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Lectures & Salons

Salon Series 45: Die Fläche: Design and Lettering of the Vienna Secession

with Diane V. Silverthorne, Dan Reynolds, Megan Brandow-Faller

Join the contributors of our latest book for a visit to Vienna in 1900, a moment with an outsized influence on lettering and graphic design.

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Discover the world of Vienna 1900 graphic design in a roundtable with the contributors to our latest book, Die Fläche: Design and Lettering of the Vienna Secession, 1902–1911. Diane V. Silverthorne, Dan Reynolds, and Megan Brandow-Faller will share insights from their essays and discuss the innovative “surface art” that emerged from the Secessionist movement, the Wiener Werkstätte arts and crafts co-op, and the pathbreaking design courses at the Vienna Applied Arts School. Highlighting graphic work by leading Secession designers, women artists, and the influential lettering theorist Rudolf von Larisch and his followers, their discussion will explore how Die Fläche opens a window into a watershed moment in design history.

Diane V. Silverthorne

Diane V. Silverthorne is an art historian and Vienna 1900 scholar with research interests in European art and design of the long nineteenth century. She has a passion for music and its impact on the visual arts and has published widely on these subjects, notably on Alfred Roller, a Secession graphic artist and opera designer. She also reviews for The Wagner Journal. She has lectured for many years at the University of London and for public audiences, recently speaking at the Freud Museum London, and presenting on “Exhibiting Music” for the music and philosophy study group. Diane’s anthology, Music, Art and Performance from Liszt to Riot Grrrl (Bloomsbury), was published in 2018. She has written on the life and art of Anna Mahler, daughter of Gustav and Alma Mahler, for a recent special issue of Sculpture Journal. She does an excellent impersonation of the young Alma Mahler from her early diaries.

Dan Reynolds

Dan Reynolds is an American designer living in Germany. He teaches typography at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld. After a short time studying at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, just two blocks from the Klingspor Museum, Dan began working as a type designer at Linotype and Monotype. From 2012 until 2018, he undertook doctoral studies at the Braunschweig University of Art. Since then, Dan has devoted himself to researching type foundries active during Germany’s imperial era, between 1871 and 1914. After graduating, he started work on a database to document all the sans serif typefaces sold in Germany during the nineteenth century. In 2020 and 2021, Dan was a scientific adviser for a project funded by the Berlin city-state to digitize more than 400 type specimens in public collections and make them freely available online for viewing and reuse.

Megan Brandow-Faller

Megan Brandow-Faller is a professor of history at the City University of New York Kingsborough and also teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research focuses on art and design in Secessionist and interwar Vienna, including children’s art and artistic toys of the Vienna Secession, expressionist ceramics of the Wiener Werkstätte, folk art and modernism, and women’s art education. She is the editor of Childhood by Design: Toys and the Material Culture of Childhood, 1700–Present (Bloomsbury, 2018), author of The Female Secession: Art and the Decorative at the Viennese Women’s Academy (Penn State University Press, 2020), and coeditor (with Laura Morowitz) of Erasures and Eradications in Modern Viennese Art, Architecture and Design (Routledge, 2022). Brandow-Faller contributed two catalog essays for the retrospective exhibition Die Frauen der Wiener Werkstätte at Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (2021). Her newest project focuses on the dissemination and popularization of Secessionist ideas about child creativity in postwar America.

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