Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908), Secession II, 1898. Poster. Color lithograph, 58 x 51 cm. Acquired by exchange. 329.1977. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908) was the architect of the Secession building. He also designed this poster with its elegant cursive “S”s. Richard Harflinger (1873-1948) remade the poster for a 1913 exhibition of Secession posters.
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Secession I, 1898. Poster. Color lithograph, 97 x 69 cm. Gift of Bates Lowry. 207.1968. The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Klimt adopts the use of white space and asymmetrical design of Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898). Goddess Athena, who personified wisdom, is the figure at the right. This ties the text at the bottom of the poster with the frieze-like panel at the top, which depicts Theseus fighting the Minotaur, symbolizing the artistic struggle against philistinism,…