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Exhibitions Commemorating Gustav Klimt's 150th birthday

Gustav Klimt: The Kiss (Lovers),1907-1908  ©Belvedere, Wien/

Permanent Klimt exhibits at leading Viennese museums will be supplemented by a series of special exhibitions throughout 2012.  In the summary that follows, a link to the website of the organization noted, is included in each section title (i.e. The Belvedere)

The Belvedere

The Belvedere is home to the world's largest collection of works by Gustav Klimt (including The Kiss) and will be focusing on the world-famous artist along with outstanding architect and designer, Josef Hoffmann from 25 October 2011 to 4 March 2012 ("Gustav Klimt / Josef Hoffmann. Pioneers of Modernism"). Their intensive working relationship - which included highlights such as the Beethoven Exhibition (1902) at the Secession Building and the Palais Stoclet (1905-1912) in Brussels - set a new benchmark in Europe for the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (a synthesis of art). Numerous works such as Klimt's portrait of Fritza Riedler, which bears Hoffmann's characteristic signature, show the influence that these two pioneers of Austrian Modernism had on each other, a subject explored in a broad-based special exhibition with an additional Wiener Werkstätte focus.

Gustav Klimt: The Spandrels, Museum of Fine Arts
©Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien

Museum of Fine Arts (KHM)

The KHM will be showing the exhibition "Gustav Klimt in the Museum of Fine Arts" from  February 14 to May 6, 2012, which is dedicated to the painter's middle period: 1886-1897. Klimt's 13 important paintings and their preliminary sketches for the grand staircase of the KHM are at the center of the exhibition. Klimt, his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch were commissioned in 1890 to create in-fill pictures and the narrow paintings between the columns. With these pictures, Klimt created the stylistic key pieces for his world-famous work around and after 1900. Klimt's drawings were last shown in Zurich in 1992. Loan pieces illustrate the creation of these works, explain the choice of motifs and allow them to be stylistically classified within the artist's overall body of work. The in-fill pictures in the KHM can also been throughout the year.

Gustav Klimt: Study of a woman’s head in three-quarter profile for “Unchastity“
in the "Beethoven Frieze“, 1901 - 01 © Albertina, Wien

The Albertina

As the center for research into the drawings of Gustav Klimt, the Albertina will present most of the 170 works in its own collection from March 14 to June 10, 2012, in which all phases of the artist's work will be superbly represented. The extensive show "Klimt - Drawings" will be supplemented with carefully selected loan pieces. The thematic focus is provided by Gustav Klimt's unique talent as a sketch artist whose intellectual approach and working methods come to the fore in numerous figural studies and his precisely executed allegories.

Gustav Klimt: Death and Life, 1910/15 ©Leopold Museum, Wien

The Leopold Museum

The Leopold Museum will be hanging major works by Egon Schiele and several other Secession artists alongside paintings by Gustav Klimt during the 2012 Klimt Year, which will be marked with a special exhibition entitled "Gustav Klimt. A Journey Through Time" (February 24 - June 11, 2012). Numerous exhibits from the estate of Klimt's lifelong companion Emilie Flöge will be among the works on show. Highlights include examples of the prolific written correspondence from the artist, who on occasion sent his muse several postcards on a single day. These travel logs are presented in the context of Klimt's major sketches and pictures.

Emilie Flöge, 1902 (Wien Museum)

Wien Museum

The Wien Museum has a first-class Klimt collection, which will be presented in its entirety for the first time during the anniversary year from  May 16 to September 16, 2012 under the title "KLIMT. The collection of the Wien Museum". In addition to major oil paintings - including the famous portrait of Emilie Flöge - the Wien Museum's Klimt collection comprises almost 400 sketches, original prints of portraits, poster designs and one of his smocks. Original furnishings from his workshop round out the exhibition.

Gustav Klimt, Nuda Veritas, 1899

Austrian Theater Museum

Gustav Klimt's famous painting "Nuda Veritas" is at the heart of the exhibition "Against Klimt. The 'Nuda Veritas' and her defender Hermann Bahr", which can be seen at the Theater Museum from  May 10 to October 29,  2012. The naked truth, an imposing two-meter tall woman, holds a mirror up to the observer. The show will emphasize the importance of the painting in art at the transition from the 19th to the 20th century: The "Nuda Veritas" was owned by the writer Hermann Bahr, whose estate is held by the Theater Museum. Bahr was a friend of Klimt and a great sponsor of the art of his time. He countered the hefty debates surrounding Klimt's works of art with his paper "Gegen Klimt". Bahr's creations will also play an important role in this exhibition.


Gustav Klimt was a member of the Künstlerhaus from 1891-1897. Numerous contemporary documents dating back to this period will be on display at the Künstlerhaus on Karlsplatz from July 6 - September 2, 2012 at the Klimt and the Künstlerhaus exhibition. The exhibits including letters and photos will document Klimt's time there.

Folklore Museum

The Austrian Folklore Museum has 350 textile samples (embroideries, laces, braids) from the estate of Emilie Flöge. Klimt's partner was the owner of Vienna's haute-couture salon "Schwestern Flöge" on Mariahilfer Straße, where she designed model dresses for refined Viennese society. These fabrics can be seen for the first time in the exhibition "Objects in focus: The textile sample collection of Emilie Flöge" from  May 25 to  October 14, 2012.

Editor's note:  We acknowledge the expertise of Vienna Tourism on the topic of Gustav Klimt and extend our gratitude for allowing us to publish these materials.  Furthermore, we encourage you to utilize the following links for further information.

•  For visitor information on Vienna please follow this link . . . .

•  Additional information on visiting Austria is available by following this link . . . .