lucifer ( fig. 1 ), was once so well known that she was caricatured in a play by Roda Roda, whose works were often shown at the Cabaret Fledermaus. 2 Before they seceded, Gustav Klimt and members of his group visited her in her studio to invite her to exhibit with their new Secession 3 instead of at the Künstlerhaus. She never appeared as an official member of the group because of her gender, but she essentially seceded with the Klimt group and remained loyal to them. This once-famous artist, who had won medals, public commissions, and the admiration of other artists, is now forgotten—a fate that has turned out to be the rule rather than the exception for women artists working in Vienna 1900. 4
Ries was just one of several women who played important public roles as exhibiting artists, both individually and in collectives, but this history has been silenced over time. Their stories show that the city of Vienna was contradictory and cosmopolitan: despite men-only policies in its main art institutions, it offered a myriad of unexpected ways for women artists to forge successful public careers. During the fin de siècle, it attracted women artists from the provinces, Russia, and Germany to participate in its vibrant art scene. Because so many of the artists were Jewish women, a large portion of their records was actively silenced, beginning in the late 1930s. Many had to flee Austria, losing their studios and lifework in the process (such was Ries’s fate). Some were killed in concentration camps. It was not only Jewish women artists who were affected—the personal papers and documentation of Expressionist Helene Funke (1869-1957), for example, were destroyed by Allied bombing. The erasures of the 1930s and 1940s have made it difficult to imagine how vibrant and successful women were as public artists in imperial Vienna.

Fig. 1. Teresa Ries, Lucifer . ca. 1897. Life-size plaster figure. As pictured in her autobiography, Die Sprache des Steines (Vienna: Krystall Verlag, 1928), 107. Destroyed in 1940s.
Women artists have not been included in the best-known histories of the period. Carl Schorske’s 1980 Fin-de-Siècle Vienna emphasized stories of generational tension between fathers and sons and bands of brothers (in institutions, in visual culture, and in artists’ self-representations). In his reading of Klimt, the artist retreated to an art of interiority after the famous ceiling painting crisis, in which a university faculty and the Ministry of Religion and Education tried to interfere with his compositions. 5 The Klimt story was part of a larger argument that showed a generation of writers and intellectuals who identified with aristocratic values, and who, when political liberalism declined, retreated to the realm of the aesthetic, creating a brilliant culture. Steven Beller argued in 1989 that the creative milieu of fin-de-siècle Vienna was not a universal model applicable to other cultures, but that it was specific to Vienna, and primarily Jewish—he included all art forms except the visual arts, where the dominant figures, Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, and Adolf Loos were not Jewish. 6 In their opposing explanatory models of creativity, both Schorske and Beller inadvertently reinforced the silencing of women’s pasts. This study is based on new research, documentation, and in some cases, artists who had not yet been rediscovered when Schorske and Beller wrote their now classic studies.
On an institutional level, the now-forgotten Print Club, Radierklub der Wiener Künstlerinnen, headed by Marie Adler, had many Jewish women artists as members, including Lilly Steiner (1884-1961). 7 The club came from the first graduating class of the Art School for Women and Girls, an institution that was closed in 1938 for being primarily Jewish. 8 The Art School for Women and Girls (Kunstschule) was completely forgotten until 1994, when Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber published Künstlerinnen , a comprehensive account of women artists from 1890-1938. 9 Yet it was an important institution for modern art: the faculty included Secessionists Adolf Böhm and Moser, and it attracted students who would become important artists, among them Broncia Koller. Secessionists who taught at the School of Applied Arts often held prior posts at the Kunstschule. The faculty and students of both schools frequently exhibited their work in Vienna, and collaborated at the 1908 Kunstschau. The first graduates created, with Moser, the innovative display organization Wiener Kunst im Hause, which in turn spawned the Wiener Werkstätte, where many artists were not only women but also Jewish. This information would alter Beller’s argument that the Wiener Werkstätte was not primarily Jewish except for its patron base, and bolster his overall thesis that the creativity of Vienna was due in great part to its assimilated Jewish population.
The title of this book, The Memory Factory, refers to Vienna as a site for fabricating history. Vienna was indeed a place where intellectuals and artists “thought with history,” and participated in providing their own historical narratives. 10 Robert Musil and Alois Riegl noted early on that the Viennese had a proclivity for commemoration and creating monuments. 11 The title also refers to my method, which depends more on work done in memory studies and Vergangenheitsbewältigung (overcoming the past) than on approaches that feminists have used in questioning the canon to find alternative aesthetic values. Because these women were leading practitioners of the dominant strategies of modernism and the Viennese interest in interiority, the feminist approaches to art history—to look for reasons why they were excluded from the canon in their aesthetic differences—is not helpful. A canon, in art history, is a virtual museum of works deemed worth remembering. But the canon’s very existence depends upon silencing the things on its periphery. Any center, as historian Joan W. Scott remarks, “rests on—contains—repressed or negated material and so is unstable, not unified.” 12 Recent art historical studies have shown that the aesthetic values of the modernist canon were expressed as well by women artists as by some of the established male heroes of the history of art. Women artists therefore make visible the instability and disunity of the dominant canonical system. But this is no reason to reject the canon; the problem with rejecting canons altogether is that they represent the successful repetitions of history. Such repetitions are made through reproduction, emulation by other artists, inclusion in histories of the period, and monographs.
The rediscoveries of many women artists have been initiated by artists who were searching for art historical “mothers” with whom to identify. 13 Indeed, Scott believes that all history writing depends upon identification—a selective delving into the past—in a process that uses fantasy to create coherence out of chaos. 14 The repetitions, or “echoes,” of history are part of this process: there are inevitable distortions that occur over time and over the generations, but identification is required for these repetitions to take place. This is as true for the established canon as it is for new research on women artists. New research in the field of art history is also showing that reproduction (a significant form of repetition for artists) adds to the aura of a work of art. 15 For example, the number of catalogues raisonnés, trade books, museum exhibition catalogues, and monographs devoted to Egon Schiele is staggering in comparison to the meager output on Broncia Koller (about whom there is nothing in English). The memory gap has become so exaggerated that a false picture of the past has emerged, one in which women’s participation has become nearly invisible. Such examples from the discipline of art history support the proposal of some historians that memory is by definition repetition. 16 Repeated similar omissions in studies of the period have led to the mistaken conclusion that women were not allowed to exhibit their works publicly. 17
Because the silencing of women’s history was so extreme in the mid-twentieth century, corrective exhibitions, institutions, and monographs have been necessary. But monographs and separate studies of women artists are not enough, in my estimation. The purpose of this study is to show that women artists were not part of a separate sphere, but integrated into the art exhibitionary complex of Vienna. This included not just the Secession and the Künstlerhaus, but art dealer salons and alternative exhibition sites. Works of art by women were often displayed in the Secession, Vienna’s most elite space. Amelia Levetus reported on one “members only” exhibition, for example, in which she highlighted Elena Luksch-Makowsky’s contribution in the foyer, and works by Elsa Kalmar von Köveshazi and Teresa Ries. 18 But the evidence of their paintings, sculptures, and works on paper has been missing from histories of the period. The result has reinforced false ideas about the separate spheres model as it applies to fin-de-siècle Vienna and its aesthetics. The separate spheres model is predicated on a power structure in which bourgeois women are relegated to the home, and the public is the realm of men or fallen women. This model, applied by Griselda Pollock and Linda Nochlin to the French art of the nineteenth century to explain the aesthetics of Impressionists Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt (neither of whom painted nudes, for example), does not apply to the Central European context, in which a much more class-diverse pool of women became artists.
Artists profiled in individual chapters were chosen for their aesthetic innovations and public exhibition records, not a particular aspect of their identity. Of these women, three were Jewish: Tina Blau, Broncia Koller, and Teresa Ries. Elena Luksch-Makowsky and Helene Funke immigrated to Vienna from bordering countries Russia and Germany (as did Ries). These artists were active during the fin de siècle, their lives disrupted after they established careers. Younger artists, like Marie-Louise von Motesiczky (1906-1996), are no less important aesthetically, but emigrated before establishing an exhibition reputation. Expressionists Helene von Taussig (1879-1942) and Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944) were killed in concentration camps. These artists are briefly discussed in chapter 8 , “1900/1938: Erasure.”
The gap between the fame and the subsequent oblivion of these artists is remarkable. Reasons for their erasure are easily uncovered in the fin de siècle—in exclusionary exhibition and union policies or misogynist art criticism. But this is only part of the picture. While there was evidence of gender prejudice in both the institutional and discursive realms, the gender dynamic was complicated by the social life of an imperial city, where women could be very powerful. Far from a history of mere exclusion and gender prejudice, this book also uncovers a surprising hidden history in which the Ministry of Religion and Education not only purchased works by women but gave support to the new women’s unions formed after 1901. Women in artist associations were treated almost as official ambassadors by the Habsburg state, while men in some artist associations were not allowed to represent themselves as Austrians abroad.
Perhaps more remarkable, historical women artists were once household names in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Why else would pseudoscientists Otto Weininger and Paul Möbius refer to historical women artists so often as “proofs” of their theories about genius and gender? Because of this known tradition, two women artists were able to quickly assemble an international retrospective of historical women artists that took place at the Secession in 1910, where there were over 300 works of art covering the Renaissance to the present. Though now forgotten, it was remarkably similar to the famous 1977 exhibition (curated by Linda Nochlin and Ann Sutherland Harris) of women artists from the Renaissance to the 1950s. The 1977 exhibition is credited with launching new research that has led to changes in the canon, now visible in the inclusion of women artists in survey books and virtual memory systems for students of art history. 19 Nochlin and Sutherland Harris spent five years researching and organizing their exhibition; Nochlin, a pioneer teacher of courses on women and gender issues, also reported “having to start from scratch.” 20 By contrast, the two artists who curated the 1910 exhibition put a similar show together in six months. Far from having to start from scratch, they had access to many books on historical women artists in the German language. In this, fin-de-siècle Vienna differed from postmodern America, where the 1977 women’s retrospective exhibition was greeted with surprise that there were great women artists. 21 The cultural memory of women artists had been erased for Nochlin and Sutherland Harris, who felt they were working in a historical vacuum.
The title The Memory Factory thus refers not only to the process of creating memory, but also to its erasure. Belated memory (related to problems in overcoming the past) has much to do with the dearth of scholarship on these women artists, as well as their exclusion—not from the historical world of fin-de-siècle Vienna, but from the secondary literature on it. Chapter 1 is about the writing of biography in the case of Tina Blau, and chapter 8 takes up the theme of writing and memory again. By comparing the fate of Ilse Conrat, who committed suicide to avoid deportation in 1942, to Josef Engelhart, one-time president of the Secession, whose memoirs were published in 1943, I show how such published sources have shaped our knowledge of this period, while the stories of artists like Conrat, arguably a much more important sculptor, have yet to be told. 22 Engelhart’s version of Secession history is often repeated in secondary literature and museum exhibitions, while Conrat’s story has virtually disappeared. Engelhart claimed, for example, that his painting of a nude caused the initial scandal that led to the secession from the Künstlerhaus. 23 This story has contributed to misreadings on how nudes were received in Vienna 1900. Most of the women artists in this study, including Conrat, painted or sculpted nudes, a traditional genre in the history of art.
Compounding the problem for women artists from fin-de-siècle Vienna is the unusual ability of its artists to mythologize their own pasts. French artist Paul Gauguin merely fabricated (and plagiarized) his diaries, while painting extremely selective images of a colonialized Tahiti. 24 In Vienna, on the other hand, the Secessionists were in charge of their own exhibition house and in-house magazine. These powerful tools have formed a layer of historical documentation that still troubles historians today. 25 The Secessionists staged themselves as heirs to the historical avant-garde in exhibitions, while Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka represented themselves in allegorical form in paintings and posters. Such visual representations have been mistaken as documentation of the real world rather than as the fictional worlds of artists who identified with biblical and mythological stories. Schiele, for example, depicted his circle of artist friends as a last supper image; it made an ingenious poster for his one-person exhibition at the Secession in 1918 ( fig. 2 ). Broncia Koller, who was a friend, mentor, and patron to Schiele, was subsequently excluded from a recent Belvedere exhibition devoted to his friends ( The Roundtable: Egon Schiele and His Circle ) because the exhibition organizers used the poster image as their point of departure. 26 Yet there was every reason to include Koller as one of Schiele’s artist friends in the Roundtable exhibition. Such separations of women from men artists in recent exhibitions constitutes a further erasure, making women more vulnerable to being forgotten or part of a cycle of rediscoveries. This study restores these women to an integrated, active role in fin-de-siècle Vienna and shows the culture to be much more cosmopolitan, varied, and sophisticated than previous accounts have allowed.

Fig. 2. Egon Schiele, The Roundtable , 1918. Color lithography, 68 x 53 cm. Poster for 49th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession, 1918. Wien Museum. ÖNB/Vienna D18859B.
Instead of focusing on artist’s representations of the past, this study covers the institutional and exhibition history of women’s and men’s unions, including a thorough examination of the funding policies of the Ministry of Religion and Education toward art unions. Newspaper feuilletons, exhibition reviews, catalogues, and sales of works to the Modern Gallery all reveal that women artists were very present in public exhibitions. Women garnered support from aristocrats and bureaucrats, and also were present in solo exhibitions at art dealer salons and as participants at the Secession and later groups organized by Klimt. Much of the territory is familiar, but seen from a different point of view, with a focus on readings of works by women within their installation contexts, including the 1902 Beethoven exhibition and the 1908 Kunstschau. In addition to the traditional materials of art and visual culture, my method is based on contextualized readings of sources like artist biographies, art criticism, and jokes, which should not be read as unmediated evidence. In Vienna, for example, art critics were typically pro-artist or pro-audience (taking the role of the befuddled and amused or shocked onlooker). Jokes that mocked the easy popularity of the Secession were suppressed by chronicler Hermann Bahr, while he highlighted stories of scandal surrounding their nudes. The first layer of documentation, then, already contained within it a silencing. 27 Throughout this study, the conditions by which artist’s reputations were made, erased, and remade are considered. The erasures were at times literal, and at other times much more subtle and complicated, as in the cases of Broncia Koller and Helene Funke.
Although such a corrective study as this one is necessary, the women profiled in this book were not part of “one cozy little world.” 28 Individual women artists allied themselves with various intellectual circles in Vienna. These identities, based on affinity, were much more important to these women than being a woman artist or being Jewish, if their personal diaries and letters are any indication. Koller and Conrat, both assimilated Jews devoted to German culture, belonged to different circles: Conrat’s family was associated with the Brahms circle, while Koller met her husband in the Bruckner circle, which shared an antipathy for Brahms. 29 Koller was not only friends with the great feminist intellectuals of Vienna (Rosa Mayreder, Marie Lang, and Lou Andreas-Salomé), but was known to sit at the Café Museum with Josef Hoffmann and Gustav Klimt as one of the crowd of “greats.” Both artists exhibited with the Klimt group, but at different times—Conrat in the early years and Koller only after 1908. Ries was an art star who frequented Olga Wisinger-Florian’s (1844-1926) salon, where she met many of her aristocratic patrons, but she did not belong to the same circles as Elena Luksch-Makowsky, the other Russian émigré who exhibited with the Secessionists. Neither mentioned the other in their memoires or extant letters. While Luksch-Makowsky worked closely in the collaborative Klimt group, spending time with her husband, Richard Luksch, Ferdinand Hodler, and the inner circle of the Secessionists, Ries worked in the solitude of a large-scale sculptor while maintaining an extremely active public presence—in newspapers and exhibitions throughout Vienna. Blau fit the profile of the “exceptional woman,” an artist who withstood serious gender prejudice and obstacles and became financially independent from a young age. She was active in the Kunstschule, and had many friends and students, among them Rosa Mayreder, who studied painting with her. But she was reluctant to join separate women’s artist groups, or even allow her work to be shown with them.
Women artists who exhibited their works in Vienna came from a cosmopolitan cross section of diverse nationalities, sexualities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This statement is true of the women profiled here, as well as the larger memberships of separate women’s art unions. Together, Blau, Ries, Luksch-Makowsky, Koller, and Funke cover a variety of hybrid identities: lesbian, married, single, parent, widowed, and divorced; Austrian, German, Russian, and Jewish; extremely wealthy or in modest circumstances. Even age is well represented: Luksch-Makowsky had the earliest start, studying with her artist-father as a child, while Funke had the latest, beginning her art education at age 30. They also cover the gamut of media: applied arts, sculpture, painting, and printmaking.
