Odyssey: Art and Architecture of Turn-of-Century Vienna, Paris

The year 1900 was the pivotal fulcrum of that crucial era in Europe from 1890 to WWI, which saw a decisive transition from the rigid cultural landscape of the old order to a new populism in the arts and in social and political life. The coffee houses of Vienna were brimming with new ideas about society, human nature, and the arts. It was the age of Freud, Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, and Mahler. At the same time, the colorful posters of Toulouse-Lautrec advertised the Parisian Belle Époque with scenes of Montmartre's boulevard cafés and riot-producing theater performances. Painting moved beyond Impressionism to the even more radical modes of Symbolism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism. Meanwhile, London was experiencing the greatest contradictions of all: a dominant imperial culture celebrated by the writings of Rudyard Kipling, yet mimicked with comic relief provided by the likes of Gilbert and Sullivan.

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