Databáze uměleckých výstav v českých zemích 1820 – 1950

15th Exhibition of Mährischer Kunstverein (Moravian Art Association)

Date:24. September 1896 – 25. October 1896

Place: Brno, Reduta Hall

Exhibition design:Camillo Palleta

Organizer:Mährischer Kunstverein

Conception:Camillo Palleta


The annual art exhibition organized by the Mährischer Kunstverein in 1896 was the first exhibition curated and installed by Camillo Palleta, who replaced an ill Eduard Sykora. Beginning with the next exhibition, Paletta officially took over Sykora's position. Later on, he became the Kunstverein's secretary and the first director of Brno Künstlerhaus (today's House of Arts), and he shaped the character of the exhibitions until his death at the end of 1918. Paletta introduced Brno to the best of Central-European art. He was not only able to procure works by renowned artists, but he also demonstrated excellent intuition in choosing unknown pioneers of various avant-garde trends. For example, in 1910 he organized the first exhibition of  Neue Künstlervereinigung München outside the Bavarian capital.

The 1896 exhibition of Mährischer Kunstverein featured 254 artworks, of which 207 were oil paintings, 41 watercolours, 6 prints and 1 sculpture. Compared to the Kunstverein's first exhibition in 1882, the 1896 show was a mature and high-quality contemporary art event of Central-European importance. It presented new artworks, and even prominent Vienna-based artists were represented by their most recent and first-rate works, rather than the inferior pieces they had shown at the early Mährischer Kunstverein exhibitions. Moravia's close ties to Vienna were evident in the choice of artworks. The artists who exhibited in Brno can be divided into three groups: 1. artists living in Moravia, most often in Brno, 2. artists living outside their native country, most often in Vienna or, to a lesser extent, in Munich, and 3. artists who had no direct connections to Moravia and usually lived in Vienna or, to a lesser extent, in Munich. All three groups intermingled. Viennese Moravians maintained contacts with Brno painters and further relations were later facilitated by newly founded Moravian art associations. The social life of artists in Vienna was centered around Viennese art associations such as Genossenschaft der bildenden Künstler Wiens and later also Wiener Secession.  

For the first group of artists, Mährischer Kunstverein's exhibitions were a key platform to present their paintings. In 1896, Franz Felbinger (1844–1906) exhibited ten figural oil paintings, creating what looked like an exhibition within an exhibition. The show occasionally featured older artists, such as Anton Mayssl (1826–1899), who rarely had an opportunity to exhibit his work during the years of his career when there were not many public shows but also not much competition. In general, however, the exhibition predominantly represented younger artists who were still active during the First Republic when the originally united local scene split into separate Czech and German streams. The German stream was the more conservative of the two, with nineteenth-century Realist and Impressionist tendencies surviving in the form of a specific regionalism. This style is best exemplified by Louise Stupka-Eisenlohr and Samuel Brunner (1858–1939) who exhibited his large painting Znojmo at the 1896 show; the work is now in the collection of the Moravian Gallery in Brno.

While the Brno painters sent their best works to Mährischer Kunstverein's shows from the very beginning, Vienna-based Moravian painters only gradually warmed up to the exhibitions. By 1896, however, Brno was a regular part of their exhibition itinerary. When Camillo Palleta took over Mahrischer Kunstverein's programming, Moravian artists in Vienna became even more interested in presenting their works in Brno. In 1896, Brno audiences had the first opportunity to see paintings by the most successful Moravian painter, Hans Temple (1857–1931). Hans Tichy (1861–1925), later professor at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna presented his monumental painting Pieta, considered one of the highlights at the exhibition. The painting was subsequently purchased for the Picture Gallery of the Franz Museum (later renamed Moravian Provincial Museum). The Pieta was then damaged during a fire in the museum's storage and only its right half survived. Cropped and reframed, this fragment is now in the collections of the Moravian Gallery, a successor to the Provincial Museum's Picture Gallery.