Ernst Gombrich, the great art historian who emigrated from Austria to London, has been criticized for saying that Jews played an “incidental” role in the arts of Vienna. 30 But what he actually wrote was that the “coveted positions in commerce and intellectual life which were beyond the reach of rustics, untrained in modern skills, and not sought by members of the conservative establishment, naturally attracted many Jews from the various provinces of the multinational monarchy. The intellectual ferment of Vienna which has so often been described of late must largely be seen in this context.” 31 I think he has been misrepresented. Gombrich was himself an assimilated Jew, and when asked about what role Jewish culture played in his early life, he responded: “actually none. My parents had converted. I went to Protestant religious school and can still recite the articles of the Lutheran Creed that we had to memorize. How does one define a Jew? I have been forced to think about this question longer than I have cared to. Jewishness is either a religion, and I don’t belong to it, or according to Nazi teaching, a so-called race, but I don’t believe in race.” 32 When asked whether he thought the Jewish tradition was a cultural force he replied,
I don’t believe that there is a separate Jewish cultural tradition. I think the German Jews were largely assimilated. Many didn’t even know that they had Jewish roots. The tradition of Bildung , which also played a large part among the Jews, was something quite different . . . But when one is asked today, one naturally says Yes, I’m Jewish. The right answer would be, I am what Hitler called a Jew. That’s what I am. 33
Gombrich’s statements do not, to my mind, contradict Beller’s argument that the Jewish contribution to Viennese creativity came from assimilation, and that the Jews were more German than the Germans. Gombrich’s disbelief in race is well founded: according to recent studies, race does not exist when broken down scientifically, although it can become institutionalized once its concepts have entered the world of representations. 34 Gombrich lived through the most extreme case of institutionalization of race (e.g., determining proportions of Jewishness and marking people with stars and middle names “Sara”). The life of Tina Blau is telling in regard to the institutionalization of identity: she did not appear to selfidentify as Jewish at all, even telling the emperor she was “Aryan,” born in the military barracks; only after she died did her identity as a Jew become an issue in her art historical reputation—first in her erasure and then in renewed attention at a major retrospective at the Jewish Museum in Vienna (discussed in chapter 1 ). Kutlug Ataman, one of many contemporary artists who deal with how race is represented, has put it aptly: “I do not think identity belongs to the individual. Identity is like a jacket. People you never see will make it and you wear it. Identity is something other than you, outside of you. It’s a question of perception. You can be aware of it and manipulate it, play with it, amplify it, or mask it for infinite reasons.” 35 Women who chose to become public artists were the least likely to “wear the jacket” that someone else made. Ries, Blau, Luksch-Makowsky, Koller, and Funke all made interesting lives for themselves as public artists, traveling individual paths in which they became intellectually engaged with modernist developments in not only Vienna but also the art centers of Europe. The reader may discern instances where they amplified, masked, or played with aspects of their identities (e.g., being a woman, being Russian), but constructing identities was incidental—a by-product rather than the focus of their lives. All of these artists were deeply interested in the world around them, whether it was literature (the Russian folk-tale or the gruesome tales of Rabelais for Luksch-Makowsky), the formal experiments of the Fauves (for Koller and Funke), the art nouveau of Belgium (for Conrat), antiquity (for Ries), or even music: a close identification with the Anton Bruckner circle (in the case of Koller, who also loved Wagner) or Brahms (in the case of Conrat, whose cellist father had translated Hungarian gypsy folk songs for him). Identity, to Eleanor Heartney, who has recently surveyed contemporary artists’ representations of race and identity, “is like a reflection in still water—it is only clearly visible until you reach out and try to grasp it in your hand.” 36
Because the aim of this study is more than just telling a new story about women—I also want to explain how they were forgotten—I should clarify my use of the word modernism . Vienna at the turn of the century has been characterized as the birthplace of modernism, but only in fields outside the history of art—in cultural studies, philosophy, science, music, psychology, architecture, and literature. In the discipline of art history, Vienna has never been considered a center of Modernist developments. By Modernism with a capital M , I refer to the doctrine articulated best by Clement Greenberg: that the best art is self critical about its own medium and is autonomous. Modernist painting excludes narrative because literature is extraneous to the medium of paint; rather than describing textures, like velvet or a shiny brass basin, or the illusionism of a room in perspective, a Modernist painter would allow the paint itself to take precedence over the thing represented. The term never referred to a break with the past or a break with tradition, but was about a historical view of progression. In Greenberg’s formulation, Manet was the first Modernist painter, because his paint took precedence over what he depicted (what we admire in a Manet still life of oysters is how he handled the paint, rather than the illusionism of the shells, for example). Old masters had an inverse relationship between design and representation: design was always there but subordinated to the thing depicted; Manet represents a turning point in this relationship, but not a “break” with the past. Modernist artists referred to old masters in their art. Manet updated Titian, for example, while Picasso painted within traditional genres: the nude, the still life, the portrait. His Modernist renditions (the Cubist portraits, for example) do not allow the viewer to lapse into a reverie of illusion: one is thwarted by the ruptures in the illusion. The continuity with the past works in another way too: the lineage of progression in Modernism goes from Manet to Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock. Gauguin, Matisse, Malevich, and Mondrian are familiar touch points in this teleology. They were each Modernist for their time. Klimt’s use of allegory introduced a narrative element, and his tendency to combine abstract motifs with naturalistically rendered bodies seemed to look backward in this scheme.
By “autonomy” Greenberg meant freedom from social context and politics. This is why the white cube space of the art gallery is so well suited to showing Modernist works—it removes them into an aesthetic vacuum, where the works relate to each other in a historical progression. This is what Modernism is, in a nutshell. Greenberg’s ideas have been critiqued: the Modernist art of Abstract Expressionism was not really autonomous, but used by the CIA to promote the idea of American freedom during the Cold War. 37 The system excluded women. And the decorative, a term used throughout Europe to describe a nascent abstraction, came to be seen as the opposite of Modernism. The decorative became the feminine, the add-on, the nonessential, while abstraction was good: the pared-down essence, the truth, purity, and autonomous. One of the biggest blind spots of Modernism is this separation of the decorative from the abstract. Visually, of course, the decorative is abstract, which is why courses in decorative painting were offered at modern art schools like the Kunstschule in Vienna, and Matisse and Gauguin referred to their compositions as “decorative.” In Vienna, too, the discourse around modernism began to shun the decorative when it became too closely connected to femininity, as discussed further in chapter 5 .
Although the Secessionists were early adopters of aspects of international Modernism—they showed themselves as part of a lineage of great artists, and arguably even invented a prototype for the white cube—Vienna’s brand of modernism never fit into Greenberg’s scheme. Like postmodern artists today, Vienna’s avant garde wanted to reconnect society with art, rather than removing art into a realm of autonomy—values that artists like Luksch-Makowsky and Koller shared. Even the abstractions that Klimt employed are usually read as surface decorations rather than experiments in abstraction. But if we can go back in time, before Greenberg’s ideas were concentrated into a formulation and became so influential (Greenberg, like Adorno, formulated many of his aesthetic ideas in the 1930s and 1940s), we can see a nascent modernism that was still in flux in Vienna, one where women were participants. Vienna was a center for the decorative and it was taken seriously by architects and art historians, most famously among them Alois Riegl, who based some of his most innovative scholarship on studies of decorative objects and patterns. 38
It is ironic that as a value system Modernism excluded women: particularly in Vienna, it was women who were most closely connected to its aesthetics. Most of the women artists I profile traveled to Paris, a center for the Modernist aesthetic system described by Greenberg. Recently, scholars in Vienna have noted the international aspects of Viennese modernism and its exchanges with French artists—primarily in Belvedere exhibitions devoted to the Vienna Paris connection and the Galerie Miethke, which brought exhibitions of important Modernist painters of France (Van Gogh, Gauguin) to fin-de-siècle Vienna. It is in these exhibitions where women artists have begun to take prominent roles. Aesthetically, the forward-looking approaches of Koller, Luksch-Makowsky, Funke, and Blau and their comfort with the favored genres of modern art—the still life, the landscape, and the nude—would shift the narrow reading of fin-de-siècle Vienna from being primarily about allegory to one inclusive of a more autonomous, international Modernism. But the object is not to make Vienna fit into an old scheme, even if some of its women artists did aesthetically. Modernism, as we have seen, excluded women, and when the Vienna 1900 exhibition made its rounds from the Künstlerhaus to the Pompidou and then New York’s Museum of Modern Art, women were only completely excluded in the MoMA version. Its curator, Kirk Varnedoe, explained in a film interview why women artists are excluded from the walls devoted to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:
There’s no remaking history in a certain sense. History happened the way it happened and it so happened that modern art—which is what this museum is about—began largely as an endeavor of white European males. Brute fact. There are a number of historically determining factors. But history being what it was, I’m not sure which woman painter in those galleries I’m betraying the mission of the museum by not showing. I think if I thought there was one, I’d try to get her on the walls or to go out and acquire one. 39
In considering the expansion of MoMA’s exhibition space, Varnedoe noted there would be more women in the postmodern sections, but
will the balance get better in Post Impressionism? No, I don’t think so. I’ve been looking for a long time. I don’t see what’s going to bump the Cézannes off the wall. I don’t see a picture fighting its way in against the Starry Night , Cezanne’s Bather, or Rousseau’s Sleeping Gypsy by a woman artist of that period. I may be surprised but I don’t know who that person is. So is that percentage going to change? Unlikely. 40
It is not surprising, then, that Varnedoe, who wrote the catalogue for the New York version of the Vienna 1900 exhibition, did not include any women in the exhibition. 41 Adding to the individual and institutional erasures of the 1930s and 40s, an art historical myth about quality, as evidenced in Varnedoe’s comments, has reinforced the omission. Too often, the work is expected to rise to the surface on its own, but curators (and art dealers) who serve as the gatekeepers of art museums and gallery spaces have rarely acknowledged that the space itself can enhance or alter the work of art. 42 In his perceptive review of the exhibition, Schorske noted that Varnedoe was “avowedly committed to safeguarding art and its appreciation from what he sees as the distorting impact of the Vienna regime, the dangers of the ‘contextualist vision’ in presenting Vienna’s art, and the excesses of ‘the revisionist rebellions within academic art history in the last twenty years, against . . . ahistorical formalism.’” 43 At the time, no one, not even Schorske, noticed that women artists were missing. The idea that women were not part of Modernism, and only became important public artists in the postmodern phase, had become a truism in the history of art by 1986. 44 This study aims to correct that misperception.
In my estimation, Vienna’s greatest innovation was as a center for Raumkunst (installation design), which absorbed all other arts. Aesthetically, too, Vienna’s avant garde embraced art with themes of time, narrative, performance, and the body, categories in which Russians Ries and Luksch-Makowsky especially excelled. The elements of time and narrative, of course, are more in keeping with postmodern values than modernist ones. Vienna’s modernism, then, is distinct from the more doctrinal variety. There are relatively few studies of Vienna’s modernism outside Austria, as art history is generally very French centered. Many of the field’s most brilliant feminist scholars have focused on France; 45 because of this perhaps, Vienna offers yet fascinating avenues for investigation, and our picture of it has been much too limited, in part because of the erasures of women’s participation.
This study is organized in three parts: the first five chapters profile exemplary women artists, with a focus on their public exhibitions and commissions, followed by a reflection on the historiography of forgetting in each case; second, the art union history (for women and men) is given a close reading and analysis through behind-the-scenes notes from the Ministry of Religion and Education, which made all decisions about union funding. Next, popular discourse on women artists is more closely examined through an analysis of the reception of the 1910 retrospective of women artists. This section also demonstrates how famous historical women artists (e.g., Sofonisba Anguissola, Rachel Ruysch, Angelika Kauffmann) were, and shows what happened when new publics and critics began to discuss “the woman artist.” Finally, the erasures of 1938 are discussed, and an appendix lists women artists who were active in Vienna, many of whom were murdered in concentration camps or emigrated. Throughout, the various materials of art criticism, visual culture, exhibitions, diaries, and personal letters, are examined carefully. The resulting picture shows that if gender was the most important organizing factor in the culture, it was hardly a monolithic culture of repression. On the contrary, there were many powerful and talented women who, through their public works of art, achieved great acclaim in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Together, the chapters on individual women artists and collectives establish that women as artists were significant participants in the formation of Vienna’s nascent modernism.
1 .  Karl Kraus, “Zuviel Feodorowna Ries! Es geht ein Föhn der Reklame durch den Wiener Blätterwald.” Die Fackel , March 12, 1906, 22.
2 .  Roda Roda, Der Feldherrnhügel (Berlin, 1911), n.p..
3 .  The Vienna Secession, officially known as the Vereinigung bildender Künstler Österreichs, was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian painters, sculptors, and architects when they resigned from the Künstlerhaus Association, Vienna’s main artist association.
4 .  The term “Vienna 1900” is interchangeable with “fin-de-siècle Vienna” and has become the preferred term for exhibition catalogue titles at the Neue Galerie in New York, and was also used by Kirk Varnedoe for Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture & Design , MoMA, New York July 3-October 21, 1986 (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1986). Exhibition catalogue.
5 .  Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (New York: Random House, 1980), 231-52.
6 .  Steven Beller, Vienna and the Jews 1867-1938: A Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).
7 .  Steiner and her husband commissioned the famous Steiner house by Adolf Loos, which was Aryanized. Tina Walzer and Stephan Templ, Unser Wien: “Arisierung” auf österreichisch (Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 2001), 131.
8 .  It lost its public rights in July 1938 because many of the teachers had, “from the beginning, been Jews, and none of the minority Aryan teachers was a National Socialist.” So many pupils were Jews, the report continued, that this “could be considered a Jewish educational institution.” Act No. 184.1938. Austrian Gallery Belvedere Archives, quoted in Tobias Natter, “‘Wenn Sie noch unverändert an meine Tante denken’ Tina Blau und der Nationalsozialismus,” in Plein Air. Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau 1845-1916 , Jewish Museum Vienna July 12-September 8, 1996 (Vienna: Jewish Museum, 1996), 64-65. Exhibition catalogue.
9 .  See also Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Vom Ende der Wiener Frauenakademie in der NS-Zeit,” in Im Reich der Kunst: Die Wiener Akademie der bildenden Künste und die faschistische Kunstpolitik , ed. Hans Seiger, Michael Lunardi, and Peter Josef Populorum, (Vienna: Verlag für Gesellschaftskritik, 1990), 217-46.
10 .  Carl E. Schorske, Thinking With History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998). Friedrich Achleitner proposes that thinking with history is characteristic of modern Austrian architecture in Die Rückwärtsgewandte Utopie: Motor des Fortschritts in der Wiener Architektur? (Vienna: Picus, 1994). See also Wolfgang Kos and Christian Rapp, eds., Alt-Wien: Die Stadt, die Niemals War , Wien Museum, November 25, 2004-March 18, 2005 (Vienna: Czernin Verlag, 2004). Exhibition catalogue.
11 .  Alois Riegl, “The Modern Cult of Monuments: Its Character and Origins,” Oppositions 25 (Fall 1982): 21-51, first published 1903; Robert Musil, “Monuments,” P osthumous Papers of a Living Author (London: Penguin, 1995), 64-68.
12 .  Joan W. Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 7, quoted in Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Fifty Key Thinkers on History (London: Routledge, 2000), 277.
13 .  The 1910 retrospective exhibition, The Art of the Woman , is an early example of an exhibition curated by activist women artists: Die Kunst der Frau , 37th exhibition Vereinigung bildender Künstler Österreichs Secession, 1910. The impetus for the famous 1977 exhibition curated by Linda Nochlin and Anne Sutherland Harris, Women Artists 1550-1950 , also began with activist women artists, who insisted in 1970 that more women’s art be shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Initially, there was to be an “all-Artemesia” exhibition; Anne Sutherland Harris suggested a historical survey instead and recruited Nochlin to co-curate. Grace Glueck, “The Woman as Artist,” New York Times , September 25, 1977.
14 .  Joan W. Scott, “Fantasy Echo: History and the Construction of Identity,” Critical Inquiry 27, no. 2 (Winter 2001): 284-304.
15 .  Reproduction confers, rather than robs a work of art of its aura, according to Amy Powell, “Rogier van der Weyden’s Deposition from the Cross and its Copies,” Art History 29, no. 4 (September 2006): 540-62.
