Gustav Klimt

Left: Gustav Klimt in his studio garden. Circa 1912-14. Photograph.

Right: Poster for the First Secession Exhibition. 1898. Private collection.


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 11, 2017 - October 13, 2017

The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015

Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013

Face Time

Self and Identity in Expressionist Portraiture

April 9, 2013 - June 28, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012

The Lady and the Tramp

Images of Women in Austrian and German Art

October 11, 2011 - December 30, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 5, 2011 - September 30, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 13, 2010 - October 1, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2008 - September 26, 2008

Transforming Reality

Pattern and Design in Modern and Self-Taught Art

January 15, 2008 - March 8, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 5, 2007 - September 28, 2007

Who Paid the Piper?

The Art of Patronage in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

March 8, 2007 - May 26, 2007

More Than Coffee was Served

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

September 19, 2006 - November 25, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 6, 2006 - September 8, 2006

* Coming of Age

Egon Schiele and the Modernist Culture of Youth

November 15, 2005 - January 7, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

June 7, 2005 - September 9, 2005

Every Picture Tells a Story

The Narrative Impulse in Modern and Contemporary Art

April 5, 2005 - May 27, 2005

65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I

Austrian and German Expressionism

October 28, 2004 - January 8, 2005

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2003 - September 12, 2003

In Search of the "Total Artwork"

Viennese Art and Design 1897–1932

April 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoscha

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

November 23, 2001 - January 5, 2002

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

June 26, 2001 - September 7, 2001

From Façade to Psyche

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

March 28, 2000 - June 10, 2000

Saved From Europe

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

November 6, 1999 - January 8, 2000

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts About Looted Art)

