The Austrian Experience At Neue Galerie, Complete with Strudel
by: Kate Messinger
September 24, 2012
There are some places that, no matter where they happen to be physically located, will always exist in a different realm. The Neue Galerie may be sitting quaintly in a small historic building from 1914 on Fifth avenue and 86th st, humbly staring at the iconic American symbols of Central Park and the towering art museums of the neighborhood, but inside, you are no longer in New York. The art deco winding staircase and Baroque architecture, the maze of rooms adorned with gold framed originals of Klimpt and Schiele, the mustached men sitting drinking Viennese coffee and eating strudel in the checkered-floor cafe: Welcome to Austria.
Though a relatively small museum, the beautiful Neue Galerie houses a unique collection of twentieth century German and Austrian fine and decorative art displayed almost as if you were seeing it in the house of a wealthy Austrian while at a dinner party. You might accidentally happen upon Klimpt’s glowing portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer while searching the halls for a bathroom, or find yourself suddenly standing in a room that looks as if it is set for a early twentieth century meeting of cigar smoking German dignitaries complete with geometric furniture made by Joseph Hoffman. The newest exhibit features the largest collection of Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler’s symbolic oil paintings including his portraits that inspired Klimpt and his landscapes that embody the vastness of the Swiss Alpines. These pieces shine even more here, in a space that is rarely crowded, beautifully decorated, and gives the visitor a visual as well as sensory experience of the art being observed.
The Ferdinand Hodler exhibit: View To Infinity will show at the Neue Galerie now until January 7th, 2013