16 .  James Young makes this point in his book on countermemorials in contemporary German culture, At Memory’s Edge (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000); for a brief history of memory in scientific and theoretical discourse, see Michael Rossington and Anne Whitehead, eds., Theories of Memory: A Reader (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2007), 1-16.
17 .  Matthias Boeckl, “Durch das Andere zum Eigenen: Zur Rezeptionsgeschichte der Moderne Frankreichs in Österreich,” in Wien-Paris: Van Gogh, Cézanne und Österreichs Moderne 1880-1960 , Austrian Gallery Belvedere, October 3, 2007-January 13, 2008, ed. Agnes Husslein-Arco (Vienna: Christian Brandstaetter, 2007), 27. Exhibition catalogue.
18 .  Amelia Levetus, “Studio-Talk,” The Studio 20 (1903): 137-41. Levetus later explains in Imperial Vienna: An Account of its History, Traditions and Arts (London: The Bodley Head, 1905): “none of these (exhibition) societies have lady members, though lady artists are always invited and always welcome to exhibit their work, and they gladly avail themselves of the opportunity. There are many prominent women sculptors in Vienna, some of them well known—Teresa Ries, who gained the gold medal at Paris for her l’invincible group of men pulling a heavy load, Fräulein von Kalmar, Elsa Unger, Rosa Silberer, Ilse Conrat, and artists such as Baroness Falke, whose ceramics are so truly beautiful, Marietta Peyfuss, A(ntoinette) Krassnick, Baroness Myrbach, and many others” (267).
19 .  Ann Sutherland Harris and Linda Nochlin, Women Artists, 1550-1950 (New York: Knopf, 1976). A traveling show, the majority of the reviews are from 1977. I am grateful to LACMA for sending me copies from their files. See the excellent summary of the exhibition and its effects by Maura Reilly, “Introduction: Toward Transnational Feminisms,” in Global Feminism: New Directions in Contemporary Art , ed. Reilly and Linda Nochlin, Brooklyn Museum March 23-July 1, 2007 (London: Merrell, 2007), 25-27.Exhibition catalogue; Kristen Frederickson and Sarah Webb have collected essays and interviews with feminist art historians, among them several who were introduced to their future field of research by seeing the 1977 exhibition, in Singular Women: Writing the Artist (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).
20 .  Linda Nochlin, “Memoirs of an Ad Hoc Art Historian,” in Representing Women (London: Thames and Hudson, 1999) and “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? Thirty Years After,” in Women Artists at the Millennium , ed. Carol Armstrong and Catherine de Zegher (Cambridge: MIT, 2006), 21-34.
21 .  “Quality of Women Artists Comes as an Astonishment,” Houston Chronicle , May 15, 1977, 10.
22 .  In 2003, the first M.A. thesis was written on Conrat by Sylvia Mraz at the University of Vienna: Die Bildhauerin Ilse Twardowski-Conrat: Studien zu Leben und Werk .
23 .  Josef Engelhart, Ein Wiener Maler erzählt (Vienna: Wilhelm Andermann Verlag, 1943). See also Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995).
24 .  Abigail Solomon-Godeau, “Going Native: Paul Gauguin and the Invention of Primitivist Modernism,” in The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History , ed. Norma Broude and Mary Garrard (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), 313-30.
25 .  See Jeroen van Heerde, “The Habsburg State and Gustav Klimt Scenes from a Fruitful Relationship,” in Klimt’s Women , ed. Tobias Natter (New Haven: Yale, 2000), 18-24 for a recitation of authors who have repeated the Secession’s self-styled myths about its oppositional relationship to the Habsburgs.
26 .  The catalogue is well documented and includes information about Schiele’s Neukunstgruppe, which included twelve women artists in its 1909 exhibition at the Salon Pisko, which seemed to indicate membership, for lack of better documentation: they were Sofie Korner, Fritzi Angerer, Gusti von Becker, Maria Vera Brunner, Marianne Deutsch, Hilde von Exner, Mitzi Friedmann, Fanny Harlfinger-Zackucka, Louise Horowitz, Hilde Moll, Minka Podhajska and Eva Zetter. Tobias G. Natter and Thomas Trummer, Egon Schiele und sein Kreis (Cologne: DuMont, 2006), 51 (listing all but Hilde Moll). The Neukunstgruppe’s second exhibition took place in the Club of German Women Artists (Klub deutscher Künstlerinnen) in Prague. Despite including such facts in the text, the curators did not include women in the exhibition (“Die Tafelrunde. Egon Schiele und sein Kreis. Meisterwerke des österreichischen Frühexpressionismus,” Austrian Gallery Belvedere Vienna, June 14-September 24, 2006), nor did they illustrate their works in the catalogue.
27 .  Some of these jokes (that showed the popularity of the Secession) were suppressed by Hermann Bahr, who wanted to create an image of scandal around Klimt in his reprinted criticisms, titled Gegen Klimt ( Against Klimt ). See my essay, “Athena Goes to the Prater: Parodying Ancients and Moderns at the Vienna Secession,” Oxford Art Journal 26, no. 2 (2003): 47-70.
28 .  Michael Gubser suggests that historians follow the tracks of their subjects open-mindedly, rather than searching for connections to confirm imagined notions of a “cozy little world.” He concludes that fin-de-siècle Vienna “was not one context but many—ever plural, multitudinous, and nonexclusive.” “A Cozy Little World: Reflections on Context in Austrian Intellectual History,” Austrian History Yearbook 40 (2009): 213.
29 .  Alma Mahler provides a link, however, in that she was a frequent guest at each of their homes. She was friends with Erica Conrat, Ilse’s sister, and was (for a time) welcomed as a favored guest at the Koller’s residences until their daughter Anna left her marriage with Rupert, Broncia’s son (see chapter 5 ).
30 .  Abigail Goodman, Viennese Jewish Modernism: Freud, Hofmannsthal, Beer-Hofmann, and Schnitzler (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009), 19.
31 .  E. H. Gombrich, Kokoschka in his Time. Lecture given at the Tate Gallery on 2 July 1986 (London: Tate Gallery Publications, 1986), 12.
32 .  “Ein Interview mit Ernst Gombrich aus Anlaß seines 90. Geburtstages,” by Denis Scheck, Deutschlandfunk, Deutschland Radio Berlin, 30 March 1999, >. As translated and quoted in Marjorie Perloff, The Vienna Paradox: A Memoir (New York: New Directions, 2003), 77-78.
33 .  Ibid., 78.
34 .  Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Introduction: Writing ‘Race’ and the Difference It Makes,” in Race, Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 1-20.
35 .  Ana Fingel Honigman, “What the Structure Defines: An Interview with Kutlug Ataman,” Art Journal 63 (Spring 2004): 82, quoted in Eleanor Heartney, Art & Today (London: Phaidon, 2008), 262.
36 .  Heartney, Art & Today , 262.
37 .  Eva Cockcroft, “Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War,” Artforum 12 (June 1974): 39-41. Reprinted in Francis Frascina, ed., Pollock and After: The Critical Debate (New York: Harper and Row, 1985).
38 .  Michael Gubser, Time’s Visible Surface: Alois Riegl and the Discourse on History and Temporality in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2006).
39 .  Interview in Women Artists: The Other Side of the Picture , by Teresa MacInnes and Gillian Barber, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Princeton, NJ, 2003.
40 .  Ibid.
41 .  Kirk Varnedoe, Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture & Design , MoMA, New York July 3-October 21, 1986. Exhibition catalogue. By contrast, there had been women artists included in the Pompidou and Vienna installations and illustrated in color in the catalogues, among them Elena Luksch-Makowsky and Broncia Koller.
42 .  Scholars of display history in particular have questioned this expectation about quality. Françoise Forster-Hahn, in “The Politics of Display or the Display of Politics?” Art Bulletin 78, no. 2 (June 1995), has characterized this tendency: “the display of artifacts, in museums and temporary exhibitions—defined here as a visual narrative—. . . have served . . . as active agents in the historical process, working to mirror history and to shape it” (174). Contemporary artist Fred Wilson demonstrated in Mining the Museum that altering display modes changes not only how we see museum objects, but also the articulation of their histories. Lisa G. Corrin, “Mining the Museum: Artists Look at Museums, Museums Look at Themselves,” in Mining the Museum, An Installation by Fred Wilson , ed. Lisa Corrin (New York: The Contemporary Baltimore in cooperation with the New Press, 1994), 1-22; Ivan Karp and Fred Wilson, “Constructing the Spectacle of Culture in Museums,” in Thinking About Exhibitions , ed. Reesa Greenberg et al. (London: Routledge, 1996), 251-67.
43 .  The quotations were selected by Schorske from Varnedoe’s essay in the exhibition catalogue, 19-20. Schorske, “MOMA’s Vienna,” New York Review of Books 33, no. 19 (September 25, 1986): 19.
44 .  Andreas Huyssen makes such a statement when building his argument on gender, modernism, and mass culture in After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Post-modernism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 62: “The universalizing ascription of femininity to mass culture always depended on the very real exclusion of women from high culture and its institutions. Such exclusions are, for the time being, a thing of the past. Thus the old rhetoric has lost its persuasive power because the realities have changed.”
45 .  Linda Nochlin, Griselda Pollock, Tamar Garb, Gill Perry, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, and Charles Harrison are among the scholars who have written on gender in French art. Tag Gronberg, Beatriz Colomina, and Mark Wigley have written important works on Vienna’s aesthetics regarding interiority, fashion, architecture, and gender. Gronberg, Vienna: City of Modernity, 1890-1914 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007); Colomina, Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994); Wigley, White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995).
Writing, Erasing, Silencing: Tina Blau and the (Woman) Artist’s Biography
Impressionist Tina Blau (1845-1916) painted aesthetically innovative works, like the 1898 View of Vienna , in which she allows the paint to hover over the canvas, the brushstrokes and color taking precedence over the figures and landscape that they represent ( fig. 3 ). Cultural critics Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Rosa Mayreder (1858-1938), and Adalbert Franz Seligmann (1862-1945) all recognized the very aesthetically advanced, modernist qualities of her painting. At the turn of the century, she was a famous artist, her paintings in the court collections and sought after by women artists’ groups. After 1938, Blau would be temporarily erased from Austrian art history because she was a Jew. Because her reputation was so well established (and she died in 1916), the erasures of her artistic record can be tracked, and her reputation has been restored. Yet despite the fact that Blau has been celebrated in a 1996 exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Vienna (another significant instance of identification and recovery of lost artists based on their Jewish identity), she remains little known outside Austria. 1
Her story offers ample documentation through which to examine the silencings of a modern woman artist’s life—one omitted from the Secession’s selective ancestor cult in her lifetime and literally erased from public spaces through institutionalized anti-Semitism in the late 1930s. Instead of being celebrated as a precursor to the modernist values of the fin de siècle, Blau was mistakenly called a student of her male peer, Emil Jakob Schindler, which placed her in the role of follower rather than independent discoverer. Blau had a significant public exhibition record and was both critically and commercially successful, drawing considerable envy from her male peers and especially her teacher August Schaeffer when she had a series of one-person shows and a large auction. Such stories remain buried in Vienna 1900 studies, not only because of gender prejudice, but also because few have written about the role that art dealers played in the art historical field, which has focused primarily on the Secession, Künstlerhaus, and Hagenbund—all publicly funded artists’ organizations that excluded women from officially joining.

Fig. 3. Tina Blau, View of Vienna , 1898. Oil on wood, 21 x 28 cm. The Eisenberger Collection, Vienna. Photograph © Vera Eisenberger KG, Wien.
The Secession had the most elaborate exhibition program of modernist art, complete with visiting lectures from art historians Julius Meier-Graefe and Richard Muther, creating its own ancestor cult. Blau possessed all of the characteristics of an artist who would have been celebrated by a younger generation of artists (the Secessionists) in her hometown of Vienna. She was stylistically innovative, had a confrontation with the local Künstlerhaus for being too progressive, and achieved early success on foreign soil. But the Secessionists did not celebrate her in their ancestor cult because she was a woman, and the “mother-son plot,” a source of discomfort in Freud’s Vienna, indeed remains so today in art historical narratives. 2 She herself managed her career by withholding aspects of her identity—she refused to exhibit with women’s artist associations, for example, and did not actively intervene into the formation of a public record of her life until she was fifty. She nevertheless negotiated a very successful career, exhibiting in numerous one-person shows in Vienna and Munich, winning financial independence early on, and cultivating a circle of sympathetic critics. After her death in 1916, there were numerous celebrations of her life, and by 1933 there was a retrospective of her art in Vienna, but by 1938, the street that had been named after her was renamed, and she was literally erased from the histories of Austrian art, her paintings removed from the galleries, all for being a Jew. Her story demonstrates the significant role that biographical facts play in securing the memory and reputations of artists, and how vulnerable women especially have been with regard to moments of silencing and erasures.
One of the biggest problems with biography for women has been its continuing susceptibility to distortion. As Kristen Frederickson has pointed out in Singular Women: Writing the Woman Artist , the survey writers Janson and Janson (in their very brief and recent inclusions) included anecdotes about Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s personal beauty and Artemisia Gentileschi’s feelings about men, while doing no such thing for Caravaggio or other male artists. 3 Frederickson’s concern was prefigured in debates among art historians at the turn of the previous century, albeit for reasons of method rather than concerns for gender equity. Heinrich Wölfflin and art historians at the Vienna School rejected the sort of history that Richard Muther (1860-1909) had written with The History of Modern Painting , a popular art history survey text that was widely translated. The scholars at the Vienna School found Muther’s writing irredeemably sentimental because of its dependence on anecdotal biography in the narrative. Muther equated works of art with the physiognomies and personalities of their makers, sometimes in quite inventive ways: “Andreas Achenbach’s forehead, like Menzel’s, is rather that of an architect than of a poet; and his pictures correspond to his outward appearance.” 4 Alternately, he would embellish preexisting characterizations of artists like Gustave Courbet, who was “himself the ‘stone-breaker’ of his art, and, like the men he painted, he has done a serviceable day’s work.” 5 Muther turned artists into signposts in a diverting narrative, but rarely included women.
Instead of temperament and character, Wölfflin made aesthetic, formal concerns the basis for a “scientific” study of art history. In “Rigorous Study of Art,” a review essay published in 1933, Walter Benjamin agreed with Wölfflin’s dismissal of Muther’s version of history:
In the foreword to his 1898 Classic Art: An Introduction to the Italian Renaissance , Heinrich Wölfflin made a gesture that cast aside the history of art as it was then understood by Richard Muther . . . “One no longer expects an art-historical book to give mere biographical anecdotes or a description of the circumstances of the time; rather one wants to learn something about those things which constitute the value and the essence of a work of art . . . The natural thing would be for every art-historical monograph to contain some aesthetics as well.” 6
Frederickson, Wölfflin, and Benjamin share a concern for the misuse of biographical facts to explicate pictures or conflate aesthetics with personal fortune. But biography is nevertheless essential as a parallel, intertwining text to the works, for securing the memory of an artist. For an artist to receive wider attention, the repetitions, or the “echoes” of history, as Joan W. Scott wrote, are necessary for securing that reputation. To expect aesthetics alone to inspire the continued attention that Scott describes has rarely, if ever, worked.
In 1982, Linda Nochlin posed the correlative question to her “why have there been no great women artists?”—namely, “why have there been great male artists?” She investigated the biography of Courbet to demonstrate how his politics were circumvented (or celebrated, in one case) through various narrative strategies in Third Republic France. Nochlin meant to demonstrate that the biography of the artist presents not a set of explanatory facts, but rather an infinite range of materials from which to tell a story—it is as much an art form as is the work of art itself, and a component in securing the memory of the great artist. 7 Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz had already suggested in 1934 that rather than merely providing an entrée into the mind of the artist and therefore the work, the artist’s biography was a sociological phenomenon, that certain stereotypes prefigured the narratives which were sought out, recorded, and even invented about the artist. 8 These are the repetitions and identifications that secure reputations over time. While Nochlin made her point by examining different readings of Courbet, the authors of which rescued him from his disastrous episode during the French Commune, women artists rarely present such case studies. Rather, historical silencings, careful self-presentation, and negotiations of fraught institutional fields more often form the raw materials of women artist’s biographies.