June 9, 1998 - September 11, 1998


Repression and Revolt in Modern Art

March 26, 1998 - May 30, 1998

Recent Acquisitions

A Question of Quality

June 10, 1997 - September 5, 1997

The Viennese Line

Art and Design Circa 1900

November 18, 1996 - January 4, 1997

Breaking All The Rules

Art in Transition

June 11, 1996 - September 6, 1996

The Fractured Form

Expressionism and the Human Body

November 15, 1995 - January 6, 1996

Recent Acquisitions

June 20, 1995 - September 8, 1995

On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 1995

55th Anniversary Exhibition in Memory of Otto Kallir

June 7, 1994 - September 2, 1994

Symbolism and the Austrian Avant Garde

Klimt, Schiele and their Contemporaries

November 16, 1993 - January 8, 1994

Recent Acquisitions

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993

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

May 19, 1992 - September 4, 1992

Scandal, Outrage, Censorship

Controversy in Modern Art

January 21, 1992 - March 7, 1992

Viennese Graphic Design

From Secession to Expressionism

November 19, 1991 - January 11, 1992

Recent Acquisitions

Themes and Variations

May 14, 1991 - August 16, 1991

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, drawings and prints

January 22, 1991 - March 2, 1991

Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990

The Narrative in Art

January 23, 1990 - March 17, 1990

The Galerie St. Etienne

A History in Documents and Pictures

June 20, 1989 - September 8, 1989

* Gustav Klimt

Paintings and Drawings

April 11, 1989 - June 10, 1989

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

June 14, 1988 - September 16, 1988

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

April 12, 1988 - May 27, 1988

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

April 7, 1987 - October 31, 1987

Oskar Kokoschka and His Time

November 25, 1986 - January 31, 1987

Viennese Design and Wiener Werkstätte

September 23, 1986 - November 8, 1986

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, Drawings and Prints

May 27, 1986 - September 13, 1986

The Art of Giving

December 3, 1985 - January 18, 1986

Expressionists on Paper

October 8, 1985 - November 23, 1985

European and American Landscapes

June 4, 1985 - September 13, 1985

Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna

November 13, 1984 - January 5, 1985

* Gustav Klimt

Drawings and Selected Paintings

September 20, 1983 - November 5, 1983

Early and Late

Drawings, Paintings & Prints from Academicism to Expressionism

June 1, 1983 - September 2, 1983

Aspects of Modernism

June 1, 1982 - September 3, 1982

The Human Perspective

Recent Acquisitions

March 16, 1982 - May 15, 1982

Austria's Expressionism

April 21, 1981 - May 30, 1981

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele

November 12, 1980 - December 27, 1980

* Gustav Klimt

March 20, 1970

Austrian Art of the 20th Century

March 21, 1969

* Gustav Klimt

February 4, 1967

The Wiener Werkstätte

November 16, 1966

25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

October 17, 1964

Austrian Expressionists

January 6, 1964

Group Show

October 15, 1962

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin

March 14, 1961

Watercolors and Drawings by Austrian Artists from the Dial Collection

May 2, 1960

European and American Expressionists

September 22, 1959

* Gustav Klimt

April 1, 1959

Austrian Art of the 19th Century

From Wadlmüller to Klimt

April 1, 1950

Small, Good Art Works from the 19th and 20th Centuries

January 27, 1949

Franz Barwig the Elder, Franz Barwig the Younger and Gustav Klimt

March 12, 1948

Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

September 15, 1945

Saved from Europe

Masterpieces of European Art

July 1, 1940

Group Exhibition

May 1, 1939

Austrian Art

February 1, 1939

Important Paintings

November 29, 1937

Anton Faistauer, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

June 1, 1933

Gustav Klimt and Bruno Lauterbach

March 29, 1928

* Gustav Klimt

May 20, 1926


September 23, 1986 - November 8, 1986


Hoffmann, Josef

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Moser, Kolomon

Schiele, Egon

Wiener Werkstätte



In 1966, the Galerie St. Etienne mounted the first formal Wiener Werkstätte exhibition ever held in the United States. It had then been over forty years since the Wiener Werkstätte's short-lived Fifth Avenue branch folded, and during those years turn-of-the-century Austrian art had gradually begun to recover from a prolonged period of eclipse triggered by the two world wars. With the triumphant arrival of the exhibition Vienna 1900 at the Museum of Modern Art, one might say that this dark period has now officially ended. The Galerie St. Etienne, which struggled long and hard to bring Austrian modernism the recognition it deserves, has organized this special presentation of Viennese Design and the Wiener Werkstätte to celebrate and complement the MOMA show.


The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) is in many ways the ideal focus for a study of early twentieth-century Vienna. Not only did this crafts collective unite all manner of artisans and artists--from leatherworkers and carpenters to leading painters and architects--but as a functioning commercial enterprise, it reflected all of the social and economic realities of its time. The Werkstätte evolved from the Vienna Secession, founded in 1897 as a progressive alliance of artists and designers. From the start, the Secession had placed special emphasis on the applied arts, and its1900 exhibition surveying the work of contemporary European design workshops prompted the young architect Josef Hoffmann and his artist friend Koloman Moser to consider establishing a similar enterprise in Austria. Finally in 1903, with backing from the industrialist Fritz Wärndorfer, the Wiener Werkstätte saw the light of day. From three small rooms, it soon expanded to fill a three-story building with separate, specially designed facilities for metalwork, leatherwork, bookbinding, woodworking and a paint shop. In addition to the workshops on its own premises, the Wiener Werkstätte had recourse to free-lance craftsmen, students at Vienna's Kunstgewerbeschule (the School of Applied Arts, where both Hoffmann and Moser taught) and contemporary industry. Furniture production, for example, though at one point part of the Werkstätte's program, was more congenially licensed to outside manufacturers such as Gebrüder Thonet and J. & J. Kohn. In 1907, the Wiener Werkstätte took over distribution for the Wiener Keramik, a ceramics workshop of kindred spirit headed by Michael Powolny and Berthold Löffler.


The Wiener Werkstätte's first years were heady times, during which the collaboration between Hoffmann and Moser reached its peak. The two artists created a geometric style whose functional simplicity anticipates later modernism and has influenced the work of many of today's leading designers and architects. While it would be an exaggeration to say that commissions poured in, the Wiener Werkstätte found adequate support from Vienna's upper middle class, and for a time Wärndorfer's money sufficed to make up for any deficits. In architectural commissions such as the Purkersdorf Sanatorium and the lavish Palais Stoclet in Brussels, the Wiener Werkstätte was able to realize its ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), a coordinated environment in which everything down to the last teaspoon was consciously designed. However, by the time the Werkstätte received the Stoclet commission in 1905, it was already heading for trouble, and it has been said that sometimes Monsieur Stoclet's advances were used to cover outstanding debts. A lawsuit over the accounting for the Purkersdorf project propelled Hoffmann to sever his architectural practice from the Werkstätte, thereafter limiting the organization's ability to orchestrate larger projects. In 1907, Moser, embittered by the financial squabbling, left the Wiener Werkstätte, which subsequently entered a new phase, both stylistically and economically.


The Wiener Werkstätte's ability to change with the times perhaps accounts for its longevity, for despite ongoing financial problems, the enterprise survived for nearly thirty years. Berthold Löffler and Carl Otto Czeschka, who both became associated with the Werkstätte around 1905, brought with them a renewed interest in figuration that had direct bearing on the early work of the Expressionist Oskar Kokoschka. During and immediately following World War I, it was Dagobert Peche whose ornamental, almost baroque fancies exerted the most palpable influence. The founding of textile and fashion divisions in 1909 and 1910 brought a further shift in the Wiener Werkstätte's emphasis-- away from the architectural and toward the ephemeral. After the war, material shortages encouraged experimentation with less durable, less precious materials such as wood, ceramics and papier-maché. The original, grand Gesamtkunstwerk vision became diluted and submerged by the Kunstgewerbliches-- the artsy-craftsy.


The complete impoverishment of the truncated Austrian nation after World War I undoubtedly played a significant role in the demise of the Wiener Werkstätte. Attempts to expand the workshop's scope-- adding such items as wallpaper to its limited program of industrial licenses, and establishing branches in Zurich, New York and Berlin--were not particularly successful. After a close brush with bankruptcy in 1913, Wärndorfer was shipped off to America and the following year Otto Primavesi, a banker from Moravia, took over as chief financier and patron. Its need for a perennial Milchkuh (milk cow) to provide a steady stream of cash is often cited as symptomatic of the Wiener Werkstätte's economic naiveté, but in fact the notion of the enlightened patron was central to the Werkstätte's operating philosophy. The Werkstätte recognized early on that its role was not to reach the masses, but rather to create a rarified environment for the wealthy few. So long as the Austrian empire survived, whole and thriving, this goal was not particularly unrealistic. However, it was totally out of keeping with the priorities of a war-battered land, and after over a decade of struggle the Wiener Werkstätte finally gave up the ghost in 1932.