Inspiration Photography – From Makart to Klimt

The invention of photography in 1839 was both fascinating and horrifying to artists. While portraitists had good reason to fear a drastic shrink in their market, others soon discovered the multiple possibilities of the new medium. They used it to disseminate their works in cheap
reproductions and also to find out about international trends in art. Photographs soon became indispensable to artists as memory aids or even as a direct source. Many artists learned to use a camera themselves or engaged professional photographers who thus found a new niche in the market. Artists avidly took photographs while travelling, in the studio, and as part of art tuition – seriously or for the fun of it – and the images they produced strayed far from conventions. This exhibition addresses a subject that touches on a taboo. Although it was widely known among contemporaries that painters from Hans Makart to Gustav Klimt and the Künstler Compagnie had a great liking for photography, that it was practised and collected at the Vienna academy, after 1900 this was no longer openly discussed. The playful and creative approach to the medium that had been usual was lost precisely at a time when the Vienna Secession exhibited photographs as artworks in their own right. Discovering painters as photographers and collectors of photographs offers a glimpse of a hitherto unimagined world of images.

Current Dates

  • Fri. 28 Oct 2016, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Sat. 29 Oct 2016, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Sun. 30 Oct 2016, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.