The artist’s public self-presentation, or lack thereof, is important material for prospective biographers. Blau tried, sometimes in vain, to place her work first, and to remove her biographical identity from its reception, for she was keenly aware of the ways in which women’s art was misread in fin-de-siècle Vienna, where art historical narratives of influence and generational metaphors were employed both within the new school of art history and by artists of the Secession. In the history of art, artists play a significant role in canon formation not only when they choose their own precursors, but also when they document their own lives. Art historians produce the more official histories, but the role that nonhistorians play is equally important to recognize. Blau waited until she was in her fifties to make corrections about her life story. Michel-Rolph Trouillot has proposed that silencing the past is an active process, and argues there are “many ways in which the production of historical narratives involves the uneven contribution of competing groups and individuals who have unequal access to the means for such production.” 9 A. F. Seligmann, Blau’s colleague at the Art School for Women and Girls, and her greatest champion, summarized the situation in an exhibition catalogue shortly after Blau’s death:
Among artists and connoisseurs Tina Blau has been known from the beginning as one of the strongest and most unique individuals of contemporary Vienna landscape art . . . When the Prince Regent Luitpold came to Vienna, he never missed visiting the cozy Prater atelier of the artist. In the exhibitions of the Künstlergenossenschaft her pictures always held good places. And if Tina Blau played no great role in Viennese social life, the reason was to be found in herself. A still, rather closed nature, only solicitous of a circle of close friends, and homebound for many years with a hearing impairment, which more recently made her sensitive and communication difficult, she dedicated herself completely to her art, creating, and teaching. Neither can one say that Tina Blau is unknown, that her significance among her contemporaries hasn’t been praised. Nevertheless it is only now being made clear as her artistic estate is being made public, how much the art world has lost. 10
Silences in history are difficult to recover, but Seligmann bridged some of the early gaps with his consistent championing of Blau. 11
Artists’ participation in the construction of their own biographies dates at least from Dürer’s thorough self-recording. Some were more creative in their self-mythology than others. Paul Gauguin, for example, fabricated his journals to make it seem as though his was an unmediated, authentic encounter with Tahiti. In one instance he claimed to know the Maori religion from his thirteen-year-old wife Teha’amana, when in fact he had copied the information from Jacques Antoine Meorenhout’s 1837 Voyages aux îles du grand océan . 12 At a time when Gauguin was piecing his own mythology together in Noa Noa , Blau opted to remain silent with respect to such self-stylization. If Gauguin could go away to Tahiti to mythologize an encounter with an Other, Blau found herself in the position of Other in fin-de-siècle Vienna and chose not to connect her own person to her work. Blau wanted her work to speak for itself, and to provide biographical anecdotes or to affiliate herself with other women would be a distraction. As a woman and a Jew, she was doubly Other in the city where Otto Weininger’s Sex and Character , which popularized theories of the inferior creative potential of women and Jews, had been a bestseller. 13 Particularly as a woman she had experienced firsthand the problem that poet and critic Paul Valéry described: that the observable graspable facts of biography and an artist’s personhood could inflect the meaning of a work of art, and even prevent a spectator from seeing the work proper. 14 So Blau tried to retract herself from her work, at least until so much misinformation had been disseminated about her that it became too much for her to bear. In 1907 she wrote an autobiographical essay that was published in a popular magazine, and quietly left a record of her personal history to accompany her remarkable body of work. 15
As a young girl Blau was encouraged to pursue her talents by her parents—her father, who was a military physician, had wanted to be an artist himself. 16 At age fifteen she took art lessons from August Schaeffer, a well-established member of the Künstlerhaus. He is a character who will reappear later in her story as a figure who envies her. Her early life is filled with steady and independent artistic discoveries and contacts that she sought out. When Blau began her career, the critic-dealer system remained undeveloped and art union purchases were a significant source of income for young artists. She was only 22 when in the summer of 1867 the Österreichischer Kunstverein bought her Kalkofen bei Abendbeleuchtung for 100 gulden, and she used the money to visit the first international exhibition at the Glaspalast in Munich, where she studied the Barbizon school in particular. Her money lasted until the end of the year and her parents helped her out financially until the Kunstverein in Munich purchased her first Munich painting, Jakobsee bei Polling, in 1869. The purchase price had now doubled to 200 gulden, and it was a unanimous vote. 17 This steady stream of first purchases turned into other firsts: international exhibitions and a series of one-person shows and good reviews in Munich and Vienna.
She was able to acquire studio space from her teachers; in Vienna Blau began working in Schaeffer’s studio when he was away, two times per week, and after she settled into a comfortable artist’s life in Munich, her teacher Wilhelm Lindenschmidt (1829-1895) gave her studio space in his home. 18 In Munich she met many artists, including Gustave Courbet. 19 She traveled to artist colonies like Szolnok, which she considered important for her stylistic development. 20 She cultivated critics and friends in a very likeable, modest way, and somehow through perseverance and her temperate personality, managed to achieve a room of her own in the form of studio space in the Prater, one of Vienna’s most expansive public parks. After the 1873 World Exhibition in Vienna, the government allowed painters to take over the exhibition buildings as studios. Because Blau had been sharing a space with Emil Jakob Schindler, they were offered studio space (two rooms) in the Prater pavilion building, but Schindler refused to give her one of the rooms. They had a falling out, but by the time he married and moved out of the studio space Blau had reconciled with him and was able to take over the entire space in 1879. The Prater atelier became an important part of her life in her own estimation and in the eyes of friends and critics. Having the space to herself was of inestimable importance; she noted that she could finally breathe artistically without anyone looking over her shoulder. 21 She also began to paint a series of Prater pictures, which would become her most important motif. By 1882 she had painted her most famous painting, the Spring at the Prater ( fig. 4 ), which was aesthetically advanced and led to her succès de scandale in Vienna, and later Paris. The Prater canvas story, the most important episode of her career, will be discussed at length below.
After her Paris success in 1883 she returned to Munich, and married the battle and animal painter, Heinrich Lang, at the very end of the year. The two traveled to Vienna often, she painting from her Prater studio and he visiting the Lippizaners at the Spanish Riding School. 22 In 1890, when Blau was 45, she had a one-person show at the Munich Kunstverein. This exhibition of sixty works that traveled to Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Leipzig was, because of its success, repeated in 1893. In 1891 Lang died unexpectedly, and Blau successfully petitioned the Vienna Künstlerhaus to stage a retrospective of his art. The two had been married less than eight years, and critic Friedrich Stern noted it was a blow from which Blau never truly recovered. 23 She remained productive, however, and by 1894 had moved back to Vienna. Her first solo exhibition in Vienna took place at the Salon Pisko in 1899, during which Rosa Mayreder wrote a deliciously subversive review of her work, comparing it to the output of the Secession (her assigned topic), and the emperor purchased her Spring at the Prater from a Bavarian collector. 24 By 1900, the art auction house Kende put on a sale of 100 of Blau’s works, and this drew a most envious essay by August Shaeffer, whom Blau, beginning to stand up for herself in her early fifties, privately reprimanded. In 1907, her autobiographical notes were published in a local newspaper. 25 In 1909 she had another one-person show at the Galerie Arnot, which was visited by the emperor, who again visited her 1914 show at Arnot’s. 26 Around 1910 she began to take care of recording her work, having it photographed and documented, and generally granting interviews and setting the record straight. In 1913 her seventieth birthday was celebrated in the newspapers. Blau died three years later.

Fig. 4. Tina Blau, Spring at the Prater , 1882. Oil on canvas, 214 x 291 cm. Austrian Gallery Belvedere. ÖNB/Vienna 195808B.
The Shoulders of Giants, or the Impossibility of the Mother-Son Plot
Although Blau was correctly perceived by critics to be original in her confrontations with nature, anticipating the developments of her time, she was not included in the main histories of art. Because she was a woman, she was not selected as an influential figure by the original producers of histories of art in Vienna: the Secessionists, Richard Muther, and Julius Meier-Graefe. After Blau’s death, Seligmann noted that although she had been recognized and admired during her lifetime, no one really understood the greatness of her painting. He connected her art to a free individualism that was never in fashion and therefore could never go out of fashion; she selected her motifs for their painterly qualities, but was so “powerful and honest in her encounters with them that people were convinced, rather than shocked” by her very advanced art. By daring to use light and paint in new ways, she had made some of the same discoveries as the Impressionists had: “Later, after open air painting became fashionable, she was already somewhere else: . . . while most painters became routine mannerists, her painting became ever more simple, honest, and naïve, and had in its art something completely elementary.” 27 More often women’s art was rhetorically connected to modishness, easy fashionability, and the impermanence that these implied. Seligmann was careful to place Blau in a modernist tradition that was rhetorically distanced from the connections that antimodernists were making between femininity, modishness, temporality, and the modern. In a 1905 essay on Blau he contrasted the painters who followed the latest fashion to Blau, who, he argued, painted out of inner necessity. 28 He could not, however, force her into the more influential historical narrative penned by Julius Meier-Graefe. 29 Overall, Blau received good notices in the press and was financially successful, but that did not translate into inclusion as a founding figure in the history of Austrian art. In Richard Muther’s history, for instance, an artistic master founded something that other artists could build upon, becoming part of a great chain of developers in the world of art discovery and invention. 30 The prejudices and myths inherent in the art historical narratives of Meier-Graefe and Muther kept Blau from consideration as a key or founding figure in their teleologies. As Meier-Graefe noted, “A woman with genius? The thought gives one the shivers. Unhealable sickness, a kind of elephantiasis.” 31
The Secessionists programmed their own teleological narratives through didactic exhibitions, in which they presented themselves as the sons of modern masters Van Gogh and Manet. The Secession also played a role in the remembrance of Austrian artists, looking for local prototypes in older Viennese painters—artists who were antagonized by the Künstlerhaus, who were pioneers in their depictions of nature, and whose works were now selling briskly. Their champion, Ludwig Hevesi, selected Theodor von Hörmann and Rudolf von Alt, while Secession member Josef Engelhart selected himself as the precursor of the Secession. Engelhart claimed that the founding of the Vienna Secession was initiated by an incident having to do with The Cherry Picker , his painting of a nude girl picking cherries from a tree ( fig. 5 ). It was rejected by the Künstlerhaus jury for the watercolor exhibition in 1893 (four years before the Secession was formed) so as not to offend the Frauenpublikum (female public). The Cherry Picker anecdote suited the qualities that the Secessionists chose to celebrate in their homemade stories: antagonism with the Künstlerhaus and an emphasis on nature and censorship. Engelhart appended another incident to the story, which involved the rejection of another work in Vienna and its acceptance in Paris. 32 But Engelhart’s Cherry Picker incident pales in comparison to Blau’s discovery story.
Tina Blau was never selected as an artistic predecessor by the Secessionists, though were she a man, it is clear, from the sheer exuberance of her story, that she would have been. Her 1882 Spring at the Prater was nearly rejected by the jury of the Künstlerhaus because its light impressionistic effects were described as causing a “hole in the wall” in the otherwise dark installation. The painter Hans Makart (1840-84) intervened and insisted that the picture be hung, and the hanging committee obliged, but placed it in a modest corner. The events were later recounted in articles about Tina Blau in local newspapers:
In 1882 the first international art exhibition took place at the Künstlerhaus. There hung in a corner of the Austrian exhibition space a large, light Prater scene, all air and scattered light, which although it was placed high, in considerable distance from the onlooker, nevertheless weighed so heavily upon some hearts. It was a hole, a hole in the wall, through which one believed one could see into open nature! 33
Antonin Proust, the French Minister of Fine Arts, was drawn to the work, declaring it the best in the show:
One day the Minister of Fine Arts in France (Proust) came to the exhibition and was led through the house with great respect, with all the more respect as Paris was then the Mecca of painting. (He asked) “By whom is this then?”–– Apologetically he was informed that the painter, Miss Tina Blau, was otherwise quite talented, one couldn’t just . . . “But that is the best picture in the whole room!” escaped from the lips of the guest. And with that began the fame of Tina Blau. 34
Upon visiting her studio, Proust was surprised to learn that Blau had never been to Paris, and urged her to submit Spring at the Prater to the Salon. She did, and it received an honorable mention. 35 This anecdote has all of the Secession’s required ingredients: the forward-looking technique based on interaction with nature, the conflict with the old school at the Künstlerhaus, and the additional bonus of success and appreciation found in Paris. It is a typical discovery story: just as Giotto was discovered by Cimabue, so Tina Blau was discovered by Proust. Such a story makes Engelhart’s tale seem both quibbling and self-aggrandizing. Blau fulfilled all of the qualities that Rudolf von Alt, Theodor von Hörmann, and Josef Engelhart had, but was never turned into an artist-hero in the eyes of her contemporaries, nor among a younger generation of male artists. To the contrary, while E. J. Schindler, the artist with whom she shared an atelier for a time, was touted as the leader of a school of impressionism in Vienna, Blau was mistakenly described as his student. 36

Fig. 5. Josef Engelhart, The Cherry Picker , 1893. As reproduced in the 34th exhibition catalogue of the Vereinigung bildender Künstler Secession. ÖNB/Vienna 289327E.
Women were not selected as forebears because the familial metaphors that governed such story-telling would not allow a foremother as predecessor, no matter how appropriate her art and anecdote. 37 Linda Nochlin underscored such a dichotomy when she imaginatively reversed the genders of all of the characters in Courbet’s 1855 Painter’s Studio: A Real Allegory of Seven Years of My Life . 38 She imagined that Rosa Bonheur replaced Courbet at his easel, and that the young boy looking up at Courbet was replaced by a young girl, who, representing future generations of artists, would gaze admiringly as Bonheur showed the world the way through her confrontation with nature. All the male characters (Baudelaire and Napoleon III, among others) would slowly lose their clothes and names before fading into the background. The female characters would dress, take on names and identities, and laugh while moving to the foreground. The alienating effect of Nochlin’s reversal makes her point: it demonstrates how embedded the paternalistic narrative is in constructions of the great male artist. Placing a woman in the progenitor role, here Bonheur undoes the narrative, for the woman-mother is associated too closely with hearth, home, and the space of the body, rather than with the discovery and leadership in the patriarchal world beyond.
The aesthetic quality of Tina Blau’s art merited its inclusion in this Viennese pantheon, but the power of the father-son plot and its attendant metaphors worked against such inclusion. The Secessionists, for example, never figured themselves as wrestling with or being heirs to mothers. The idea of women forming part of the great chain of master artists was mocked in a 1909 cartoon appearing in Jugend magazine ( fig. 6 ). A group of bespectacled and dowdily clad women painters stand at a Hans Marées retrospective, one instructing the others: “And now my dear colleagues, it is our most sacred duty to build upon this foundation! What men have failed to achieve, we must strive to achieve through hard work and perseverance!”
In 1910, when the first association of women artists with public rights in Austria was founded, the group decided to stage a retrospective of “old mistresses,”—a kind of art historical argument that women, too, participated in the aesthetic march of styles and movements from the Renaissance to the present. Through this exhibition, a visual and public form of history production, the women sought out great women artists from the past with whom they might publicly identify themselves. On November 5, 1910, the retrospective of women’s art, The Art of the Woman , opened at the Secession. Archduke Rainer (1827-1913) presided over the opening festivities and the musical concert that took place that evening. Men in top hats and women in reform dress and other fashions stepped from horse-drawn carriages to walk up the stately steps through the imposing doors of the Secession. As the festivities began, Tina Blau’s large canvas, Spring in the Prater , hung in a still silent room surrounded by the works of other women artists. The Secession itself was filled with over three hundred paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by women, and if many of them were portraits of women and children, Tina Blau’s large canvas hung in a room with works as diverse as a large portrait of a general by Therese Schwartz, an impressionist scene of the Villa Rotunda by Emma Ciardi, and a reclining female nude by Charlotte Besnard. A. F. Seligmann remarked that this modern section gave him the impression that the jury anxiously omitted anything that one might have accused of being feminine. 39

Fig. 6. August Geigenberger, The Painting Dames in the Marées Exhibition , 1909. Cartoon in Die Jugend 12 (1909): 268: “And now my dear colleagues, it is our most sacred duty to build upon this foundation! What men have failed to achieve, we must strive to achieve through hard work and perseverance!” Photograph courtesy of Museum für Angewandte Kunst (MAK).
