Prints Drawings Watercolours
02 August 2007 - 07 October 2007
By the Masters of the 20th Century
A Selection from the St Stephan’s Cathedral and Diocese Museum Otto Mauer Collection
Monsignore Otto Mauer was a Catholic priest. He was also a fervent, foresighted collector who, apart from his position as a clergyman, was passionate about all domains of contemporary art and -regardless of their beliefs or origins- approached all “avantgarde” artists with the same openness.
As one of the most outstanding collections of Modern Austrian art, the names of the artists represented on the collection’s list is almost a “who is who” of post-1945 Austrian art. Through a collection encompassing a wide spectrum from “classical” modern to postmodern, Mauer tried to create a “reference collection,” analogous to an atlas of art history. By World War II, he had already begun collecting with great resolution, the lithographs of the leading representatives of Parisian modern art, as well as the original works of German and Austrian artists. Gallery St Stephan, which he founded in 1954, evolved into the leading avant-garde gallery of Vienna under his management in the 50s and the 60s; it also acquired a considerable and well-deserved fame on the international art scene.
Otto Mauer’s relationship with art was always defined by his personal and at times amicable connections with the artists. His collection, which he was able to expand uninterruptedly until 1973 by purchases and artists’ gifts must be perceived not only as an indication of his progressive interest in art, but also as a very subjective interpretation of modern Austrian painting.
The Otto Mauer Collection includes nearly 3000 works, all of which are currently preserved at the Cathedral and Diocesan Museum, Vienna (Dommuseum).