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Volltext: Alte und Moderne Kunst XXVI (1981 / Heft 177)

the 1908 Kunstschau, intending to have them turn- 
ed into tapestries. In a letter of 5 June 1908 to C. O. 
Czeschka, he wrote: "Ansunsten ist Kokoschka 
der Krach der Kunstschau. Mir gefallen die drei 
Bilder in der Ausstellung noch viel besser, und ha- 
ben wir sie ihm um bare 200 Kronen abgekauft, mit 
der Garantie, daß wir sie, wenn wir zu Geld kom- 
men, in Gobelins verwandeln!" The drawings, un- 
fortunately, are now lost, and lt seems certain the 
tapestrles were never executed. However, the fact 
of Waerndorfer's patronage of Kokoschka is in- 
teresting in itself, since it is evidence that he was 
prepared to concern himself not just with the ele- 
gantly erotic art of Beardsley, Klimt and the eariy 
Secession, but also with the rnore startlingly bru- 
tal avant-garde tendencies which came to the fore 
in Viennese art after 1908. These rnore advanced 
interests are also proved by his acquisition for the 
Wiener Werkstätte of a painting by Schiele from 
the Hagenbund exhibition of 1912, the picture 
known as Herbsrsonne or Herbstbäume: Schiele 
recorded the purchase in a letter to the collector 
Carl Reininghaus dated 11 April 1912." 
Even during his eariy years as collector, though he 
may have owed a good deal to the activities of the 
Secession and to the advice of friends such as 
Hoffmann and Moser, Waerndorfer rapidly distin- 
guished himself from other lnfluential patrons of 
the arts by his energy and flalr. Especially remark- 
able was his commission to Mackintosh to deco- 
rate and furnish an entire music room in Waern- 
dorfefs house in the Carl-Ludwig-Strasse, in Vien- 
na's nineteenth district - in fact, the only impor- 
tant commission the Scottish artist ever received 
from a continental patron. Waerndorfer's choice 
was all the more significant, since Mackintosh's 
work was comparatively little known in Europe at 
this time - desplte the success of the eighth 
Vienna Secession exhibition in the autumn of 
1900, at which the "Glasgow Four" (Mackintosh, 
his wife Margaret Macdonald, Margarefs sister 
Frances, and her husband Herbert MacNair) had 
played so considerable a part," and the interest 
shown in the designs he had submitted for Alex- 
ander Koch's "Haus eines Kunstfreundes" compe- 
tition, published in a large portfolio in 1902 under 
the title Meister der Innenkunst." 
The Waerndorfer music room, was, however, quite 
unlike the music room Mackintosh designed for 
the "Haus eines Kunstfreundes" project, resem- 
bling rather the white-painted "Scottish room" at 
the Secession exhibition (which was presumably 
what inspired Waerndorfer to employ Mackintosh 
in the first place). The dominant features of the 
room were a deep frieze occupying the space bet- 
ween picture rail and ceiling, and the grand piano 
in its peculiar, rectangular case (fig. 6, 7). The co- 
lours were muted: white, gray "und das zarte Lila 
der Herbstzeitlosenä" The main source of natural 
light was from the window recess giving on to the 
Carl-Ludwig-Strasse, flanked by window seats. 
The window itself, seem dimly in fig. 7, must have 
been huge. Changes in the exterior brickwork of 
the house as it exists today show the trouble 
taken by some later occupant to restore this im- 
mense aperture to more normal proportions. An- 
other, very much smaller rectangular window in 
the chimney extension, which would have illumi- 
nated the inglenook (fig. 8), has also been subse- 
quently blocked up. The overall effect of the room 
was intimate and yet formal. Hevesi observed that 
afternoon tea would have been unthinkable in this 
"grotto of living rock", and described Vienna's so- 
ciety ladies sitting on Mackintosh's low, high- 
backed chairs, imagining themselves to be prin- 
CSSSES." 