Blau had finished the canvas nearly two decades before the show opened, just two years before Georges Seurat began work on the Sunday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte, his bid for leadership of the Parisian avant-garde. Blau’s canvas was around half the size of the Grande Jatte , but still large enough to publicly declare the ambitions of the young artist: it was the size of a grand history painting. In the central foreground, a mother sews in the dewy springtime, her child happily playing, pausing to look over her shoulder. In the right foreground, members of the wealthier classes parade in the latest fashions, a little girl too well dressed to join the children playing in the water in the middle ground. Two more well-dressed couples promenade in the middle ground, but unlike Seurat’s rhythmic repetitions, which serve to crowd the French together, Blau’s solitary figures and repeating couples serve to emphasize the immensity of the space around them. This was the well-loved Prater of the Viennese, a special park within the city limits that Emperor Joseph II had given to the people, where one could go riding or visit an amusement park of lowbrow entertainments, where the wealthy would mingle with the lower classes. Like the Grande Jatte, the Prater was a site where various social classes were on display. Wealthy children would watch the lower classes have fun, who in turn could watch the wealthy promenade in private horse-driven carriages along the fancy corso. 40 For Arthur Schnitzler, the park offered a scene for a tryst between a süßes Mädel and a soldier, but Blau gives no inkling of sexual cruising or lowbrow amusements. She shows only the expansive space, mothers and children of the middle class and upper bourgeoisie, promenading couples and children wading. Where Seurat showed the stiff unease of Paris’s nouvelles couches sociales comically ignoring one other on a crowded suburban island, 41 Blau portrayed the naturalness of the separation of the Viennese classes: her space is so expansive that the children playing in a stream and well-dressed couples see one another only from afar. The spectator experiences similar space and distance from the figures situated in the landscape. In another Prater painting by Blau, a girl and her caregiver have ventured into the muddy green earth to examine spring flowers; scarcely visible in the distant background are two more figures ( fig. 7 ).
Where Seurat used tiny individual pats of complementary colors to construct shimmering, still forms, Blau’s brushwork describes the leaves of trees or suggests the patterns of a dirndl, and smooth creamy white shows the texture of the canvas beneath her solid figures: one senses a sure hand, a sure composition of a landscape which carves out a large expanse of sunlit space. The Prater paintings recreate the impressions of a day in springtime, where the light of a blue and white sky rakes over the first buds of green sprouting from brown mud. With a firm brush and flecks of heavy white paint, she populated her landscapes with solid figures who exist comfortably in nature, unlike the crowded, awkward figures of Seurat, those cartoonlike signs and tin soldiers gliding across the grass. There it hung: the painting that had caused controversy at the Künstlerhaus in 1882 was now on display in the Secession as an achievement of a great woman artist. This would be the only time during Blau’s life when her painting would be exhibited in a women’s art exhibition.
The artist herself did not attend the opening, nor did she lend her work for the show. Blau’s lifelong refusal to take part in women’s exhibitions, despite being solicited by the elite group of 8 Women Artists and the curators of the 1913 retrospective of women’s art in Turin, did not matter, for the Spring at the Prater had been bought by Emperor Franz Josef in 1899 for the imperial collections. 42 The curators of The Art of the Woman , artists Ilse Conrat (1880-1942) and Olga Brand-Krieghammer (1871-?), did not need to ask Tina Blau’s permission, as they had been given permission to borrow from royal collections at home and abroad. While the festivities and celebrations of the new association were underway, Blau, celebrating her 63rd birthday that November, would have been at home in her large Prater atelier, the one-time Pavilion of Amateurs built for the 1873 World Exhibition. Blau was not a recluse, but simply a private individual who preferred to work in solitude than to attend social functions. 43 She was a known figure who was often seen painting in the public Prater, often staying until dark. 44 But she rarely shared information about herself, for the same reason that she refused to take part in women’s exhibitions.
Blau always maintained the professional position, particularly in her actions, that her work should stand on its own. For this reason Blau provided no autobiographical utterances until late in her career; only then did she help to construct a narrative that would focus on her relationship to nature and her home base in the Prater atelier. The Prater had become her Mont Saint-Victoire, and by 1910 she had begun her fifth decade of reworking the motif in different seasons and in various formats. From her home studio in the Prater she made daily excursions into the large park. Perhaps because of recent heart problems, she began to put her affairs in order. 45 She noted things for posterity in the quiet of the Prater atelier, where she had written her first autobiographical essay three years earlier. The stories she recorded and retold to critics she trusted were repeated in Vienna’s newspapers on the occasion of her seventieth birthday, when she died in 1916, and then later by art historians. The painting that had found a home in the imperial collections and which now hung at the exhibition of women’s art had played a large role in her life. The story she wrote down in her brief memoir, the story of her Praterbild at the first international art exhibition at the Künstlerhaus, was retold in its entirety by the Neues Wiener Tagblatt on the occasion of her seventieth birthday. 46

Fig. 7. Tina Blau, Prater Spring , n.d. Oil on canvas. ÖNB/Vienna E1305C.
If the Praterbild was at the women’s exhibition contrary to her wishes, her friend and critic A. F. Seligmann clearly relished the opportunity to explain yet again to his reading public in the Neue Freie Presse that it was a revolutionary contribution to the history of Austrian art. Indeed, nearly a third of his feuilleton was devoted to this one painting (when 300 works of art were on display). He compared the display conditions of its current home at the court museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) to those of the new exhibition, where it was advantageously placed and well lit, in the same way that Elisabetta Sirani’s (1638-65) painting could now be truly appreciated. 47 The imperial collections were hung in uniform frames, three and four rows high and with practically no space between them, which made experiencing Blau’s Praterbild like “listening to music through locked doors.” 48 He suggested that the court museum should rotate works and display them with breathing room, so that these works could be appreciated. For Seligmann, Blau’s Praterbild invalidated the oft-heard accusation that the woman does not create anything new or original, that she always adapts, follows, and copies the art of men. When Blau had painted it thirty years ago, he pointed out, it was a time when one knew nothing of “plein air” and “Impressionism” in Germany and Austria, a time when Uhde and Liebermann were still working in “blackest Munkacsy black”
and Leibl had just begun to sense light and air of nature in his work, in a time when . . . Piloty students ruled and Bastien Lepage was regarded as a sort of anarchist . . . the picture would have begun a complete revolution in Austrian painting, if one had only understood it. When the Secession began, one was of course already at dotting and hatching, imitating mosaics and marquetry and saw such painting as backwards. 49
He tried in particular to educate the public that she had made revolutionary contributions in the art of painting, and that she was the pioneer Impressionist of Vienna. 50 It was at this time that Blau began to call him “my good translator,” for his reviews were consistently sympathetic toward her work, explaining its aesthetic merits to his readership in the Neue Freie Presse . 51 If Blau was treated fairly in the press of the 1910 show, it was due to the efforts of Seligmann. Individual contributions like Blau’s were only rarely discussed. More commonly, the press reception of the exhibition lumped the contributors together, as if the art of the woman were an intellectual curiosity, a specimen of something other than the men’s art that usually hung on the modular walls of the Secession. Mentions of individual women artists in the reviews of The Art of the Woman , no matter how honorable, were accompanied by wildly impressionistic columns that compared the woman artist to passive, narcissistic models, battling amazons, and seductive sirens. The show generated a dialogue about the role of women in the arts, and the overall result of the seventy-odd reviews placed the woman artist in a different category of art making, one dependent on the male producer. 52
Writing, Silencing, Critical Encounters
Blau was very much unlike Teresa Ries (1874-1956), who had inspired Karl Kraus to complain about the publicity offensive for her 1906 one-person show at the Palais Liechtenstein. 53 Ries crafted an art persona and related stories about herself that comically turned on her own gendered status as an artist (sculpting John the Baptist’s head while men painted Salome holding his head). 54 Ries drew publicity through unusual large-scale sculptures, and when Mark Twain made his famous visit to Vienna, it was Ries who sculpted his bust. Blau, on the other hand, shunned fanfare and the publicity associated with her person (though not the positive reviews she received in the press). Instead, she worked steadily and quietly behind the scenes. If one day even Karl Kraus mentioned Tina Blau, it was because of his delight in displaying the incongruities and absurdities that appeared in Viennese art criticism. Kraus criticized a critic at the Neue Freie Presse (not Seligmann) who misjudged Tina Blau’s work by suggesting she make use of the “modern means” of painting. Kraus of course pointed out that Blau had also been criticized for precisely that; indeed it was she who had been “using the principles of the Glasgow and Worpswede schools for twenty years, in her own way.” 55 In 1907, Seligmann suggested that her painting was overlooked because it had qualities that could only be discovered over time, in the same way a person’s qualities can only come to be understood as a friendship develops. 56 It was this quietness that her friend felt existed both in her person and in her work, and that amounted to a strategy of self-effacement.
Blau’s work drew the attention of a few critics who became her loyal champions, and Blau cultivated their friendship. Just as Gustav Klimt had Hermann Bahr, Ludwig Hevesi, and Berta Zuckerkandl to champion his art, Tina Blau had A. F. Seligmann and Rosa Mayreder, who not only explained the aesthetic advances of Blau’s art, but also emphasized her problems with art institutions. In Klimt’s case, bureaucratic meddling and the ceiling painting scandal prompted Zuckerkandl’s outrage. Likewise, Seligmann criticized the art institutions of Vienna for excluding women, 57 also finding fault with histories of Austrian art, like Muther’s and Hevesi’s, which omitted Blau. He pointed out that Blau was often praised in a few lines, but that no one had properly shown how revolutionary her work was for its time, and he noted that while Hevesi had written a superb collection of feuilletons and essays, these were often occasional pieces written from a modernist point of view that did not include Blau. Seligmann argued that if even Muther handled the Austrians in “a stepmotherly fashion,” with “no idea of the true meanings of the works” then there was little hope, and concluded, “if a history of the development of Austrian painting, especially landscape, should be written, then Tina Blau must be named as among the first to practice Impressionism.” 58 A history of modernism in Austria would seem to require her inclusion on aesthetic grounds alone. Seligmann carried out a virtual one-man campaign in various newspapers to demonstrate the significance of Blau. If one were to create a circle of influence for Blau, as Edward Timms did for many of Vienna’s cultural luminaries, it would be drawn around Blau, Seligmann, and Mayreder. 59
Sustained critical attention in Vienna was a rare thing, and because of the polemical nature of criticism in Vienna, and its “dueling critics” who were known to write for the same newspapers but to hold opposing viewpoints, artists needed personal champions to explain their art to the public. This polemical tradition translated, in art-critical terms, into either pro-public (making fun of the artist) or pro-artist reviews. To explain the artist’s work from the artist’s point of view, visiting the atelier (as did Zuckerkandl for Klimt, and Mayreder for Blau) was characteristic of the international tendency to associate the artist’s biography with his or her work. Mayreder’s criticism drew on this in both its polemic nature and sympathetic treatment of a single artist: in her first review of Blau’s work (actually a review of the current Secession exhibition) she contrasted the Secession’s third exhibition’s foreign, international flavor with the fact that one had to go to an art dealer’s salon to see the “home-grown” art of Blau. Mayreder compared Blau’s sincere, original encounter with nature to Klimt’s foreign-inspired Pallas Athena (1898, Wien Museum), which for Mayreder looked too much like Franz Stuck’s Athena . Given that Hermann Bahr had waxed poetic over the Secession’s home-grown art, celebrating the native sons who were showing Austrian art in an international context, Mayreder’s argument provides a witty turn, beginning her review with the pronouncement that “modern painting” is for Vienna the same as foreign painting. She pointed specifically to Klimt, who “places his gift too much under the suggestion of foreign individuals like Stuck and Khnopff . . . All of these artists remind one of a statement which Courbet made at a German exhibition, ‘Weren’t these people born anywhere?’” 60
In her second review of Blau’s work, she compared the intimate setting of the art dealer Gustav Pisko’s salon, which allowed one to appreciate the artist’s work, to the mass exhibitions that did not, while noting with irony that although Vienna had two exhibition houses, these had allowed an art dealer to demonstrate to the Viennese public that great artists still lived among them. 61 Mayreder’s suggestion that the big exhibition houses of Vienna had forfeited their duties to the Viennese public might appear risky, since Blau still needed to exhibit her work. But Mayreder’s polemics would not have been the reason that Blau was not included in the Secession’s heroicization of older artists; rather, it was because she was a woman she was not considered a figure of (maternal) influence by the younger male artists of the Secession.
After Blau read this favorable notice of her exhibition at the Salon Pisko in the Magazin für Literatur , she wrote its author, a “Mr. Arnold,” a gracious letter, inviting him to view her new show at the Salon Pisko. 62 She did not appear to realize that Herr Arnold was in fact her student Rosa Mayreder, who had sent her the article, a review of the Secession’s third exhibition. In February, Mayreder received two invitations to Blau’s new Pisko exhibit—one for Herr Arnold, and one for Frau Rosa and her husband. 63 If Tina Blau was not already in on the joke, she would soon learn the identity of Herr Arnold, whose “deep knowledge” of art Blau had praised. 64 Mayreder wrote another review for the Magazin für Literatur in the following month using the same pseudonym. This second review demonstrated intimate knowledge of the artist, noting for example that Blau had not been a student of Schindler. 65 Mayreder had become Blau’s student in 1899, and from Blau’s correspondence it is easy to see that the two developed a close friendship, working together with A. F. Seligmann at the Art School for Women and Girls (Kunstschule, later known as the Women’s Academy [Frauenakademie]), which the three founded in 1897. 66 Blau and Seligmann were the primary art professors there and Rosa Mayreder and her husband concentrated on fundraising and handling the school’s business matters. Through her professional relationship with Gustav Pisko, Blau was able to arrange exhibition space for the student shows, with which Mayreder also helped. 67 Seligmann reviewed her exhibitions quite positively and “Frau Tina” always responded with friendly, gracious letters of thanks for making her work understandable to the public:
I don’t know what I should rue more—that you must write about me, or that I am now sixty and must believe it all—I was so pleased when notice was made in my small family circle and then came the latest number of the modern [ sic ] Frauenleben , a magazine that I esteem, with your completely glowing, fascinating article about me . . . now I am really proud . . . no one has written like you have, and I will read your article again when I am sad and depressed about the lack of success that I was supposed to get used to and that I did get used to: and then I would again agree with you, that my way of being carries some of the blame. 68
Blau then compared Seligmann’s warm encouragement to the encouragement of her Munich teacher, Lindenschmidt, who had seen the good in her work, introduced her to other artists, and helped her sell her paintings at the Kunstverein. 69 She steadily cultivated a circle of devoted art critics and colleagues who would help to explain her art to the public. Considering the few pro-artist critics working in Vienna—Ludwig Hevesi, Hermann Bahr, Berta Zuckerkandl, A. F. Seligmann, and Arthur Roessler stand out—Blau needed Seligmann and Mayreder.
