Page 18 - Studio International - September 1965
P. 18

The  Museum  of the  20th Century in Vienna

                              by  Werner  Hofmann,  its  Director                Translated  from the  German  by  Ilse  Schrier

      View from the garden of the
       Museum of the 20th  Century in
      Vienna showing left to right
      foreground Sculptures  by  Pillhofer.
       Henry  Moore.  Germaine  Rich,er.
       Behind can be seen sculptures  by
       Bill. Chill1da, Marini. Wotruba
      and Armitage.  1964
                                                                                 When. at the time of the Brussels World Exhibition, the
                                                                                 idea  arose  to  bring  the  Austrian  Pavilion  back  to
                                                                                 Vienna, and to use  it as an art gallery  (although it had
                                                                                 not originally been intended for this purpose) a quick
                                                                                 decision  had  to  be  made.  Here  at  last  the  concrete
                                                                                 possibility  presented  itself  of  realising  an  idea  which
                                                                                 had been conceived by Otto Wagner as early as 1899-
                                                                                 a 'Gallery of Art of Our Time'. The problems connected
                                                                                 with  this  rededication  are  best  explained  by  the
                                                                                 architect.  I  quote some of the most important passages
                                                                                 from a report by Prof.  Karl Schwanzer which appeared
                                                                                 in Der Aufbau (No.  2,  1963):
                                                                                  'The fact alone that this is to be a museum for works of
                                                                                 art of "one" century, gave rise to the idea of creating a
                                                                                 so-called "open-plan" museum, for which the structural
                                                                                 arrangement  of  the  Brussels  Exhibition  building-an
                                                                                 edifice supported by four columns-was ideally suited.
                                                                                 The  Brussels  Pavilion  was  a  square  cubic  building,
                                                                                 designed in blocks of 2 x 2 metres.  In the centre was a
                                                                                 courtyard with 8 x 8 such units.  In the corners of this
                                                                                 interior  square  which  had  been  left  open  as  a  court-
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