Getting to Know Moriz Nähr of the Vienna Secession

The Leopold Museum is currently showcasing the incredibly
influential work of photographer Moriz Nähr in Photography and Viennese Modernism, Vienna. Nähr is considered as one of the forefathers of the Vienna Secession and remembered for his efforts in giving photography a modern twist.

MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Gustav Klimt vor seinem Atelier in der Feldmühlgasse 11 in Wien, 1917 Gustav Klimt in front of his studio at Feldmühlgasse 11 in Vienna; MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Gruppenporträt mit den beteiligten Künstlern an der 14. Ausstellung der Wiener Secession (sog. Beethoven-Ausstellung), April 1902 Group portrait of the artists participating in the 14th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession(known as Beethoven Exhibition)MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Gustav Klimt im Garten seines Ateliers in der Josefstädter Straße 21 in Wien, Mai 1911 Gustav Klimt in the garden of his studio at Josefstädter Straße 21 in Vienna, May 1911

The Vienna Secession was an art movement formed in 1897 and was the formal beginning of Austrian modern art. At that time, Vienna was highly attached to its traditions and rules — sporting a generally conservative attitude. A rather hostile environment for promoting a global-view of art and embrace all forms, mediums, genres, and fields.

MORIZ NÄHR Dreiteiliges Panorama: Der Karlsplatz in Wien zur Zeit der Einwölbung des Wienflusses, April 1897 Three-part panorama: Karlsplatz in Vienna at the time of the vaulting of Wien River

Photographer Moriz Nähr dictated modern Viennese photography at the time through his powerful portraiture. According to exhibit curator Uwe Schögl, Nähr's particular relationship with fellow Secessionist Gustav Klimt was a particularly motivating factor in Nähr's photography. This friendship with Klimt is also up for visual study through the portraits Nähr took. Schögl said:

“The legends that have formed around Moriz Nähr are based on the one hand on his close ties with Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession, and on the other on his relationships with the family of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Imperial House of Habsburg, especially with the heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand who named him his court photographer in 1908. Fellow artists and photographers, as well as bourgeois and archducal highnesses from the House of Habsburg all held his photographic oeuvre in the highest esteem.”
MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Alter Naschmarkt am Karlsplatz, 1885 Old Naschmarkt on Karlsplatz; MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este mit seiner Familie auf der Jagd, um 1910 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este with his family, hunting, c. 1910; MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Kirchtagtanz, um 1900/07 Fair Dance, c. 1900/07; MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Landschaftsstudie, um 1890 Landscape Study, c. 1890; MORIZ NÄHR Wien 1859–1945 Wien Faßzieherhaus mit dem Aquarellisten Rudolf von Alt, 1893 Faßzieherhaus with the watercolorist Rudolf von Alt

Leopold Museum director Hans-Peter Wipplinger summarized that Nähr's oeuvre may also be attributed to his connections with affluent figures, such as Ludwig Wittgenstein's family, the imperial Hasburg family including the throne-heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Nähr was eventually appointed as the Archduke’s court photographer in 1908. Wipplinger stated:

“The oeuvre of this singular photographer, which consists of commissioned photographs and of results of his freelance work, is shown in a comprehensive manner and in connection with the art of his time well into the late 1920s at the Graphic Cabinet. [Also] the exhibition highlights the correlations between photography, painting and architecture...”

Nähr’s contributions are rediscovered in this retrospective and his work is up for viewing in Vienna until 29 October.

2018-09-15 #news #viennese-photography #moriz-nahr

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