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Alfred Roller (1864-1935), Secession XIV (Beethoven). Poster. Color lithograph, 230 x 80 cm. Gift of Joseph H. Heil, by exchange. 148.2010. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Alfred Roller (1864-1935) was a painter and designer. For the Beethoven exhibition Roller designed this very tall poster with a near life-size drawing of a bowed woman symbolically presenting an orb of light. The text is in bold, condensed lettering which features in Roller’s other graphic designs of this period.

Alfred Roller (1864-1935), Secession XVI, 1902. Poster. Color lithograph, 95 x 32 cm. Gift of Jo Carole and Robert S. Lauder. 149.2010. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The word “Secession” is in a short blunt curvilinear hand except for the three “S”s which are extremely elongated and seem to rest on dense block of text, like a woodblock but carved with a slight white line to delineate the letters. Behind the text is a pale red geometrical pattern.


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,…

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.
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