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The Memory Factory: The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900

The Memory Factory: The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900

The Memory Factory: The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900

By Julie M. Johnson 

"In The Memory Factory, Julie Johnson digs into the archives to reveal an astonishing picture of these women artists thriving in fin-de-siècle Vienna. . . . Johnson writes crisply with none of the pretensions common in academia and progresses neatly between telling the individual stories of five women artists (Chapters 1-5) and examining in greater detail the culture in which they first flourished and were later obscured (Chapters 6-8). llustrations of paintings and sculptures, distributed generously throughout, inject life into the stories behind them."—Kate Ferguson, The Vienna Review

" in documentation as it is in theory, secondary literature, and high-quality black-and-white and color illustrations of both well-known and marginalized works by women artists. Johnson’s groundbreaking work raises many new questions not only relevant to studies of Viennese modernism, but to scholars interested in women and modernism more broadly.”—Megan Brandow-Faller, Woman's Art Journal

The Memory Factory introduces an English-speaking public to the significant women artists of Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, each chosen for her aesthetic innovations and participation in public exhibitions. These women played important public roles as exhibiting artists, both individually and in collectives, but this history has been silenced over time. Their stories show that the city of Vienna was contradictory and cosmopolitan: despite men-only policies in its main art institutions, it offered a myriad of unexpected ways for women artists to forge successful public careers. Women artists came from the provinces, Russia, and Germany to participate in its vibrant art scene. However, and especially because so many of the artists were Jewish, their contributions were actively obscured beginning in the late 1930s. Many had to flee Austria, losing their studios and lifework in the process. Some were killed in concentration camps. Along with the stories of individual women artists, the author reconstructs the history of separate women artists’ associations and their exhibitions. Chapters covering the careers of Tina Blau, Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Bronica Koller, Helene Funke, and Teresa Ries (among others) point to a more integrated and cosmopolitan art world than previously thought; one where women became part of the avant-garde, accepted and even highlighted in major exhibitions at the Secession and with the Klimt group.

438 pages
Purdue University Press, 2012
6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
ISBN 9781557536136
Art History, Women Artists

$35.00 $35.00