Work on the Mackintosh room seems to have be- 
gun in the summer of 1902, and proceeded hand in 
hand with Hoffmanns remodelling of the adjacent 
36 
dining room." The two rooms were conceived and 
executed very much in one breath, and it was evi- 
dently intended they should be viewed in relation to 
each other. They were of similar dimensions, per- 
haps 7 rn long by 5,5 m wide, and were linked by a 
rectangular opening screened only by a double 
curtain decorated with a geometrical pattern on 
the one side by Hoffmann, on the other by Mack- 
intosh (fig. 9). This "cheek by iowl" juxtaposition 
would scarcely have created any jarring effect, 
since, as more than one critic observed, the work 
of the two artists was stylistically very similar at 
this period. indeed, one reviewer, writing about 
the Austrian contribution to the Paris 1900 exhibi- 
tion, even remarked that Hoffmann owed perhaps 
too great a debt to his Glasgow contemporar- 
iesßa. Hoffmann, however, never attempted any- 
thing quite like Mackintosh's elongated white 
chair which appears in fig. 6. This design, an ex- 
ample of which was displayed at the Turin Interna- 
tional Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art in 
spring 1902 (fig. 10), evidently took Waernd0rfer's 
fancy, since at least four such chairs are visible in 
surviving photographs of the music room. There 
was also a good deal of other free-standing furni- 
ture, including a white rectangular table, unique in 
Mackintosh's oeuvre, and also an oval table with 
ten legs, of which a replica was exhibited in Mos- 
cow in 1903." 
On the basis of the evidence that has so far come 
to light, it would seem that the Waerndorfer music 
room was probably destroyed at quite an eariy 
date - perhaps as eariy as 1916.15 Despite conti- 
nual rumours that this or that piece of furniture 
has turned up at some sale or in some private col- 
lection, not a trace of its furnishings or decora- 
tions has survived. Thus, we are dependent on ver- 
bal descriptions and on surviving photographs for 
any idea of what the room was like. The photo- 
graphs, however, provide only a partial glimpse of 
the interior; as a result, there have been disagree- 
ments among scholars over the precise detaiis of 
some of the decoration. Particularly puzzling is 
the question of the frieze which must have run 
along the upper part of the walls of the room. In 
the surviving photographs, probably taken in 1903 
-or 1904, the spaces above the shallow cornice on 
each side of the room are bare, and are clearly 
waiting for decorative panels of some kind to be 
lnserted. Andrew McLaren Young, in his catalogue 
of the 1968 Mackintosh centenary exhibition, 
doubted whether these panels were ever in- 
stalled," but it is clear from descriptions provided 
by Hevesi and others that they were in place by 
1909, and had probably been installed in 1906 or 
pcssibly 1907. There has also been some confu- 
sion as to the exact technique in which these pa- 
nels were executed, and indeed even as to their 
subiect. Helga Malmberg, who was Peter Alten- 
berg's companion and one of Waerndorfers em- 
ployees at the Wiener Werkstätte, described the 
walls as being "mit gobelinartigen Stickereien be 
deckt, die von einer englischen Künstlerin, Mrs. 
Macintosh [sie], entworfen waren. Sie stellten Sze- 
nen aus einem Gedicht von Rosetti dar und waren 
im Geschmack der englischen präraffaelitischen 
Schule gehalten"? Fortunately, Waerndorfer him- 
self wrote to Bahr about the subject matter of the 
panels. His letter confirms that the designs were 
indeed by Margaret Macdonald, but specifies as 
the source of the iconography Maeterlinck's play 
Les Sept Princesses (it was apparently Bahr who 
first introduced Waerndorfer to the work of the 
Belgian playwright): "Und diese Frau macht mir ei- 
ne 6 Meter lange Wand: Maeterlinck 7 Prinzessin- 
nen; und da soll ich auf Lesbos" (a reference to 
Waerndorfefs trip to Greece, undertaken eariy in 
1904, apparently for reasons of health)?! He does 
not, however, specify the medium, and we have to 
10 Charles Flennie Mackintosh, "Rose Boudoir" auf der 
Turiner Internationalen Ausstellung Dekorativer 
Kunst, 1902. Aufnahme nach Thomas Howarth, Char- 
les Rennie Macklnfosh and fhe Modern Movemenr, 2te 
Auflage, London 1977, Abb. B4B. 
