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Plans & Models of Projects by Prof. Behrens & His Pupils at the Master School of Architecture of the Fine Arts Academy of Vienna

DATES April 21, 1930 through June 1, 1930
  • April 7, 1930: An exhibition which is both artistic and utilitarian in interest is being arranged at the Brooklyn Museum to open on Monday, April 21st. This is a large collection of plans, photographs and casts of buildings of the projects developed in the School of Architecture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna headed by Prof. Peter Behrens. the exhibits will include the modern approach to buildings of all uses including factories, hotels and residences but it is expected to be of particular interest at this time because of the attention which is paid to housing projects designed to make possible modern homes at low rents.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06_1930, 058. View Original
  • April 11, 1930: To the Art Editor-

    The Exhibition of Viennese Architecture will be available to be seen for review purposes beginning Tuesday morning, April 15th. As the opening will be on Monday, April 21st, we shall be glad to have the review of the exhibition released on the week-end of the 19th and 20th. If the necessary information and data is not available in the gallery, please call at my office on the fifth floor.

    Very truly yours,

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06_1930, 061. View Original
  • April 15, 1930: This current exhibition of architectural projects is, as the cover of the catalogue describes, the work of Prof. Behrens' students in Vienna. The two small rooms namely the first and last ones, are given over to Prof. Behrens' own accomplished work. These projects are listed on the last page of the mimeographed catalogue and are self-explanatory to anyone inspecting the exhibition. We might point out that some of the most famous buildings are the factory buildings of the General Electric Company (AEG) in Berlin which were done before the War and in which a definite attempt was made to give them aesthetic value instead of leaving them to express their own aesthetic values through their natural forms; the German Embassy in Petrograd; the Gas Works in Frankfort and the Administration Building of the Mannesmann Pipe Works in Du:sseldorf.

    The Master School of the Academy of Fine Arts is what we would call in this country a post-graduate school, as the students have already received several years of architectural training . The students are not assigned problems as they bring their own. They apply their own knowledge of conditions and work out their own solutions without criticisms other than those of their fellow students and an associate professor. There is no curriculum nor specified time in which to accomplish this work as each problem is worked out in whatever time it is necessary to take. The only requirement is that there be some work to show Prof. Behrens on his visits for criticism which he he makes from three to five times a year and spends several days each time among the thirty or more students.

    As a practicing architect he gives criticism and advice tempered by his estimate of the student's ability to work out his own problem.

    At the end of the third year each student is expected to prepare a thesis and those who graduate are permitted to practice architecture in every country of Europe.

    The work shown in this exhibition gives a comprehensive measure of current tendencies in European architecture. As will be seen from an inspection of the exhibition nearly every possible subject has been worked on by the students. One of the unusual features of this school is that often the projects are worked out for practical use and are virtually an order. Several of the projects have been built.

    It would be only repeating the catalogue to enumerate the different kinds of buildings which have been worked on. It is obvious that the problems of architecture are approached with minds free from traditional methods of construction and design.

    New York City whould be very much interested in the project #2 called "Proposed Traffic Regulation for the Potzdamer Platz, Berlin" where traffic becomes as snarled up as in any place in New York City. The Platz can be approached from any direction and traffic can proceed through it without being interrupted by any other stream of traffic by means of ramps and elevated roadways. Project #7 is interesting because hydroaeroplanes can land in this harbor which has a breakwater towards the open water and prevailing winds. Project #18 "The Monument to the Unknown Solider in Vienna" is almost entirely in glass. In the stadium for Vienna shown in project #25 provision has been made for many of the best seats possible, namely on each side, by raising the sides to the height shown and by provision for ramps leading up to them so as to separate the upper and lower crowds. The garage building shown in project #28 allows cars to enter the building be mens of a spiral ramp on the outside and turn into their alloted pigeon hole, from which they can descend by means of interior ramp. Project #50, called "A Summer Residence on the Dunes" will probably be erected at Southhampton, Long Island, some time within a year. The apartment hotel for New York in project #51 should be particularly interesting to the New York public as it carries one step farther the form of the present New Building. Something distinct and different from the general character of this exhibition is the ski hut shown in project #83, a throughly practical and compact and snug structure made of wood as the plans show. The steamer for the Danube River Steamship Company shown in project #88 is in actual use.

