Lecture: Julie M. Johnson: Inside the ›Memory Factory‹: Women as Professional Artists in Vienna 1900
Professional women artists in Vienna had a very difficult time of it before 1938. It is therefore all the more surprising how many women managed to succeed in this métier. A large number of them came from assimilated Jewish families. Painters like Tina Blau, Broncia Koller and Marie-Louise von Motesiczky have made a name for themselves in the history of art, while many others have unjustifiably fallen into oblivion.
The exhibition “The Better Half: Jewish Women Artists Before 1938” gives a paradigmatic overview of the training and careers of approximately 40 women, including their struggle for recognition in a male-dominated art world and their persecution by racist Nazis. As part of the exhibition, Julie M. Johnson, author of “The Memory Factory: The Forgotten Women Artists of Vienna 1900,” explains how these women found a way to become professional artists against all odds.