"This Kiss to the Whole World"
Klimt and the Vienna Secession
The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC)—a collaboration between the libraries of The Frick Collection, Brooklyn Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art—has extensive holdings of materials relating to artist Gustav Klimt (1862–1918). To correspond with the citywide Vienna, City of Dreams program organized by Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2014, NYARC presents this exhibition of its Vienna Secession (Union of Austrian Artists) catalogs and other related materials for the period that Klimt, as a founding member, was involved. Notable exhibitions that took place during this time period include the fourteenth exhibition (1902), which was designed by Josef Hoffmann and centered around tributes to Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as the eighteenth exhibition (1903) devoted to Klimt's work and designed by Koloman Moser.
Klimt's Beethoven Frieze, located in the Secession Building and exhibited during the fourteenth exhibition, was inspired by Richard Wagner's performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony on April 5, 1846, in Dresden, Germany. The final section of the Beethoven Frieze, which features embracing lovers surrounded by singing angels, refers to the symphony's chorale based on Friedrich Schiller's famous poem Ode to Joy. Subsequently, this important section of the Frieze is referred to as This Kiss to the Whole World.
This online exhibition presents digital copies of the full run of Vienna Secession catalogs 1-23 (1898-1905) along with photographic postcards illustrating some of the exhibition installations. Most of the original items are held at the Frick Art Reference Library. A complete virtual set has now been made possible courtesy of digital copies from the collection of the Neue Galerie New York. For a list of contributors to this project, see our credits page.