For Moravian painters living abroad, exhibiting in Brno had a patriotic motivation, which became even more evident when the associations of German-Moravian artists were founded, namely Vereinigung deutschmährischer bildender Künstler in 1909 and Mährischer Künstlerbund in 1913. However, during the 1890s, Brno also became a popular destination for Viennese and, to a lesser degree, Munich artists who had no close relationship to Moravia. The number of prominent artists at the Brno show increased, as did the quality of their works. Viennese artists sent the same artworks to Brno that they also presented in the Viennese Künstlerhaus. For example, the 1896 Brno exhibition contained the painting Kiss by Josef Engelhart (1864–1941), the key representative of the Vienna Secession, founded a year later. This painting was popular in Vienna at the time and it even circulated as a printed reproduction. Olga Wisinger-Florian (1844–1926), the first successful female painter in Vienna next to Tina Blau-Lang, presented eleven paintings at the exhibition. The Mährischer Kunstverein shows in 1896 and the following years can be considered smaller versions of the exhibitions in Viennese Künstlerhas – although less extensive in quantity, in quality they were virtually the same. 

By 1896, the Moravian art scene was already splitting into its German and Czech parts. Mährischer Kunstverein had a regional rather than national character and its members were both German and Czech-speaking Moravians. Most of the Moravian artists spoke German as their native language. In the 1890s, a new generation of Czech-speaking artists began to emerge and after 1900, these artists founded the Klub přátel umění (Club of Friends of Art) and Sdružení výtvarných umělců moravských (Association of Moravian Artists). In an effort to distinguish themselves from German-speaking Moravian artists, they did not exhibit with Mährischer Kunstverein, although not because of any lack in quality. This separated them from the small number of older Czech-speaking Moravian artists, such as Josef Ladislav Šichan (1847–1918), who participated in Kunstverein's shows whenever possible.

Robert Janás

Further Reading

Robert Janás, Mährischer Kunstverein v letech 1882–1918. Dějiny a výstavní činnost spolku, dissertation,  FF MU Brno 2001, pp. 102–107

Robert Janás, Vídenští umělci na brněnských výstavách spolku Mährischer Kunstverein v letech 1882–1918, Bulletin Moravské galerie v Brně LXXV, 2017, pp. 56–69

Exhibiting authors

Mährischer Kunst-Verein in Brünn. Catalog der fünfzehnten Kunst-Austellung eröffnet in Brünner Redouten-Gebäude am 24. September 1896

Vydavatel: Mährischer Kunstverein

Místo a rok vydání: Brno 1896

Reviews in the press

Anonym, Gemälde-Ausstellung des mährischen Kunstvereines., Brünner Zeitung, 1896, č. 231, 6. 10., s. 3; č. 235, 10. 10., s. 3; č. 238, 14. 10., s. 3; č. 242, 19. 10., s. 3; č. 245, 22. 10., s. 3


[P.], Die Gemälde-Ausstellung des Mährischen Kunstvereines. I., Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, č. 223, 28. 9., Abendblatt, s. 1–2; č. 228, 3. 10., s. 3; č. 234, 10. 10, s. 3; č. 237, 13. 10., s. 1

Brief notes about the exhibition

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 212, 15. 9., p. 4

Anonymous author, (Gemälde-Ausstellung des mährischen Kunstvereines.), Brünner Zeitung, 1896, Nr. 216, 18. 9., p. 3

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 216, 19. 9., p. 5

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 219, 23. 9., p. 4

Anonymous author, (Eröffnung der Gemälde-Ausstellung), Brünner Zeitung, 1896, Nr. 220, 23. 9., p. 3

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 220, 24. 9., pp. 4–5

Anonymous author, (XV. Kunstausstellung), Brünner Zeitung, 1896, Nr. 221, 24. 9., p. 3

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 222, 26. 9., p. 4

Anonymous author, (Besuch der Gemälde-Ausstellung des mährischen Kunstvereines), Brünner Morgenpost, 1896, Nr. 223, 27. 9., s. 3.

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 229, 5. 10., p. 4

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 236, 13. 10., p. 5

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 239, 16. 10., p. 4

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 240, 17. 10., p. 5

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 243, 21. 10., p. 5

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 244, 22. 10., p. 5

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 245, 23. 10., p. 5

Anonymous author, Theater- und Kunstnachrichten, Tagesbote XLVI, 1896, Nr. 246, 24. 10., p. 9

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