    With the present interest in inexpensive housing in New York City the several projects along these lines should also prove interesting. In one of the developments each apartment has at least one room with a southern exposure so that sunlight is assured; that are community kitchens, community drying racks on the roof and a large central cours as a playground to keep the children off the street. These projects are not necessarily applicable to the United State with our entirely different conditions but they show that it is possible to solve the problem by approaching it with an open mind.

    Prof. Behrens was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1868. He studied painting until 1901 and has produced work in glass, porcelain, furniture and other media. From 1901 on he became more and more occupied with architectural work. He is interested in all forms of design covering such diverse subjects as electric cars, ecclesiastical robes, furniture, letter boxes and tea services. His first public appearance in an exhibition was in Dusseldorf in 1904. In 1909 he completed a building which is considered to have marked a peak in the history of contemporary architectural development, namely the Turbine Building for the Berlin General Electric Company. After this he did other work for the same company which lead to more commissions for large industrial concerns. As to his influence and his aims, the work as shown in the exhibition is the best testimonial.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06_1930, 062-5. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3 . View Original 4
  • April 22, 1930: Events at the Brooklyn Museum yesterday afternoon had a strong international aspect as the Austrian Minister to the United States officially and formally opened an exhibition of modern architectural projects worked out in Vienna and Miss Ruth St. Denis, the well-known dancer, and three of her pupils presented a dance recital in connection with the exhibition of the Art of the Dutch East Indies now current at the Museum.

    The dance recital occurred at three o'clock in the Sculpture Court and the architectural exhibition was opened at four after which there was a reception and tea in the rotunda, while the guests inspected the two large exhibitions which are installed in the large exhibition galleries on the fourth floor of the Museum.

    Preceding this program, the Austrian Minister Edgar G. Prochnik and Mme. Prochnik were entertained at lunch at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Blum. The other guests were Dr. George Schmidt, Austrian Acting Consul General, Mr. William Muschenheim, Miss Ruth St. Denis, Dr. WIlliam Henry Fox, Mr. Walter H. Crittenden, Mr. Frank L. Babbott and Mrs. Edwin Bigelow.

    The dance recital was attended by a large audience in the Sculpture Court. A platform stage had been erected in one corner of the court for the presentation of the dances. The first number was "Batik Vender" danced by Anna, Reginia and Charlotte to music by Paul Seelig, followed by "Javanese Court Dancer" by Miss St. Denis to music written by Clifford Vaughan. The third number was entitled "Burmese Pwe" by Ernestine Day to music also by Mr. Vaughan. The closing number "A Figure from Angkor Vat tl was performed Miss St. Denis to music by Irene Bergere. After the recital the entire company went to the rotunda on the fourth floor for the ceremony of opening the Viennese architecture exhibition. His Excellency the Austrian Minister made a brief and graceful address, after which he declared the architectural exhibition formally opened the cords were then removed from the door and tile assemblage followed him and the official party into the gallery. The rest of the afternoon was spent by the company inspecting both the architectural exhibition and the augmented Duth East Indian show in the gallery opposite. This latter exhibition now includes a handsom collection of textiles lent by Van Kerckhoff. which came too late for the formal opening a month ago.

    The distinguished committee of patrons for the architectural exhibition is composed of Mr. Jules S. Bache, Mr. A. J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., General Quincy A. Gillmore, Mrs. Edward F. Hutton, Mr. Franklyn L. Hutton, Mr. Otto H. Kahn, Mr. Frederick A. Muschenheim and Mr. Joseph Urban.

    Those invited to act as hosts and hostesses are given on the attached list.

    The architectural projects promise to be of exceptional interest to New Yorkers who are becoming acquainted with and interested in modern architecture. The show consists of models, drawings, plans and photographs of about one hundred architectural projects of all descriptions from ski huts to large public utility plants worked out by Prof. Peter Behrens and his students all in the modern manner. Two of the projects are particularly interesting to New Yorkers as one is a new style of apartment building with ideally arranged rooms with porch galleries built into the cornets, while the other is a model home for the sand dunes that will possibly be erected at Southampton some time within the year. In addition to these there are carefully worked-out housing projects for workmen which should be of value to all those new interested in similar movements in this city.

