The Vienna Salons: Networking and Emancipation for 200 Years

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What made the Vienna salons the places to be between 1780 and 1938 would be described today as networking in the best sense. Mostly shaped by their Jewish hostesses, these communication spaces were also spaces of emancipation and empowerment in two respects: for women who were still excluded from public life, and for the development of a critical, middle-class civic society.

The Place to Be. Salons - Spaces of Emancipation / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / [Public Domain]

In numerous bourgeois and aristocratic palaces in Vienna at the end of the 18th and in the 19th century, it became customary to invite regular meetings at which personalities of cultural life, politics and business could meet for informal conversation.

In some salons music was mainly cultivated (for example in the Palais der Lobkowitz or Rasumofsky, but also in the houses of…