From Jugendstil to Modernism: Prague, Vienna, and Budapest from 1900 to 1930 with Harriet Landseer
With a period hotel as your base in Budapest, see fabulous interiors and exteriors in the unique Hungarian variant of the Secession style at the Decorative Arts Museum and Parliament. Eat in famous coffeehouses, here and throughout the tour, including many designed by Adolf Loos, where period writers and musicians like Franz Kafka and Gustav Mahler convened with the artists and architects of the time. In Austria’s capital city, which nurtured the talents of countless artists including Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, and Otto Wagner and countless composers, attend a performance by the beloved Vienna Boys Choir. Visit the 19th-century villa Otto Wagner built for himself, a Jugendstil mansion that blends Fin de Siècle art and Fantastic Realism. See the collection of Wiener Werkstatte, established in 1903 by Moser and Josef Hoffman, which evolved from the Vienna Secession and later influenced the Bauhaus and Art Deco styles. Visit Wagner’s Am Steinhof church, Schönbrunn Palace, and the newly renovated Secession Building, which houses the famous Klimt masterpiece: a frieze dedicated to Beethoven that measures seven feet tall by nearly ten feet long. En route to Prague, visit the Villa Tugendhat of 1928 by Mies van der Rohe and Josef Hoffman’s birthplace, now a museum. Explore the art and architecture of Alphonse Mucha, the founder of Art Nouveau, in Prague and visit villas owned by sculptors and artists of the period, as well as landmarks by Josip Plecnik. This tour, organized and led by Irish art historian and Prague resident Harriet Landseer, is filled with special experiences.
Harriet Landseer has designed specialized art and architecture itineraries for art and garden groups for over 25 years. A History of Art graduate of Yale College, she specializes in the art and heritage of the Czech Republic and Central Europe. She lives with her family in her native Ireland and part-time in Prague.
She initially moved to Prague after graduating from Yale to work for Olga Havel, wife of the Czech President. She lived in the Czech Republic for many years and speaks fluent Czech. She then moved to London for several years, leading tours all over the world for Specialtours (the company founded by Susie Orso, one of SBMA’s favorite tour leaders.) After returning to Prague, she became a consultant for the Czech National Heritage Institute. She occasionally translates specialist art-historical texts and in 2010 was commissioned by the Czech National Heritage Institute to put their landmark book Castles, Country Houses and Other Monuments into English. She now lives most of the year in Ireland, where her daughter is in school, and is involved with The Historic Houses of Ireland, an affiliate of The European Historic House Association.
Beyond her depth of knowledge about all aspects of Czech art, architecture, and decorative arts, she has a particular interest in Central and Eastern Europe, and the lands of the former Habsburg Empire. Her many other special interests include the issue of castle restitution to former owners after 1989, contemporary art in Central Europe, Chinoiserie garden pavilions, coffeehouse culture, and childrens' book illustration. This itinerary is particularly exciting to her and she customized it with the greatest care.