Bahr was a polemicist, more interested in aesthetic movements and wild pronouncements than in paying attention to individual works of art. He was described by Karl Kraus as a man who changed his opinions as often as others might change shirts, more interested in idealism and “the day after tomorrow” than in Tina Blau. 70 Zuckerkandl wrote reviews for art journals, but in her column in the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung was most passionately interested in the Secessionists, Gustav Klimt, and criticizing the arts bureaucracy. She also hosted an important salon where Bahr and other Viennese luminaries circulated. In her columns she often took Seligmann to task, and therefore was not likely to take up Blau’s cause. 71 Roessler was a partisan critic who championed Schiele, even manufacturing some memoirs for him, and who dropped the Jewish Max Oppenheimer when it became an inconvenient project (he had planned a monograph on the artist). His criticism of The Art of the Woman , the 1910 retrospective, proved him a misogynist, as did his description of Tina Blau in his collected essays of 1922. 72 Of all of these critics, Ludwig Hevesi had the most delightful way with words, and was a critic who covered all of Vienna’s artistic events. 73 He would have been an ideal “translator” of Blau’s work, but remained silent for reasons known only to him. Given Blau’s formidable exhibition record (she appeared in nearly forty major shows before 1910, the year of Hevesi’s death), Hevesi’s silence is all the more remarkable. The enthusiastic critic who chronicled all of Vienna’s art happenings, large and small, never mentioned Blau in a show. He did include her in his history, but only in the long version, and then only as Schindler’s student and the painter of flowers on the Palais Zierer ceiling. 74 Blau resented being called Schindler’s student because she was not; moreover, the appellation placed her in the role of “daughter” rather than independent discoverer. The Zierer commission was only a reminder to her that she had been left out of all that was significant in the Ringstrasse commissions. 75 It was not that Hevesi attended only large art exhibitions. He attended the exhibitions at the Salon Pisko of the 8 Women Artists, an ad hoc group that began exhibiting together in 1901, and reviewed them for Kunst und Kunsthandwerk . It remained for Seligmann and Mayreder to critique her work. But Mayreder was a feminist engaged with the Woman Question, and she soon left the penning of art reviews behind to counter the theories of Otto Weininger, Cesare Lombroso, and other misogynists, arguably a more pressing vocation. 76
Blau’s critics had in common a preference for Impressionism and naturalism over idealism and Expressionism. 77 In 1890, for example, on the occasion of her first one-person show at the Munich Kunstverein, the critic Otto Bierbaum hailed the beginning of a new era for the Kunstverein, one that would emphasize quality over quantity. This new era was “born under the sign of Tina Blau,” whose “star pictures,” fifty-three in all, were now to be seen “in the heavens of the Kunstverein.” In her art were truth and nature, which he contrasted with the unhealthy, weak poetry of idealism and its misuse of nature. Bierbaum described Blau as strong, true, honest, and pure, without any “artistic sickness.” He connected her art to the raw reality of nature (true beauty is in the “larva,” not in its “superficial cosmetic overlay”). 78 In 1913, Friedrich Stern connected Blau to groundbreaking aesthetic achievements, which she accomplished not through theorizing but always through honest and intimate encounters with nature. 79 If Blau was consistently figured as seeing the truth of nature, this was the opposite of what many critics of The Art of the Woman and what many women’s art histories and theories said about the woman artist in general; they connected women’s artistic process to superficial copying, to narcissistic applications of makeup and powders. 80 Arthur Roessler accused Blau of precisely this in 1922: “The paintings of Tina Blau convey the unmistakable finding that just as the woman needs to be inseminated by the man to create, to give birth, so too must the woman as artist. What she bears as a woman is the man’s child, and what she creates as an artist, is the man’s art.” 81 He went on to note, in logic similar to that of Paul Möbius and Weininger, “gender perversion may well result in some minor artistic achievements by women, but such exceptions only prove the rule.” 82 When Blau’s work was treated fairly in the press, perhaps it was because of her careful management, her cultivation of friendly critics, and her insistence on independence from women’s art exhibitions. Stern noted, for example, that Blau’s work had nothing to do with the Woman Question, except that she had cofounded the Art School for Women and Girls. 83
The Reluctant “Old Mistress”
Faced with exclusion from official membership in the big exhibition houses in Vienna, some women artists in Vienna formed their own exhibition societies. Tina Blau, though, preferred to join (as a guest) the art exhibitions of established, all male artist associations, such as the Künstlerhaus in Vienna, or to exhibit her works in one-person shows at art dealers in Munich and Vienna. It was not that she was against a progressive women’s movement, which she participated in, but rather, she separated her exhibition career as an artist from any involvement with women’s projects. Blau was a member of the honorary exhibition committee of the Women’s Trade Association and devoted her teaching career to the Art School for Women and Girls. She regarded the feminist journal Neues Frauenleben very highly, and was pleased when the journal published an article about her in 1906. 84 Its editor, Auguste Fickert, later invited Blau to take part in a project to create a home for single working women, a project to which Blau lent her name. 85 When she refused the invitation to send her works to the 1913 Women’s Art Exhibition in Turin, the Association of Women Artists in Austria (1910-present) noted that they had been trying to get her to join their association, but already knew Blau to be a “bitter enemy of women’s art groups of any kind.” 86 She was retracting her gendered self from her work, to the degree that this was possible. By refusing to exhibit with women’s groups, she meant to avoid associating her work with the Woman Question that inevitably became part of the critical discussion of such exhibitions. The women exhibitors regarded Blau as a successful “old mistress” who might help make their public case for women’s art, but Blau preferred to forego both the homage of other women, and any “mother-daughter plots.”
This reluctance to exhibit with other women did not give Blau immunity from gender bias in critical commentary, but critics were more likely to pay attention to her art than to the Woman Question when confronted with a solo exhibition. Seligmann once noted that women’s exhibitions had become substitute fora for political discussions on the Woman Question because the women’s movement was lagging so far behind politically. 87 To participate in women’s exhibitions might call her work into question in a way in which it was not done at the Künstlerhaus, or at the art salon of Gustav Pisko. As a reviewer of the seventh exhibition of the Association of Women Artists in Austria noted, “the danger that the artistic level sinks, that an exhibition [of women’s art] becomes more of a social happening than an artistic one, is very near [and] the better the works are, the more the spectator is pressed by the question: how would this or that work look next to men’s work?” She concluded, “the best success such an association might achieve is that it is no longer necessary.” 88 Blau refused to exhibit with other women because she wanted to avoid labeling: she wanted her art to be regarded as art, not as a specimen or example of women’s art.
Blau had agreed to exhibit in such a forum once in the past, when she was given a special invitation by the Austrian Women’s Committee to send works to the Woman’s Building at the Chicago 1893 Columbian Exhibition . 89 The Association of Women Writers and Artists (VSKW), charged with sending representative works for the exhibition to the Austrian Women’s Committee, invited Blau so late that she had little time to select a painting for the show. 90 Blau assented to send a work with the reservation that she was in general against women’s exhibitions of any kind, but that this would be the exception, because it would show “all” of women’s art making. 91 She likely believed that a multitude of artists, media, and nationalities would make it impossible for critics to name, categorize, or dismiss the production of women. Blau scolded the VSKW for inviting her so late, for she knew that the invitations to artists had gone out weeks before. In the end, she hastily sent one of her more important canvases (probably Spring at the Prater ) to the exhibition committee in order to meet the deadline. 92 After returning from a short trip to Italy, however, Blau found a bill from the shippers, requesting money and directions for returning her picture, which had been rejected by the committee because it was too large. Blau was justly incensed, and requested reimbursement for the charges that she had incurred, reminding them that she had given them the dimensions of her picture, and the committee knew of the space they had, so there was no excuse at all. Blau was an internationally known artist who had even modestly wondered whether it was proper for her to exhibit in three places at once in Chicago, for she had already submitted two works to the Munich section and one to the Vienna section of the international fine arts building, for which all her costs were covered. 93 She reprimanded Mina Hoegel, the president of the VSKW, saying that no president of an art union personally invites someone to submit a work and then makes it undergo a jury review. It seems now ironic that it was Blau, the most sought-after woman painter by the 8 Women Artists, 94 who, relenting just once, would find her work rejected. The episode sealed Blau’s resolve to never participate in women’s exhibitions; she wrote Hoegel that she “regretted only that I had gone against my principle to never exhibit with women’s groups.” 95
The emperor visited Tina Blau at her one-person show at Pisko’s in 1909. This was a tremendous honor in old Vienna, for attending art dealers’ exhibitions was not part of his usual routine. 96 He also visited her atelier in 1913. By contrast, he did not even attend the opening of The Art of the Woman . Mayreder later remarked that it was not until the emperor’s 1909 visit that Blau had achieved complete recognition. 97 But Blau’s financial success and fame with the emperor stand in direct contrast to her general lack of official recognition as an artist by the Viennese art institutions.
Blau was the student (at age fourteen) and friend of the ultimate insider, August Schaeffer, but instead of winning his support she won his envy. Schaeffer, an average painter, was in charge of the royal collections (which then housed her Spring at the Prater ), and had provided the curators of The Art of the Woman with an official letter giving them entrée into collections abroad. In a mean-spirited essay on his students, Blau and Olga Wisinger-Florian (1884-1926), he noted: “I was thrown head over heels into the Woman Question, from which I had wanted to shield myself.” 98 Schaeffer provided an account of his part in Blau’s education, describing the day he sent Blau out to seek other artists, cataloguing her artistic influences, and calling her a “student” of Schindler, which apparently upset Blau even more than the following insults:
Our painting ladies imagine that in their efforts they are more rousing and dashing than the men, they venture and take this position for all they’re worth. So Frau Wisinger-Florian has just installed a one-person exhibition at the Salon Pisko of her recent works and studies and eagerly sells one object after the other. Frau T. Blau, who also recently had a very lucrative one-person show at the Salon Pisko, now at or through Kende, will sell off her paintings and studies. Now the women are quite hard workers . . . they braid and weave away as if it were a matter of winning the world, as if they didn’t already have this in their laps. But that’s not enough anymore. 99
Schaeffer might have had reason to envy Blau’s financial success. In a city which Bahr claimed was no market, Blau sold her works readily, averaging 200 to 740 florins per painting, depending on the size, or 5,600 to 19,500 2010 U.S. dollars. In 1883, Spring at the Prater sold for the equivalent of roughly 56,000 2010 U.S. dollars. 100 She also exhibited and sold works in Germany in numerous one-person exhibitions. 101 In Vienna, the art dealers Pisko and Arnot gave her one-person exhibitions in 1899, 1903, and 1909. In 1900 the art auction house, Kende, held a retrospective of her works, which sold for very high prices, probably irking Schaeffer all the more. Between 1910 and her death in 1916, Blau appeared in eight more exhibitions, including her unwitting participation in the 1910 retrospective of women’s art at the Secession. Between the years 1890 and 1914 she had eight retrospectives in the cities of Hamburg, Vienna, and Munich. This was considerable for the time, because Vienna’s critic-dealer system was not very developed, and most artists depended upon the big artist associations for exhibition space. 102
I have not found evidence that Schaeffer’s essay was published, but Tina Blau saw it and responded to it in a personal letter to Schaeffer, noting
if I were not a woman, my works would be viewed not only as independent, but also ahead of their time in Vienna, just as they were in Paris and Munich. I am valued by my colleagues, but nonetheless, when it really counts for me to be treated as an equal, to be honored and included because of the value of my work, I am always left out. There have been a huge amount of commissions given to Viennese artists through the building of the museums and the Burgtheater, but no one thought of me. 103
Blau received only one commission to paint a ceiling, for Zierer’s private palace, not anything as public or important as Klimt’s commission for the University ceiling, the last big commission of the Ringstrasse projects. Schaeffer was an official chronicler of art life in Vienna, and it is to him that we owe a description of the union of the old artists’ societies into the Künstlerhaus. 104 That Schaeffer was Blau’s teacher made the essay all the more humiliating, because his role as her teacher lent him some authority. Schaeffer is also speaking as the gallery director for the imperial collections, and near the end of the essay he declares that her Spring in the Prater was selected not for its aesthetic qualities but for its subject matter, (it was the emperor’s favorite park, and he had selected the work himself). Of all of the insults directed toward Blau and her contemporaries, this is the one for which she reproached him in the strongest terms. Her lengthy written response to Schaeffer was prefaced by the comment that she had been mistakenly stamped as Schindler’s student ever since his death, which weighed upon her. She had neglected to publicly correct facts and dates, but now that Schaeffer would call her Schindler’s student too, at the expense of his own personality as teacher, she felt he “owed” it to her to read her comments. 105 In describing her pain at being left out of every single public works project of importance, she noted her personal joy in her success with the Praterbild , which she believed was purchased for its “outstanding painterly qualities,” not for being a Prater motif. 106 It was during the year prior to this painful exchange that Rosa Mayreder had clearly stated in the Magazin fur Literatur that Blau was not Schindler’s student. 107 Blau’s correction to Schaeffer remained in the form of a private letter to him. It would not be until 1907 that Blau would make a public autobiographical statement in a popular magazine; her focus however, was on her early student days in Munich, rather than correcting public misconceptions.
Because she was a woman, Tina Blau was excluded from the famous Ringstrasse commissions and from membership in the Künstlerhaus. In spite of this, she had a tremendously successful career. She had a “room of her own” in the Prater atelier where she painted until her last years, and had been financially independent since selling her first painting in 1869. She was a critical success in Munich and Vienna, valued by collectors, and esteemed by the emperor. Like the 8 Women Artists, Blau exhibited her works primarily at art dealers’ salons. The art dealer presented an attractive option for a woman artist, who would otherwise have to count on invitations from the Künstlerhaus, and where a collective, or larger grouping of works by a single (woman) artist was not the norm. 108 The critic-dealer system in Vienna was so limited that many Vienna-based artists like Oskar Kokoschka sought their fortunes in Germany. Art dealers like Arnot and Pisko in Vienna supported Tina Blau because her successful sales made doing so lucrative. One might compare Blau’s regular exhibitions in Vienna and Germany to Kokoschka’s heated competition with Max Oppenheimer over dealer exhibitions in Germany. 109 A network of relationships and personal friendships that is hard to quantify also figured into the critic-artist relationship. The history of art dealers in Vienna has never been fully documented or written, and because it constitutes a significant part of the history of women artists, this absence has also become a factor in their invisibility to historians. The historiographical emphasis has always been on the Secession, Wiener Werkstätte, and exemplary men artists—Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka.
Blau was doubly Other in Weininger’s Vienna—as a woman and as a Jew. The former plagued her professional life while the latter retroactively erased her from the history of art in Austria. In 1934, Blau’s important canvas Spring at the Prater was sent to represent Austria in the London exhibition. 110 In the same year her work was also shown with Emil Orlik’s as “two great artists from old Austria” in an exhibition in the Glaspalast in the Burggarten in Vienna. 111 Four years later, however, their works would be removed from the national galleries of Austria because they were both Jews. Bruno Grimschitz, director of the Austrian galleries, was ordered to remove paintings by Jewish artists from the Belvedere collections on April 1, 1938. Tina Blau’s three works on display, including Spring in the Prater , were removed. 112 Blau was literally erased from the history of art for a time; Grimschitz, who became the National Socialist director of the Belvedere, published no works by Blau in his richly illustrated Maler der Ostmark im 19. Jahrhundert in 1943, although her works had appeared in earlier editions, but then, twenty years later, reinserted three of her works in the 1963 enlarged edition. 113 The Art School for Women and Girls, which Blau had cofounded, was also in trouble. In July 1938 it lost its public rights because many of the teachers had, “from the beginning, been Jews, and none of the minority Aryan teachers was a National Socialist.” 114 Furthermore, said official reports, so many pupils were Jews that this “could be considered a Jewish educational institution.” 115 Ferdinand Andri, who had taken part in the famous 1902 Beethoven exhibition at the Secession, was now Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts. It was he who, upon reading this report, declared that one could not justify allowing the “Women’s Academy” to continue to exist. Tobias Natter suggests that this was an opportunity for the Academy of Fine Arts to rid itself of the long bothersome competition from the Art School for Women and Girls. 116 Part of the erasure of Blau included the renaming of the Tina Blau Way to Edmund Hellmer Way, under Nazi policy. When Blau died childless, her estate was divided between her brother Dr. Theodor Blau and her sister Flora Roth. When Theodor’s daughter fled to the Philippines in 1938, many of Blau’s works were lost in transport. Flora’s daughter Paula Roth fled in 1939 to New York. 117 Paula’s sister Helene Roth (1875-1941), who had also taught at the Art School for Women and Girls, was almost completely deaf by then. She hesitated to leave Vienna and was deported on October 27, 1941 to Lodz, Poland. She was, like all deportees to Lodz, sent on to Auschwitz or Birkenau where she was murdered. 118
After she died, anti-Semitism endangered Blau’s art, family, and memory. But during her lifetime it was the experience of exhibiting her work as a woman artist that was fraught with difficulty. As Griselda Pollock and Roszika Parker summarized in Old Mistresses in 1981, “women’s practice in art has never been absolutely forbidden, discouraged or refused, but rather contained and limited to its function as the means by which masculinity gains and sustains its supremacy in the important sphere of cultural production.” 119 I would alter this statement to be more precise in the case of Tina Blau: her practice was not contained and limited, but her story was. Her work could not be suppressed from success in the marketplace, from the admiration of the emperor, from stylistic innovation, or from the admiration of a few critics. She was an ambitious artist, setting herself apart from the crowd. But the actual recording and writing of her history as such has been plagued by rediscovery and erasure rather than the repetitions and rereadings that secure reputations of better-known artists. Blau did not want to attach her person to her work because she wanted to preempt easy connection to stereotypes of the feminine. Blau’s independent, quiet life of art, her dignified refusal to participate in separate women’s exhibitions, and her slowness to provide autobiographical utterances about herself was a quietly defiant response to the conditions of working as a woman in fin-de-siècle Vienna. On the one hand, Blau’s strategy of self-effacement merely avoided the problem because constructed biographies were the building blocks of histories of modern art (as artists like Gauguin knew); on the other hand, insisting that her work speak for itself was perhaps the best way to proceed. Blau did not want to be part of the formation of an alternative tradition, becoming in effect an “old mistress” to other women artists because the Woman Question―questions about the social position of woman and scientific discourse on women’s brains and physiological limitations―made it impossible for some critics to actually see women’s art in fin-de-siècle Vienna.