11 Innenaufnahme der "schottischen Abteilung" bei der 
B. Secessionsausstellung, Wien 1900. An der Wand 
The Mey Qeen, Paneel von Margaret Macdonald. Bild- 
archlv der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Foto: 
Archiv) 
12 lnnenaufnahme der "schottischen Abteilung" bei der 
8. Secesslonsausstellung, Wien 1900. An der Wand 
The Wassail, Paneel von Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 
Bildarchiv der Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek 
(Foto: Archiv) 
 
Anmerkungen 12 - 25 (Anm, 12 - 15 s. Text S, 34, 35, 
Anm, 26- 35 S. S. 3B) 
" Beardsley to Smithers, 7. 3. 1898; published in Lellers lrom Au- 
brey Beardsley lü Leonard Smlfhels, edfted with an lnlroductlon 
and Noles by F1. Ä. Walker. London 1537. According tO Walker 
(p. xll), Beardsleys drawlngs and letters from waerndorfers col- 
lectlorr were offared for sale In Marcn l914 by the Flyder Galle 
ries In London. Walker lmplles that et least some 01 the draw- 
lngs were not orlglnals, and also reports that the letters were 
"H01 exhibiled and were inspected with difficully." 
" Waerndorfer to Hoffmann. 23 December 1902; colleclion Frau 
Karla Hoffmann, Vienna. 
" "Life, Love, Art in Old Viennü. Memolres by Fritz Waemdorfer"; 
unpublished typescrlpl, collection Mrs. Fiorra Waerrrdorfer 
McOleary, Florida. 
" For a detalled descrlption Df the däbut Of the Wiesenlhal sisters, 
S89 Helga Malmberg, Widerhall des Henens. Eln Peter Allen- 
bEfyrßllCll, Munlßh 1961, S. B1 f. Curiously, in her memoirs Grete 
Wiesenlhal rnakes rro mentlon of Waerndorfer, although she 
does refer in pesslng to the Fledermaus; see G. Wieserlthal, Der 
Aufstieg, ÄUS dem LGDGII einer Tänzerin, Berlin 1919, 
pp. 219 -30. 
" Oskar Kokoschka, Mein Leben, Munich 1971, S. 55, 
v See Rudolf Leopold, Egon Schiele. Pairriings, Warercolours, 
Drawirrgs, London 1973, cal. no. 220 and n. 2. 
" On 1h6 Scollish contribution tD the elghlh SBCGSSIOH SXhibitiOn 
see Roger Billnlirle and Peter Vergo, "Charles Rennie Mackln- 
tOSVl and thS Austrlan Art RSVIVM", EUIHIIQIOII Magazine N0. 895, 
Vol. CXIX (November 1977), p. 739i. 
" On the detaiis of this competition see further Roger Billcliffe, 
Charles Rennie Maclrirrtosh. The Complele Fumllure, Furnlture 
Drawirrgs and lnlerior Designs, GuildfordlLondon 1975, p. 971. 
(Clted hereafter as "HillCliffG 1579"); SISD J. D. Kornwolf, M. H. 
Bailiie Scolr and rhe Ans and Cralts Movsrrrents, Baltimore 
1972, p. 21er. 
I" Malmberg,op.clt.,S.10-1. 
1' L. Hevesi, "Ein moderner Nachmittag", Flagrarrri, Stuttgart 1909, 
S. 175. 
1' For a rnore dstalled descrlption of this commission see Peter 
Vergo, "Josef Hoffmann und Fritz Waerndorfer: Der Künstler 
und sein Mäzen", in the catalogue of the forlhcomlng Josef 
Hoffmann retrospective exhibition (Wien, Hochschule für ange- 
wandte Kunst), 1982 - 3. 
1' Gabriel Mourey, "Flound the Exhlbltion. - IV. Austrlan Decorati- 
ve Art", TIIE SlLidiO XXI (1500), S. 114. 
1' BlllGllffS 1979, D. 125 (cet. 1902.19); lt was evidently the replica 
exhiblted in Moscow in 1903 which was acqulred at auction by 
the Flne Art Soclety in autumn 1980. 
H For a more detalled account et the probabls fate of the Mackin- 
tosh music room and the Hoffmann dlnlng room, and the se- 
quence ol evsnts leedlnq up to thelr destructlon, see Peter Ver- 
gc, "Josef Hoffmann und Frllz Waerrrdorler", lDC. Clt.
	        

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