About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide


Secession Art



Even by today’s standards the Secession is a daring building with its cupola of golden laurel leaves and its art deco facade. It is one of the keyworks of Viennese Art Nouveaux architecture and was planned and built by Joseph Maria Olbricht, a student of Otto Wagner, to serve the needs of an artist association Olbricht himself belonged to. The secessionists were interested in uniting the separate art forms of sculpture, architecture, painting and music aiming for a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ – a comprehensive work of art.

Laurel leaf garlands decorate the facade and front, masks of the three gorgons preside over the entrance symbolizing the three art forms of architecture, sculpture and painting. Above the entrance you can read the motto of the secessionist: "Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihre Freiheit." (To the Age its Art. To Art its Freedom)
In 1902 the artist association planned an exhibition as a hommage to the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven, whose music suited the secessionists idea of the ‘gesamtkunstwerk’. Gustav Klimt was invited to contribute and created a monumetal wall cycle, the famous Beethoven Frieze, which you can admire all year round at the Secession.

The museum specializes on contemporary art. Often artists change the outside of the building by adding sculptures or changing the lightening. The idea of the ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ and of adapting the room/museum to add to the art work presented is still alive!

Secession: Friedrichstraße 12, A-1010 Wien; U4, U2 Karlsplatz