Tina Blau applied paint differently on the canvas because of who she was, but I would argue that the fact that she was a woman and a Jew is not discernible in the final product. The connection between the self and the work of art is much more complicated than that. According to Valéry: “What is essential to the work is all the indefinable circumstances, the occult encounters, the facts that are apparent to one person alone, or so familiar to that one person that he is not even aware of them. One knows from one’s own experience that these incessant and impalpable events are the solid matter of one’s personality.” 120 Valéry is referring to the accumulation of past experiences that aid in each of the multitude of decisions which come into play in the construction of a work of art; each word or brushstroke, each erasure, observation, and choice made on color, horizon, and size. To Valéry, the process of art making is itself demystified, yet remains ultimately ineffable even to the artist: “Everything happens in the artist’s inner sanctuary, as though the visible events of his life had only a superficial influence on his work. The thing that is most important—the very act of the Muses—is independent of adventures, the poet’s way of life, incidents, and everything that might figure in a biography. Everything that history is able to observe is insignificant.” 121 I have argued that Blau’s biographical material, particularly the label of woman, precluded her work from being included in histories by Richard Muther and Julius Meier-Graefe, and that the label of Jew ensured erasure from the 1943 survey by Bruno Grimschitz. Courbet could exceed the label and overcome problems with the Commune because serious biographies and studies of his work were undertaken, once and again. Blau could not: as a woman she was too easily reduced to a category. The difference is one of labeling and identity (stereotypes) as opposed to a willingness to investigate how the complexities of personal experience might be implicated in a painting. 122
Blau was famous and lived in a city with art historians, cultural critics, and sophisticated thinkers about identity at a time when many things seemed possible for women and Jews. Her artistic achievements have never been in doubt; her life and work are well documented, and have undergone rediscovery and repeated attention, particularly in her 1996 retrospective at the Jewish Museum in Vienna. But Blau’s life is most telling for the ways in which one can trace its silencings–– moments of self-effacement, of envy from her teacher, of omission by Vienna’s most comprehensive chronicler, of not being chosen as an artistic precursor by the Secessionists (no mother-son narratives were followed through), and even of literal erasure because of institutionalized anti-Semitism. As James Young has pointed out (regarding the Holocaust), repetition is necessary for securing memory, which always must be considered an unfinished project. 123 Women artists, many of whom have undergone cycles of rediscovery, are particularly exposed to this forgetting because there are moments of silencing and erasure, as occurred in Blau’s life, that work against sustaining their reputations. It is these moments of silencing and erasure that can tell us much about the writing of women artists’ lives and why they are so vulnerable to being forgotten.
1 .  For a complete bibliography, see Tobias Natter, ed., Plein Air: Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau, 1845-1916 , Jewish Museum Vienna, July 12-September 8, 1996 (Vienna: Jewish Museum, 1996). Exhibition catalogue. Blau was remembered periodically in Austria by her birthdate; in 1935 for example, E[dith?] Hofmann wrote “Tina Blau, Österreichs größte Malerin,” Österreichische Kunst 6, no. 3 (15 March 1935): 3-8. For more recent entries on Blau see Andrea Winklbauer, “Als Frau und Künstlerin: Durchsetzungsstrategien weiblicher Kunstschaffender im 19. Jahrhundert,” in Jahrhundert der Frauen , ed. Ingried Brugger, Kunstforum Vienna October 7, 1999-January 2, 2000 (Salzburg: Residenzverlag, 1999), 45-60. Exhibition catalogue; and Tobias Natter and Claus Jesina, Tina Blau: 1845-1916 (Salzburg: Verlag Galerie Welz, 1999). For an online bibliography and images, see .
2 .  For feminist critiques of the father-son plot, see Lisa Tickner, “Mediating Generation: The Mother-Daughter Plot,” Art History 25, no. 1 (February 2002): 23-46, esp. note 31, and Nanette Salomon, “The Art Historical Canon: Sins of Omission,” in The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology, ed. Donald Preziosi (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 344-553.
3 .  Kristin Frederickson, “Introduction: Histories, Silences, and Stories,” in Singular Women: Writing the Artist , ed. Kristen Frederickson and Sarah E. Webb (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 10-11.
4 .  Richard Muther, The History of Modern Painting (London: J. M. Dent, 1907), 246.
5 .  Ibid., 393. Udo Kultermann calls these gaps in Muther’s judgment “howlers” in The History of Art History (New York: Abaris, 1993), 33.
6 .  Walter Benjamin, “Rigorous Study of Art,” trans. Thomas Y. Levin, October 47 (Winter 1988), 84; first published as “Strenge Kunstwissenschaft. Zum ersten Bande der Kunstwissenschaftlichen Forschungen ,” Frankfurter Zeitung 76 (1933), 56.
7 .  Linda Nochlin, “The De-Politicization of Gustave Courbet: Transformation and Rehabilitation under the Third Republic,” October 22 (Fall 1982): 65-75. It is difficult to imagine such efforts being expended on behalf of Tina Blau, for prejudice against women (and Jews) pervaded the discourse of art history. The posthumous resurrection of Courbet’s reputation after it had been sullied by his involvement in the Commune might be compared with the posthumous eradication of Blau after the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany.
8 .  Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz, Legend, Myth, and Magic in the Image of the Artist (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).
9 .  Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past (Boston: Beacon, 1995), xix.
10 .  A. F. Seligmann, “Tina Blau,” Versteigerung des künstlerischen Nachlaßes der Land-schaftsmalerin Tina Blau , C. J. Wawra (Vienna: Wawra Selbstverlag, 1917), n.p. Exhibition catalogue. All translations are my own unless noted otherwise.
11 .  The greatest silence is on Blau’s identity as a Jew: nowhere does she mention it in her written records, nor is it mentioned in the art criticism. In the only related utterance I have found, she is quoted as saying to the emperor when he visited her one-person exhibition in the Salon Pisko, “I am an Aryan, Majesty, I was born in the Haymarket barracks.” Her father was a military physician and had living quarters in the barracks. Arthur Modry, “Tante Tina,” Österreichische Kunst 6, no. 3 (March 15, 1935): 8. Alexandra Ankwicz, “Tina Blau,” Frauenbilder aus Österreich (Vienna: Obelisk Verlag, 1955), 248-49.
12 .  Abigail Solomon-Godeau, “Going Native: Paul Gauguin and the Invention of Primitivist Modernism,” Art in America 77 (July 1989): 126.
13 .  Otto Weininger, Geschlecht und Character (Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1903); Chandak Sengoopta, Otto Weininger: Sex, Science, and Self in Imperial Vienna (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
14 .  Paul Valéry, Selected Writings (New York: New Directions, 1950), 141.
15 .  Tina Blau, “Erinnerungen,” Österreichs Illustrierte Zeitung Kunst-Revue , June 1907, 874-76. Photocopies of her handwritten memoirs along with a typescript are in the Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers at the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, Vienna. See also the interview with Bela Gonda Jr., “Besuch bei Tina Blau,” typescript, Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers.
16 .  Karoline Murau, Wiener Malerinnen (Dresden: E. Pierson’s Verlag, 1895), 5-8. The chronology that follows is based on Tobias Natter, “Notizen zu ihrem Leben,” in Natter, Plein Air , 165-70; and Annelie Roser-De Palma, Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau (Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 1971), 4-14.
17 .  Blau, “Erinnerungen,” 876; Max Eisler, “Tina Blau,” Westermanns Monatshefte 120, no. 718 (June 1916): 472.
18 .  Blau, Typescript of handwritten memoirs, Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers.
19 .  Blau, “Erinnerungen,” 876.
20 .  Bela Gonda, Jr., “Besuch bei Tina Blau,” typescript interview, Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers.
21 .  Sabine Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” in Tobias Natter, ed., Plein Air: Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau, 1845-1916 , Jewish Museum Vienna July 12-September 8, 2006 (Vienna: Jewish Museum, 1996), 41. Exhibition catalogue.
22 .  Natter, “Notizen zu ihrem Leben,” 168.
23 .  Friedrich Stern, “Frau Tinas 70. Geburtstag,” Neues Wiener Tagblatt , November 13, 1913.
24 .  Blau remembers bringing the painting back from Paris, exhibiting it, and the emperor purchasing it. Bela Gonda, Jr., “Besuch bei Tina Blau,” typescript interview, Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers. There is no date on the interview transcript, but Blau is by then 68 years old, as she indicates in the interview. Her recollection is correct, if incomplete: Spring at the Prater sold for roughly $40,000 U.S. to a private collector in Bavaria when it was first shown at the Künstlerhaus, and in 1899 (the year of her first one-person show in Vienna at the Salon Pisko) was sold to the imperial collections for 1700 florins, reaching the price of a Waldmüller. Martina Haja, “Alltägliche Natur. Tina Blau und die Freilichtmalerei in Österreich,” in Tobias Natter, ed., Plein Air: Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau, 1845-1916 , Jewish Museum Vienna July 12-September 8, 2006 (Vienna: Jewish Museum, 1996), 9. Exhibition catalogue.
25 .  The newspaper published them in the form of a letter to Arthur Hecht, whom Blau thanks at the end for requesting that she write down her memoirs. The focus is on her youth and early years in Munich, which she recalls as “beautiful memories from youth.” Blau, “Erinnerungen,” 876. Seligmann’s 1905 essay “Tina Blau,” Neues Frauenleben 17, no. 12 (December 1905): 19-21 is reprinted in full in the pages preceding Blau’s essay, and several of her paintings are pictured.
26 .  “Kleine Chronik,” Wiener Zeitung , November 21, 1909, 2; Natter, “Notizen zu ihrem Leben,” 169.
27 .  Seligmann, “Tina Blau,” Tina Blau Künstlerischer Nachlaß , n.p.
28 .  Seligmann, “Tina Blau,” Neues Frauenleben , 20.
29 .  Julius Meier-Graefe, Entwicklungsgeschichte der modernen Kunst (Munich: Piper, 1920).
30 .  “Carstens’s influence on German art has been then entirely a negative one. It was not on such a foundation that a German art could arise. He prepared no ground for his successors on which they could build further; but through his abandonment of the whole capital which . . . had been handed down at compound interest from one generation of painters to another, he rather cut away the ground from under their feet.” Muther, The History of Modern Painting , 96-97.
31 .  Julius Meier-Graefe, in Gustav E. Diehl, ed., Veröffentlichungen des Kunstarchivs 27-28: 8 (Berlin,1926); quoted in Renate Berger, Malerinnen auf dem Weg ins 20. Jahrhundert. Kunstgeschichte als Sozialgeschichte (Cologne: Dumont, 1982), 312.
32 .  Josef Engelhart, Ein Wiener Maler erzählt: Mein Leben und meine Modelle (Vienna: Wilhelm Andermann, 1943), 64-65. Engelhart’s story fit into the image of a Vienna that dichotomized modern truths of sexuality and a repressed bourgeoisie, and therefore into a (arguably incorrect) historiographic obsession with sexuality as a source of freedom. See Michel Foucalt, “We Other Victorians,” The History of Sexuality , vol. 1, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage, 1990).
33 .  Stern, “Frau Tinas 70. Geburtstag,” 314. According to the jury protocol of 16 March 1882 (Box 1. Internationale Kunstausstellung 1882, Künstlerhaus Archives), Spring at the Prater was among four pictures “that partly due to their large format, partly for their equal number of black and white balls (meaning there was no majority vote) were set aside for another vote.” Quoted in Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 42. For more on Makart’s intervention, see Wolfgang Born, “Makart rettet ein Bild. Erinnerungen an eine große Malerin,” Neues Wiener Journal , November 3, 1935, 6.
34 .  Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 42.
35 .  Blau described these events in her handwritten memoirs and in her interview with Bela Gondo, Jr., Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers.
36 .  Rosa Mayreder [Franz Arnold], “Tina Blau,” Magazin für Literatur 68, no. 13 (April 1899): 306; and Max Eisler, “Tina Blau,” Westermanns Monatshefte 120, no. 718 (June 1916): 470-71. Both correct (at some length) the misconception that Blau was Schindler’s student, or even influenced by him. In the 1910 edition of Thieme-Becker she is described as coming “under the powerful influence of the great Austrian landscape artist Jakob Emil Schindler,” Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, eds., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler , vol. 3 (Leipzig), 106. In 1957 he is again mentioned as her “teacher” in Leo Santifaller, ed. Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon, 1850-1950 (Böhlau: Graz and Cologne, 1957). Only recently, Andrea Winklbauer placed Blau as a significant participant in a modernist narrative, as the heir to Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1865). Winklbauer argues that only Blau and von Hörmann painted with such light palettes, “Tina Blau (1845-1916),” in Brugger, Jahrhundert der Frauen , 61-62.
37 .  This does not mean that men artists were not influenced by women artists—those stories remain to be told. Relatively recently, for example, Griselda Pollock has suggested that Manet looked at Cassatt’s loge scenes, which inspired his mirror conundrum in the Bar at the Folies Bergère. Mary Cassatt (London: Thames and Hudson, 1998), 144-47.
38 .  Linda Nochlin, “Courbet’s Real Allegory: Rereading The Painter’s Studio ,” in Courbet Reconsidered , Brooklyn Museum of Art, November 4, 1988-January 16, 1989, eds. Sarah Faunce and Linda Nochlin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), 37-38. Exhibition catalogue.
39 .  A. F. Seligmann, “Die ‘Ausstellung der Frau’ (Sezession),” Neue Freie Presse , November 11, 1910, 2.
40 .  Ulla Weich, “Praterskizzen: Zum Wiener Prater als Thema in Literatur und Malerei,” in Natter, Plein Air , 53-62.
41 .  The reader familiar with The Painting of Modern Life will know that I am loosely quoting from T. J. Clark’s witty reading of the Grande Jatte , in which he describes the overwrought stiffness of the forms (where even a lily pad floats into a “discreet parallelogram”) as they mimic the stiffness of class relations (New York: Knopf, 1984), 259-68.
42 .  Haja, “Alltägliche Natur,” 9.
43 .  Stern, “Frau Tinas 70. Geburtstag,” 314; Seligmann, “Ein letzter Besuch,” Neue Freie Presse , November 10, 1916, 1-3.
44 .  Rosa Mayreder, “Wiens große Malerin. Zu Tina Blaus zwanzigstem Todestag,” Volkszeitung , November 2, 1935, 3.
45 .  Beginning in 1910, Blau handwrote a list of her works and commissioned Pauline Wolf, a friend, to take black and white photographs. Natter notes that there are some errors of memory in titles and dates. Natter, “Notizen zu ihrem Leben,” 169.
46 .  Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers; Stern, “Frau Tinas 70. Geburtstag,” 314.
47 .  The painting in question is most likely Martha Scolds Her Vain Sister ( fig. 121 ).
48 .  Seligmann, “Die ‘Ausstellung der Frau’ (Sezession),” 1-2.
49 .  Ibid.
50 .  A. F. Seligmann, “Sezession,” Neue Freie Presse , November 5, 1910.
51 .  Blau to Seligmann, Vienna, August 13, 1911. Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, Inventory number (I.N.) 35620.
52 .  See chapter 7 .
53 .  Karl Kraus, “Bildhauer,” Die Fackel , March 12, 1906, 22-23.
54 .  Teresa Ries, Die Sprache des Steines (Vienna: Krystall, 1928), 8-10. This is a good example that writing a memoir and being famous during one’s life is not enough to secure the memory of an artist, because Ries is not as well known as Blau.
55 .  Karl Kraus, “Die Kenner.—Tina Blau.—Herr Klimt und das revolutionierte Kunstempfinden des Herrn von Dumba,” Die Fackel , April 1899, 27-28.
56 .  A. F. Seligmann, “Tina Blau,” Österreichs Illustrierte Zeitung, Kunst-Revue , June 1907, 873-74.
57 .  Blau died in 1916, just as the Künstlerhaus was considering giving her membership status. Künstlerhaus President Hugo Darnaut mentioned this when he gave a speech at her grave. Ankwicz, “Tina Blau,” Frauenbilder aus Österreich , 246. Blau’s brother, Dr. Theodor Blau, thanked the Künstlerhaus for this, noting how significant the organization had been for her, despite the fact that she could not become an official member. November 8, 1916, Folder Tina Blau, Künstlerhaus Archive quoted in Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 38. See also Modry, “Tante Tina,” 9.
