ruth weiss: Poet, Performer, Grand Dame of the Beat Generation with Thomas Antonic

ruth weiss: Poet, Performer, Grand Dame of the Beat Generation

with Thomas Antonic

BIAAS's latest podcast presents BIAAS grantee Thomas Antonic, whose film about Austrian-American Beat poet ruth weiss, One More Step West Is the Sea, recently won the New York Independent Cinema Awards 2021 in the category "Best International Documentary Feature."

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ruth weiss: Poet, Performer, Grand Dame of the Beat Generation with Thomas Antonic2021-12-03T21:50:43+00:00

ruth weiss: Poet, Performer, Grand Dame of the Beat Generation with Thomas Antonic

Thomas Antonic's film about Austrian-American Beat poet ruth weiss, One More Step West is the Sea, recently won "Best International Documentary Feature" in the New York Independent Cinema 2021 Awards.

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ruth weiss: Poet, Performer, Grand Dame of the Beat Generation with Thomas Antonic2021-12-29T17:13:47+00:00

“This is Jimmy Berg from New York:” Dreams, Expectations, and Reality

"This is Jimmy Berg from New York:" Dreams, Expectations and Reality

By Julia-Katharina Neier

Jimmy Berg was born in 1909 in Kolomea as Symson Weinberg. He was a musician, composer, lyricist and journalist. In 1938 he had to flee from Austria because of his Jewish origins and his work in the communism-related cabaret theatre group ABC. Thanks to an affidavit of the industrialist Otto Eisenschimmel Berg was able to enter the US via Southampton on the S.S. Manhattan on November 24,1938.

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“This is Jimmy Berg from New York:” Dreams, Expectations, and Reality2021-06-29T18:15:23+00:00

Rosa Wien: Gay Rights, Schlager and Self-Exile: 1918-1938

Rosa Wien: Gay Rights, Schlager and Self-Exile: 1918-1938

By Casey J. Hayes

So…What comes to mind when you hear the word “Cabaret”? Perhaps…Liza Minelli? Yet, however historically accurate this depiction of the 1920s Weimar Berlin cabaret scene may be (I doubt they had Liza or Bob Fosse) it was a more reserved cabaret culture that developed within the Austrian capitol; more quick conversation, jokes, political statements, and sentimental chansons; less drag queens and spectacle. It would have, I believe, looked much more accessible to the conservative Viennese and less like the pages from a Christopher Isherwood novel. Yet, there are many historical yet little-known events that played out at the intersection of the struggle for civil rights for western society’s gay communities, the National Socialist’s persecution of homosexuals, and the fate of some of Europe’s greatest performing artists self-exiled in Vienna. The wildly hedonistic world of German-speaking Cabaret would be the backdrop for a collision which resulted in the ultimate elimination of the art of the “Kleinkunstbuhne” throughout Central Europe.

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Rosa Wien: Gay Rights, Schlager and Self-Exile: 1918-19382021-06-14T21:17:17+00:00

Drawn to America: Julius Klinger’s Poster Art

Drawn to America: Julius Klinger's Poster Art

By Karen Etingin

Viennese-born Julius Klinger (1876-1942) innovated advertising posters, book and magazine illustrations, mass promotional campaigns, and brand development, and he had a single-minded approach to an International Graphic Language. He became well known in his Austrian homeland as well as in Germany by the outbreak of WWI via an artistic reputation built on the strength and range of his designs, which were characterized by graphic simplicity, eponymous typefaces and irony. An advocate of “Americanismus,” and the progressive attitudes towards modern business and media coming from across the Atlantic, Klinger understood the power of modern trademarks and logos and their ability to give identity to major businesses and manufacturers.

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Drawn to America: Julius Klinger’s Poster Art2021-05-31T20:20:04+00:00

A Sense of Belonging: The Camphill Movement and its Origins with Katherine E. Sorrels—A Two-Part Podcast Series

A Sense of Belonging: The Camphill Movement and its Origins—A Two-Part Podcast Series

with Katherine E. Sorrels

The Camphill Movement is a global network of intentional communities for abled and intellectually disabled people. With over 100 communities today, Camphill began after Dr. Karl Koenig, his wife Tilla, and a group of volunteers fled Nazi-occupied Vienna in 1938 and rejoined in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1939. There they undertook the care of Austrian- and German-Jewish refugee children, as well as British children, with disabilities. From that first Camphill Special School, a fusion of Jewish diasporas with Austrian and German spiritual movements and the U.S. counterculture all developed Camphill's extraordinary approach to disability.

