On the occasion of the 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt Vienna celebrates the great artist with a series of exhibitions in 2012.
Gustav Klimt co-founded the Vienna Secession movement and contibuted to the famous building as a protest against outdated concepts of art and declared a new motto: "To every age its art, to art its freedom". The Kiss – one of the world's best-known images – is seen as epitomizing the spirit of optimism that heralded the dawn of this new modernist era.
Klimt also had a major impact on the design style of Art Nouveau and Wiener Werkstätte and his creative oeuvre paved the way for his younger contemporaries, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
With his famous portraits of females Klimt showed the growing influence of the bourgeoisie versus nobility and the major shift from monarchy to democracy in Europe. One of these paintings, the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was bought by Ronald S. Lauder for USD 135 Mill. at Sotheby´s in 2006 and can be seen at Lauder´s Neue Gallerie New York.
With 22 pieces by the Gustav Klimt, Vienna´s Belvedere is home to the world's largest Klimt collection. In 2012 there are also major works on display at the Leopold Museum, the Wien Museum and the Albertina. Contemporary documents and other exhibits at the MAK and the Austrian National Library reveal yet more about Klimt and his life. Thus if you come to visit Vienna, the uncontested cultural capital of Central Europe, one of the Klimt exhibitons is a Must-See.