58 .  Seligmann, “Tina Blau,” Österreichs Illustrierte Zeitung , 874.
59 .  Edward F. Timms, Karl Kraus, Apocalyptic Satirist: Culture and Catastrophe in Habsburg Vienna (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), 4-9.
60 .  Rosa Mayreder (pseud. Franz Arnold), “Die Ausstellung der Wiener Sezession,” Magazin für Literatur 68, no. 2 (January 1899): 30-35. Mayreder published poems under her own name in the Magazin für Literatur , but art criticism under the name of Franz Arnold.
61 .  Rosa Mayreder (pseud. Franz Arnold), “Tina Blau,” Magazin für Literatur 68, no. 13 (April 1899), 306. The Salon Pisko provided an alternative exhibition space not only for Blau, but for the 8 Women Artists exhibition group; Egon Schiele would exhibit with his Neukunstgruppe there in 1909.
62 .  Blau to Franz Arnold (Mayreder), February 16, 1899, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 118.926.
63 .  Blau to Mayreder, February 15, 1899, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 118.913.
64 .  Blau to Mayreder, January 20, 1899, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 118.921.
65 .  Mayreder, “Tina Blau,” 303-06.
66 .  See also “Zehn Jahre Kunstschule,” Der Bund 3, no. 4 (April 1908): 6-7; Barbara Doser, Das Frauenkunststudium in Österreich, 1870-1935 (Ph.D. diss., University of Innsbruck, 1988); Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 46-47.
67 .  Blau to Mayreder, n.d. 1900, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 118.920; July 6, 1902, I.N. 118.923; and May 8, 1909, I.N. 118.924.
68 .  Blau to Seligmann, December 29, 1905, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 95646, Vienna, thanking him warmly for his article in the Neues Frauenleben 17, no. 12 (December 1905): 19-21. See also Blau to Seligmann, April 4, 1908, I.N. 95644 and February 28, 1914, I.N. 95645.
69 .  Blau to Seligmann, December 29, 1905, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 95646.
70 .  Bahr (1863-1934) was also nicknamed the “Proteus of modernity” and the “midwife of new art.” He was a prolific writer, dramatist, journalist, and general critic of all trades, a practitioner of the feuilletonism, or impressionistic journalism, that Karl Kraus so despised. Bahr came to represent, for Kraus, the corruption of literature through the press. He wrote essays for the Neues Wiener Tagblatt , the Österr. Volkszeitung , the Berliner Börsen Courier, and Der Morgen , Berlin.
71 .  Her only essay on Blau was on the occasion of her death: “Tina Blau-Lang,” Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung , November 2, 1916. Zuckerkandl (1863-1945) was the daughter of Moritz Szeps, the influential newspaper owner of whom it was said that he was more important than the emperor. Not only did she attack Seligmann, but also Friedrich Stern of the Neues Wiener Tagblatt . (These opponents of hers were the champions of Blau.) For more on Zuckerkandl, see Renate Redi, Bertha Zuckerkandl und die Wiener Gesellschaft. Ein Beitrag zur österreichischen Kunst- und Gesellschaftskritik (Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 1979); and her collected essays: Bertha Zuckerkandl, Zeitkunst Wien 1901-07 (Vienna: Hugo Heller, 1908).
72 .  Arthur Roessler, “Tina Blau,” Schwarze Fahnen (Vienna: C. Konegen, 1922), 63-65. For his review of The Art of the Woman , see “Kunstausstellungen: Wien,” Kunst und Künstler 4 (1910): 204-05. Much later he wrote a sympathetic typescript entry on Blau referring primarily to the “seven apocalyptic years” of Nazi rule, noting that she had been “frowned upon” (verpönt) for seven years “because she was not an Aryan.” “Die Wiener Malerin Tina Blau,” n.d. typescript, I.N. 163.756, copy in Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers, Austrian Gallery Belvedere, Vienna.
73 .  Ludwig Hevesi (1842-1910) wrote for the Wiener Fremdenblatt , where he had been editor since 1875. Before moving to Vienna in 1875 he had been editor (from 1866) at the Pester Lloyd , Hungary’s equivalent of the Neue Freie Presse . He studied medicine and classical philology in Vienna, wrote humor, travelogues, and children’s books in addition to his art criticism. Christian Nebehay, Ver Sacrum 1898-1903 (Vienna: Edition Tusch, 1975), 22.
74 .  Ludwig Hevesi’s short history is “Modern Painting in Austria,” The Art Revival in Austria , ed. Charles Holmes (London: Studio Magazine Series, 1906). The long history is Ludwig Hevesi, Österreichische Kunst im 19. Jahrhundert (Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1903). On the present state of the paintings, see Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 38.
75 .  Plakolm-Forsthuber, “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 38. During the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, artists wanted prestigious Ringstrasse commissions, but with hindsight, we may say that many of the names of those artists who painted the ceilings of the Arsenal and the new Museums of Art and Natural History (e.g., Carl Blaas) languish forgotten, their works remaining as testaments to historical decoration of the nineteenth century. Only Gustav Klimt’s works are widely noted, at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Burgtheater as well as his destroyed university ceiling paintings.
76 .  Rosa Mayreder, Zur Kritik der Weiblichkeit (Jena: Diederichs, 1905); A Survey of the Woman Problem , trans. Herman Scheffauer (New York: George H. Doran, 1913).
77 .  While A. F. Seligmann, Blau’s greatest champion, made a sustained argument for Blau based on her forward-looking, modernist painting, he was simultaneously reluctant to accept the latest expressionist tendencies, associating them with fashion, easy changeability, and lack of sustained technique; he therefore was not a champion of all modern women artists. See “Hagenbund,” Neue Freie Presse , September 17, 1911, 1-3.
78 .  O. J. Bierbaum, “Aus dem Kunstverein—Tina Blau—,” Münchner Kunst 11, no. 10 (March 8, 1890).
79 .  Stern, “Frau Tinas 70. Geburtstag,” 314.
80 .  See chapter 7 .
81 .  Roessler, “Tina Blau,” 64.
82 .  Ibid. Möbius (1853-1907) wrote a book titled Über den physiologischen Schwachsinn des Weibes (On the Feeblemindedness of the Female) (Halle a.d.S.: C. Marhold, 1902).
83 .  Stern, “Frau Tinas 70. Geburtstag,” 314.
84 .  Blau to the President of the Frauen Gewerbe-Verein, February 17, 1900, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 205.282, Vienna.
85 .  Blau to Auguste Fickert, February 19, 1909, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 69843.
86 .   Österreichische Frauenrundschau 111 (1913), 8, newsclipping without author, Nachlaß Ilse Twardowski-Conrat, Municipal Archives of the City of Munich.
87 .  A. F. Seligmann, “Kunstausstellung,” Neue Freie Presse , December 12, 1912, 1-3.
88 .  E. P.,“VII. Ausstellung der Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs,” Der Bund 12, no. 2 (1917): 14-15.
89 .  A sense of competition with the men and the other exhibits of the fair directed much of the fair women’s activities. Some women felt one could not expect the woman artist able to successfully compete with the men to forego displaying her work in the Fine Arts Building. Other women saw drawbacks to being associated with women’s work and the more lowly applied arts, to say nothing of the biscuit baking and cooking demonstrations which would be sponsored by the Woman’s Building. Yet others felt it was too early for women to compete in the fine arts arena, and that women’s strengths should be stressed—in the applied or “primitive” arts like pottery whose originators were thought to be women. In the end, organizer Bertha Palmer’s initial optimism for a womanly triumph in the fine arts remained unfulfilled. She herself declared, “all the best works of art at the fair can be found at the Fine Arts Palace.” Jeanne Weimann, The Fair Women (Chicago: Chicago Academy, 1981), 322. See also Maud Howe Elliott, ed., Art and Handicraft in the Women’s Building of the World’s Columbian Exposition (Paris: Boussod, Valadon, 1893); “In the Woman’s Building. Some of the Many Beautiful Things to be Seen There,” The New York Times , June 25, 1893, 17; M. A. Lane, “The Woman’s Building. World’s Fair,” Harper’s Weekly , January 9, 1892, 40.
90 .   Achter Jahresbericht des Vereines der Schriftstellerinnen und Künstlerinnen in Wien für das Vereinsjahr 1892-93 (Vienna: Selbstverlag, 1893), 5.
91 .  Blau to unidentified, Munich, 1 March 1893, Manuscript Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 65890.
92 .  Plakolm-Forsthuber concludes “with some certainty” that Spring at the Prater was the painting that Blau sent to the Woman’s Building in Chicago in 1893. It is hard to document because the painting was not exhibited and Blau herself referred to the painting variously in her correspondence. “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 43.
93 .  Blau to unidentified, March 1, 1893, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 65890.
94 .  In a letter from April 12, 1908, addressee unknown, Blau politely but firmly reiterates her stance to refuse to participate in women’s exhibitions. The letter may be to one of the organizers for the 8 Women Artists that was active during the first decade of the twentieth century, and tried very hard to get Blau to participate, at least as a guest. For example, in a much earlier letter from November 3, 1900, 8 member Olga Wisinger-Florian wrote to Marianne Eschenburg regarding an upcoming exhibition, “Couldn’t you try to work on Tina Blau, so that she takes part?” Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 65898. Blau’s 1908 response to their newest invitation was characteristically polite but unwavering in her rejection. I.N. 65891.
95 .  Blau to Minna Hoegl, President of the Union of Women Writers and Artists in Vienna, April 13, 1893, Vienna City Library, Manuscript Collection, I.N. 65889, Munich.
96 .  “Kleine Chronik,” Wiener Zeitung , November 21, 1909, 2; “Der Kaiser in der Ausstel-lung der Malerin Tina Blau,” Neues Wiener Tagblatt , November 21, 1909; Ankwicz, “Tina Blau,” Frauenbilder aus Österreich , 248-49.
97 .  Mayreder, “Wiens große Malerin,” Volkszeitung , 3.
98 .  August Schaeffer, 19 January 1900 manuscript essay, “Tina Blau,” transcribed in Roser-De Palma, Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau, 152. The essay was published, according to Natter, “Dokumentation,” 171, but I have not found any further references to its publication.
99 .  Roser-De Palma, Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau , 152.
100 . The numbers, which I have adjusted here using an inflation calculator, were provided in Haja, “Alltägliche Natur,” 9. They are not adjusted for art market increases of the late twentieth century.
101 . Seven months before The Art of the Woman opened, Blau had had her seventh one-person exhibition, at the Kunstverein Neue Wahl in Hamburg. Her first one-person exhibition had taken place two decades earlier at the Munich Kunstverein in 1890. Her important exhibition catalogues are listed in Natter, Plein Air , 186.
102 . See chapter 6 .
103 . Blau, quoted in Roser-De Palma, “Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau,” 150.
104 . August Schaeffer, 50 Jahre Wiener Kunst, n.d., typescript, Künstlerhausarchiv, Vienna.
105 . Plakolm-Forsthuber has pointed out that early in this relationship some pictures were signed with the initials of both Schindler and Blau in “Tina Blau und die Frauenbewegung,” 40.
106 . Blau to August Schaeffer in response to his January 19, 1900 manuscript essay, “Tina Blau,” February 14, 1900, Vienna, as transcribed by Roser-De Palma, Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau , 146. The letter from Blau has also been reprinted in full in Natter, “Dokumentation,” 171-73.
107 . Mayreder, “Tina Blau,” 306.
108 . A notable exception is the collective exhibition of Emilie Mediz-Pelikan and Karl Mediz at the Hagenbund in 1903. See Erich Tromayer, Emilie Mediz-Pelikan: Bilder, Briefe, Gedanken (Vienna: Selbstverlag, 1986).
109 . Werner Schweiger, Der junge Kokoschka (Vienna: Christian Brandstaetter, 1983), 202-08.
110 .  Austria in London. Austrian National Exhibition of Industry, Art, Travel, Sport (London: Dorland Hall, 1934), 30. Exhibition catalogue. Alexandra Ankwicz describes this as a significant honor, because these were works from the museum collections, and Blau’s painting was sent as representative of the “Austrian masters.” “In Memoriam Tina Blau: Zum 90. Geburtstag der berühmten österreichische Malerin,” typescript, Ankwicz-Kleehoven papers.
111 . Wilhelm Dessauer, “Zwei Künstlernaturen,” Neue Freie Presse , May 29, 1934, 1-2.
112 . The museum owned nine of her works altogether. Folder Z1.184, 1938 Austrian Gallery Belvedere Archives, as cited by Tobias Natter, “‘Wenn Sie noch unverändert an meine Tante denken’ Tina Blau und der Nationalsozialismus,” in Tobias Natter, ed., Plein Air: Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau, 1845-1916 , Jewish Museum Vienna, July 12-September 8, 2006 (Vienna: Jewish Museum, 1996), 64. Exhibition catalogue.
113 . Bruno Grimschitz, Österreichische Maler vom Biedermeier zur Moderne (Vienna: Wolfrum, 1963), as cited in Natter, “Wenn Sie noch,” 67. It was simultaneously issued as Austrian Painting from Biedermeier to Modern Times (Vienna: Wolfrum, 1963). She had been honored locally until this erasure. After her death, there were commemorative exhibitions in 1917 and 1926, the tenth-year anniversary of her death, but the next exhibition devoted to her would be in 1971. Gedächtnis- und Nachlaß-Ausstellungen Zygmunt Ajdukiewicz. Tina Blau-Lang. August von Schaeffer. Hans Wilt , Künstlerhaus (Vienna: Künstlerhaus, 1917), nos. 64-140. Exhibition catalogue; Tina Blau , Galerie Würthle (Vienna: Galerie Würthle, 1926). Exhibition catalogue; Tina Blau, 1845-1916: Eine Wiener Malerin , Vienna Austrian Gallery Belvedere (Vienna: Selbstverlag, 1971). Exhibition catalogue.
114 . Natter, “Wenn Sie noch,” 64-65.
115 . Ibid.
116 . Ibid.
117 . Ibid., 67. A few works remain with Blau’s descendents in New York.
118 . Official communication of the Register of the Vienna Municipal Archive, May 3, 1996, quoted in Natter, “Wenn Sie noch,” 68.
119 . Griselda Pollock and Roszika Parker, Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology (New York: Pantheon, 1981), 170.
120 . Valéry, Selected Writings , 141.
121 . Ibid.
122 . For more on stereotypes, see Sander Gilman, Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race and Madness (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985).
123 . James E. Young, At Memory’s Edge (New Haven: Yale, 2000).
Elena Luksch-Makowsky and the New Spatial Aesthetic at the Vienna Secession
Like fellow Russian Teresa Ries, Elena Luksch-Makowsky (1878-1965) lived her most productive and successful years as an artist in Vienna at the turn of the century. They were only two of several women who exhibited their works at the Secession. But they stand out for different reasons: Ries (1874-1956), who was already living in Vienna when the group established itself, was invited by Klimt to become an exclusive exhibitor at the Secession well before the exhibition house was built. 1 Luksch-Makowsky, on the other hand, arrived in Vienna after the group had established itself, and later told her children that she was the first woman member of the Secession. While neither she nor Ries appeared as official members on the association list, Luksch-Makowsky had every reason to believe herself a member. The Secessionist cooperative put a premium on artistic excellence and essentially functioned as a meritocracy. She became a central participant in the group and the only woman to create her own monogram block (the artist signatures used in Ver Sacrum and special exhibitions, fig. 8 ).
The focus of early feminist scholarship—to describe institutional provisions that women lacked, or to explain women’s difference as painters—has contributed to our understanding that art history is a construct. This work has done much to explain the state of scholarship on women today (i.e., why they are excluded from the canon). But a focus on women’s difference and exclusion can inadvertently reinforce the contemporary exclusion of individual women from more general histories of the period. A necessary supplement to these institutional studies comes from traditional art historical methods: to examine one artist’s work as full and complete aesthetic projects in historical context. The context for Luksch-Makowsky was not exclusion from academic training (she had an elite education), nor was it exclusion from elite exhibition groups. Her work was featured in the Secession exhibitions on several occasions. Like Blau, Luksch-Makowsky found a way to create and exhibit new artworks in her individual circumstances. A good way of thinking about it is the economic model of game theory, which views the economy as a field in which players learn rules and how to maneuver them to their advantage. Vienna’s art institutional field was at times fluidly open and at others complicatedly difficult; it shared these characteristics with the k.u.k.

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