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Collection Art, Architecture, Design Research

Research project:
„Sonderfall“ Angewandte [The Angewandte: ‘An Exceptional Case’]
The University of Applied Arts Vienna under Austrofascism, National Socialism and during the post-war period


Preparation of an advertising pillar in the class for commercial graphics under the direction of Paul Kirnig, 1939/40

Photo: Emma Reif



April 2022

Project head

Mag.a Dr.in Bernadette Reinhold Sen.Sc.

Project team

Mag.a Dr.in Christina Wieder Sen.Sc.
OR Silvia Herkt BA MA (Leitung Universitätsarchiv)
Bettina Buchendorfer BA BA MA (Universitätsarchiv)
A.Prof.in Mag.a Sophie Geretsegger (Abteilung Kunstgeschichte)

Project description

The Angewandte began to grapple with art and cultural policy under National Socialism in Austria comparatively early, at a time when the paradigm shift in understanding recent Austrian history was gradually becoming apparent. Exhibitions such as Die Vertreibung des Geistigen aus Österreich: zur Kulturpolitik des Nationalsozialismus [The Ousting of Intellectuals from Austria: On the cultural politics of National Socialism, 1985] and Zeitgeist wider den Zeitgeist: eine Sequenz aus Österreichs Verirrung [The zeitgeist against the zeitgeist: A sequence from Austria’s aberration], 1988 set milestones for this previously overlooked field of art, followed by publications on the history of the Angewandte university. A few decades later a research project took on the task of delving deeper into the chequered history of one of Austria’s most important art institutes under Austrofascism and National Socialism, right up until the early post-war period.

The project title refers to the elevation of the ‘State School of Arts and Crafts’ to the ‘Reich University of Applied Arts’ in October 1941. Robert Obsieger, the Vice-Chancellor at the time, celebrated the occasion as a welcome ‘exceptional case’, as the ‘unique model’ of art education was to be integrated in the National Socialist university system.



Blick in die Fachklasse für Gebrauchsgraphik unter Leitung von Paul Kirnig, 1940

Foto: Emma Reif

Vergangene Termine