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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Fin-de Siècle Vienna: The Cradle of Modernity

All-Day Program on Zoom

Saturday, March 6, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0569

Fin-de Siècle Vienna Handout

  1. cloud_download Fin-de Siècle Vienna - Handout

Self-Portrait with Physalis, 1912, by Egon Schiele (Leopold Museum, Vienna)


As the 19th century drew to a close, Vienna was a city at the heart of a diminishing world power. It was also an incubator for some of the most important figures in the arts, letters, and philosophy: Sigmund Freud, Robert Musil, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Arnold Schoenberg, to name a few. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine explores the ways in which fin-de-siècle Vienna became the cradle of modernity in Central Europe.  

10–11:15 a.m.  The “Cosmopolis” of a Dying Empire

The mixing of cultures, faiths, and worldviews in Vienna led to fresh insights in all spheres of knowledge—from philosophy and medicine, to the visual arts and music.

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.  Breaking with the Past

Creators in the Vienna Secessionist movement, from Josef Hoffman and Otto Wagner to Gustav Klimt, offered new expressions in art and design.

12:30–1 p.m. Lunch Break

1–2 p.m.  Egon Schiele: The Interior Gaze

Mentored by Klimt, Schiele was one of the most popular and controversial artists before his early death at 28. His intense engagement with psychology is reflected in the ways in which he treated complex themes such as human sexuality, particularly in his numerous self-portraits.

2:15–3:15 p.m. Arnold Schoenberg to Oskar Kokoschka: Anxiety and Its Expression

As the 20th century progressed, the avant-garde tendencies in visual arts, literature, and music gained a darker and more somber tone. With the advent of Nazi ideology, they also became branded as “degenerate”.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*


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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.