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A Sense of Belonging: The Camphill Movement and its Origins with Katherine E. Sorrels—A Two-Part Podcast Series2021-11-23T16:01:53+00:00

“I expect that this letter will be terribly long”: Hans (John) Kautsky’s First Letter from the U.S.A.

“I expect that this letter will be terribly long”: Hans (John) Kautsky’s First Letter from the U.S.A.

By Jacqueline Vansant

Sometime between March and April of 1938, a small group of 15- and 16-year-old schoolboys of Jewish heritage stood on a bridge over the Danube Canal in central Vienna and said good-bye to each other “forever.” Because the persecution of Austrian Jews, which had begun immediately after the Anschluss in March 1938, was particularly virulent, the boys and their parents knew that they had to flee the new Nazi regime as quickly as possible. When these classmates from the prestigious Bundesrealgymnasium Wien 1 met for the last time, they did not know what would become of them, but they promised one another that whatever happened they would do their best to maintain ties. The boys’ original promise resulted in an extraordinary group correspondence or Rundbrief that stretched over fifteen years and criss-crossed three continents.

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“I expect that this letter will be terribly long”: Hans (John) Kautsky’s First Letter from the U.S.A.2021-11-23T16:04:48+00:00

Part III of Megan Brandow-Faller’s  Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

Part III of Megan Brandow-Faller’s  Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

By Megan Brandow-Faller

Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska and Liane Zimbler, who both played leading roles in Wiener Frauenkunst (WFK) Raumkunst exhibitions also left Austria for New York and Los Angeles. Like the exiled ceramicists, Zweybrück-Prochaska’s reputation as a pedagogue, designer, and craftswoman preceded her forced emigration. Throughout the 1930s, Zweybrück-Prochaska had taught seminars and summer courses on art instruction for children throughout the United States, serving as a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the University of Southern California, the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of Texas, Rhode Island School of Design, and elsewhere. Zweybrück-Prochaska, whose paternal grandfather was a Jewish convert to Christianity, never returned from her last American lecture tour in Spring 1939, despite applying for the renewal of her school’s rights of public incorporation for the 1939/40 school year prior to her departure.[1] While her non-Jewish husband, entrusted with the administrative leadership of the school, claimed that the outbreak of war prevented her from returning, Zweybrück-Prochaska’s racial classification as Mischling (mixed blood) made membership in the Reichskulturkammer impossible, suggesting that her extended 1939 stay with her daughter, Nora, born in 1921, was deliberate.

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Part III of Megan Brandow-Faller’s  Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles2021-11-23T16:07:54+00:00

Part II of Megan Brandow-Faller’s Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

Part II of Megan Brandow-Faller’s Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

By Megan Brandow-Faller

Artists like Vally Wieselthier, Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska, or Maria Likarz-Strauss, who created decorative art and handcraft that was formally and thematically provocative, clashed with the regime’s attempts to resurrect the hierarchy of the arts and retain biologically defined gender roles. The regime tended to prefer clarity in art and design and emphasized, on the one hand, a resurgence of traditional handcraft skills and, on the other, industrially-produced design objects for the masses. The Viennese tradition of decorative arts—a field known for its defiance of traditional boundaries of high/low and masculine and feminine fields of expression—was met with outright hostility, added to the Jewish nature of its artist base and patronage networks.

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Part II of Megan Brandow-Faller’s Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles2021-11-23T16:09:15+00:00

Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles

By Megan Brandow-Faller

In Secessionist and interwar Vienna, female artists trained at the Viennese Women’s Academy created self-consciously ‘feminine’ art incorporating traditional forms of women’s handcrafts (including ceramics, textiles and embroidery) but in new and subversive ways. Such artists sought to reclaim the negative stereotypes surrounding 'women's art' through a series of ambitious public exhibitions and didactic programs bringing together the visual arts, crafts, and architecture in model decorative interiors. Constituting what critics likened to a ‘female Secession,’ this provocative ‘women’s art’ was a subversive feminist intervention in the misogynist backlash against the rising numbers of female artists and the promotion of decorative arts championed by the Vienna Secessionists (led by Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann and others). The female Secessionists made important contributions to modern art and design that have been ignored because of their embrace of the decorative arts and handcraft media. Introducing the movement in general, this blog post unearths the female Secession’s unexpected Austro-American linkages, tracing the path of American emigration of adherents including Vally Wieselthier (1895-1945), Susi Singer (1891-1955), Liane Zimbler (1892-1987) and Emmy Zweybrück-Prochaska (1890-1956).

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Interwar Vienna’s ‘Female Secession’: From Vienna to New York and Los Angeles2021-11-23T16:10:50+00:00
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