Vienna, Austria

Vienna: Birthplace of Psychoanalysis, Modernism, and World War I

Vienna, Austria, June 8 – July 17, 2015

Before 1918, Austria-Hungary was a world power that spread from the Mediterranean to Ukraine, and Vienna was one of the world’s capitals of art, culture and intellectual life. Along with Paris, London and Berlin, Vienna was a leading site for modernist innovation in fields as diverse as architecture (Adolf Loos), music (Arnold Schoenberg), painting (Gustav Klimt) and literature (Stefan Zweig). Most remarkably, Vienna was the birthplace of psychoanalysis and the urban space where Sigmund Freud lived and worked. By the end of World War I, Austria-Hungary had imploded, and the country was dismembered: The new Austrian Republic was a tiny fraction of the Empire, and it had to reinvent its identity as a small, landlocked nation. Economic and political crises during the 1920s and 1930s paved the way for what Freud called “the end of Austria” – the Anschluß, or annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938, when the country became the German province of Ostmark until the allies liberated it in 1945.

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