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Home > Catalog > Architecture and Truth in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Architecture and Truth in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna


  • 80 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 250 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.64 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 720/.9436/1309034
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: NA1010.V5 T66 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Modern movement (Architecture)--Austria--Vienna
    • Architecture--Austria--Vienna--19th century
    • Architecture--Austria--Vienna--20th century
    • Vienna (Austria)--Buildings, structures, etc

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521822756 | ISBN-10: 0521822750)

  • Published June 2004

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$113.00 (C)

Leslie Topp investigates how "truth" in Viennese architecture at the turn of the twentieth century could be interpreted in a variety of ways, including "truth" to purpose, symbolist or ideal "truth", and ethical notions of authenticity. Drawing on newly uncovered archival materials, Topp offers a new interpretation of familiar buildings, demonstrating how they encompass utopianism, hyper-rationality, and subjectivism. She also explores the relationship between Viennese modern architecture and contemporary painting, psychiatry, fashion, labor issues, and anti-Semitic politics.


1. The Secession Building: multiple truths and modern art; 2. The Purkersdorf Sanatorium and the appearance of science; 3. The Postal Savings Bank: pragmatism and 'inner truth'; 4. The Michaelerplatz Building, an honest mask.


"Leslie Topp's book is important for offering new perspectives on well-known buildings, especially for systematically trying to answer the question of who the prople that commissioned them were. As a consistent and comprehensive narrative about four iconic modernist monuments, based at the same time on solid research and creative interpretation, it will also be an excellent teaching tool."
-Vladimi Kulic, Austrian Studies

"Her work is both original and thorough, thus it is one of the best treatments of a subject that has received a great deal of attention."
-Jindrich Vybiral, Austrian History Yearbook

"Topp gets it right, and her meticulous analyses confirm what has been a growing understanding in recent years about the complexity and multifarious nature of early Modernism...Her work navigates deftly through the intricate and meandering course of the idea, and it provides a useful contribution to the literature on the early Modernism in Vienna."
-Christopher Long, University of Texas at Austin, Studies in the Decorative Arts

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