19.1.17

Wiener Werkstaette Kunstlerinnen

Unlike some other museums, most museums allow people to take pictures of exhibits, and to spread the word about them to other potential visitors.

Paintings by Greta Wolf-Krakauer (1890 - 1970)


I visited Vienna, Austria in November of 2016. Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.


Vienna was home to many artists, writers, musicians, and philosophers at one point or another such as Franz Kafka, Mozart, Goethe, Stefan Zweig, and Freud. It was also home to a large partisan movement. Viennese partisans helped some Jewish families relocate to safety during World War II.



I went to J├╝disches Museum Wien to see an art exhibit titled "Das bessere Haelfte: Judische Kunstlerinen bis 1938", which celebrates the contribution of Jewish female artists to the development of Viennese modernism.



The exhibit blends together the works of well established Viennese artists with the works of the unfairly forgotten ones.



One of the artist featured in the exhibit is Friedl Dicker, who was born in Vienna in 1898 into a poor Jewish family. In 1915 Dicker joined the textile department of the School of Art and Crafts in Vienna.  
In 1919 she went to Weimar Bauhaus to study. She returned to Vienna four years later where she established a furniture atelier, which received awards at several exhibitions.

The photo below depicts a reproduction based on a collage by Friedl Dicker entitled "The Bourgeoisie Becomes Fascist" originally made in 1932.




Everyone can be an artist but not every artist can be a visionary. Friedl Dicker was a visionary.

In the above piece she managed to capture the spirit of the problem, which 10 years later nearly destroyed Europe, like no other artist before or after her.

Modern art played a central role in World War II. The Nazis felt threatened by it to such an extent that they organized a propaganda exhibit where popular modernist works were derided. Psychologists such as Carl Jung,  who enjoyed a blossoming career during the Nazi regime, and whose pseudo-scientific ramblings still corrode the popular Western culture today, saw modern art as a symbol of "corrosive character".  According to letters written by Jung during the Nazi regime in Germany, he was a Nazi sympathizer, yet he denied being a Nazi sympathizer after Nazi Germany lost WWII.

Meanwhile, Friedl Dicker had the option to flee Nazi Europe shortly before she was sent to a concentration camp but she chose to stay with those who couldn't go anywhere and tried to lift their spirits with art workshops where they drew flowers and landscapes to escape their gruesome reality. In 1944 she was gassed in Auschwitz along with some of her students.