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Otto Wagner: Vienna's World Famous Architect at the Vienna Museum

Published: April 5, 2018; 09:01 · (Vindobona)

Otto Koloman Wagner (* 13 July 1841; † 11 April 1918) was Austria's most important architect, architectural theorist and Urban Planner of Vienna in the Belle Epoque and around the Fin de siècle. His Art Nouveau buildings, his university activities and his writings on urban planning helped him to world fame in the 1890s. The Wien Museum devotes a comprehensive exhibit to the architect who turned Vienna into a global metropolis.

Otto Wagner: Vienna's World Famous Architect (1904) / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Stadtchronik Wien, Verlag Christian Brandstädter, p. 379 [Public Domain]

Otto Wagner's building projects - among them the City Railway (Wiener Stadtbahn), the Postal Savings Bank (Postsparkasse), and the Church at Steinhof - are regarded as milestones on the path from historicism to modernism.

Wagner was a visionary. He recognized that a historicist architecture fixated on the past stood in contradiction to the political, economic, and social dynamics of his time. As a response, he designed a radiant and rational architecture of the future, one that rested on the relationship between function, structure, and novel building materials. Wagner’s radical designs represented a clear break from the past for advocates of modernism but were viewed by defenders of tradition as sheer provocation. For this reason, many of Wagner’s projects remained unrealized, including his plan for the City Museum on Karlsplatz. The current Wien Museum building was later erected on the same site.

The Wien Museum’s comprehensive jubilee exhibition in 2018 coincides with the one-hundredth anniversary of Wagner’s death, and is the first major exhibition dedicated to this titan of urban architecture in over fifty years. The exhibition locates Wagner’s oeuvre in relation to his companions and opponents, illuminates his artistic, cultural and political environment, and conveys a sense of his international appeal. Exquisite drawings, models, furniture, paintings, and personal belongings vividly relate the story of Wagner’s prodigious career. Most of these objects are from Wagner’s estate, one of the treasures of the Wien Museum’s collection. Several objects will be on view to the public for the first time—an invitation to rediscover this great architect anew.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated publication of 544 pages. In addition to numerous contributions by renowned authors, it contains the first complete inventory of all buildings, projects and designs by Otto Wagner.

Otto Wagner Pavillon Karlsplatz

Vienna’s largest infrastructure project around 1900 was the Stadtbahn (light urban railway ), for which Otto Wagner served as artistic director. In 1898 he completed two identical portal buildings for the station at Karlsplatz. Today, the western pavilion houses a compact Wien Museum exhibition on Wagner’s life and work.
Opening times 2018: March 15 to October 31, Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Otto Wagner Hofpavillon Hietzing

For the Hietzing subway station, Otto Wagner designed a pavilion exclusively for Emperor Franz Joseph I and his innermost circle of family and courtiers. Completed in 1899, the building has an unmistakable, representative exterior and an exquisite art nouveau interior.
Opening times 2018: March 17 to October 31, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A paid ticket to the Otto Wagner exhibit is also good for entry at both Wien Museum Wagner pavilions!

General Admission EUR 10
Discounted Rate EUR 7
Senior citizens, students up to 27 years of age, persons with disabilities, Vienna Card, groups of 10 or more
Student groups visiting as part of a class EUR 2 per person
Visitors under 19 years of age FREE
First Sunday of every month (all visitors) FREE
Guided tours for all visitors (tour spots subject to availability) FREE
Flat rate for pre-booked group tours (recommended number of participants: 20) EUR 65
Pre-booked guided tour tickets for visitors under 19 years of age (minimum charge per group: EUR 20) EUR 2 per person

Otto Wagner
15 March 2018 to 7 October 2018

Wien Museum / Vienna Museum
Karlsplatz 8
1040 Vienna
P: +43 (0)1 505 87 47
F: +43 (0)1 505 87 47 7201
W: https://www.wienmuseum.at/en/exhibitions/detail/otto-wagner.html
E: office@wienmuseum.at

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