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The Secession building or Pavilion is s direct off shoot of the Vienna Secession art movement in 1897. In that year, 19 artists left the formal, conservative art group to form their own. The group included such major figures as Gustav Klimt, Joseph Hoffman, Kola Moser, Joseph M. Olbrich and Max Kruzweil. The Secession building is intended to reflect or put into practice their approach to art.

The Secession is the corner stone of Vienna’s Art Nouveau movement. Joseph Olbrich, a former student of Otto Wagner, designed this building as the Secessionist Exhibition Hall. It is almost windowless. The most prominent exterior feature is the enormous gold sphere topping the structure. It quickly earned the nickname of the “Golden Cabbage.” Above the doorway, you can see the group’s motto: “Der Zeit inhre Kunst, der Kunst ihre Foreiheit” – “To each time its own Art, to Art, its freedom.” There is also a highly distinctive representation of the Gorgons, snakes well in evidence. Snakes even decorate the door handles, courtesy of Georg Klimt. The Secession Pavilion hosts temporary contemporary exhibitions. The major permanent work is the famous Beethoven Frieze by Klimt created as a temporary work of art for the 14th exhibition in 1902.

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