    Still other projects are the proposed traffic regulation for the Potzdamer Platz, Berlin, where traffic becomes more snarled up than any place in New York. This solution with its ramps and elevated roadways will make it possible to approach the square from any direction and proceed through without any interruption from any other stream of traffic. Nearly all of the problems have a direct application to conditions in America as they have had in Europe, as, for instance, the athletic stadium with a large gallery addition to the sides where the best seats are., the garage building in which cars approach their stalls from a spiral outside ramp and leave them by means of an inside spiral ramp.

    There are some very furious completed buildings also shown in the exhibition in the first and last rooms which are devoted to the work of Prof. Peter Behrens who conducts the Master School of Architectural in the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna for his pupils who arc really post-graduate and practical architects. Prof. Behrens has been employed on many large and important pieces of construction in Germany, the most famous being the factory buildings of the General Electric Company in Berlin. Some of his other pieces are the German Embassy in Petrograd, the gas works in Frankfort and the administration building of the Mannesmann Pipe Works in Düsseldorf.

    The Master School of Architecture has the characteristics of an atelier a great deal more than it has of a school, as there is no curriculim. Students who are admitted to it have already had considerable experience in architecture and go through for the purpose of working out new ideas that might not be allowed to come to life in an actual practising architect's office. There are no particular hours as everyone is allowed as much time as necessary to work out his project. Prof. Behrens makes three to five visits a year and spends several days each time for the purpose of criticism of the work of the thirty or more students.

    Those invited to act as hosts and hostesses at the reception were members and wives of members of the Museums Governing Committee and members and wives of the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. They are as follows:-

    Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Frazier
    Mr. & Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood
    Mr. & Mrs. John Hill Morgan
    Mr. & Mrs. Frederic B. Pratt
    Mrs. Mary Childs Draper
    Mr. Alfred W Jenkins
    Mr. & Mrs. John T. Underwood
    Mr. & Mrs. William H. Good
    Mrs. A. Augustus Healy
    Mr. Walter H. Crittenden
    Mr. & Mrs. Edward C. Blum
    Mr. Frank L. Babbott
    Mr. & Mrs. William A. Putnam

    Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bailey
    Mr. & Mrs. E. LeGrand Beers
    Mr. & Mrs. Henry H. Benedict
    Mr. & Mrs. R. R. Bowker
    Hon. & Mrs. James J. Browne
    Dr. & Mrs. S. Parkes Cadman
    Mr. & Mrs. William R. Cary
    Judge & Mrs. Frederick E. Crane
    Mr. John J. Curtin
    Dr. John H. Denbigh
    Jon. Jacob G. Dettmer
    Mr. Gates D. Fahnestock
    Mr. & Mrs. Julian P. Fairchild
    Mr. & Mrs. James A. Farrell
    Mr. & Mrs. Sumner Ford
    Mr. & Mrs. Lewis W. Francis
    Mr. & Mrs. John W. Frothingham
    Hon. & Mrs. Henry Hesterberg
    Mr. & Mrs. William T. Hunter
    Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Jonas
    Mr. Adolph Lewisohn
    Miss Hilda Loines
    Mr. & Mrs. William J. Matheson
    Mr. & Mrs. Edwin P. Maynard
    Mr. & Mrs. George V. McLaughlin
    Mr. Horace J. Morse
    Mr. & Mrs. James H. Post
    Mr. & Mrs. Charles Pratt
    Mr. Robert A. Shaw ,
    Mr. & Mrs. G. Foster Smith
    Mr. & Mrs. Herman Stutzer
    Mr. & Mrs. Adrian Van Sinderen
    Prof. & Mrs. Edwin G. Warner
    Rt. Rev. Msgr. John C. York

    Also invited to act as hosts and hostesses were the following:-
    Dr. & Mrs. William H. Fox
    Dr. & Mrs. Frank L. Babbott, Jr.
    Mrs. Walter Shaw Brewster
    Mrs. Glentworth Reeve Butler
    Mrs. William H. Childs
    Mr. & Mrs. Harris M. Crist
    Mr. & Mrs. H. Edward Dreier
    Mr. & Mrs. William P. Earle, Jr.
    Mr. & Mrs. William F. Eastman
    Mrs & Mrs. Morris Upham Ely
    Mr. & Mrs. George S. Frank
    Judge & Mrs. Edwin J. Garvin
    Mr. & Mrs. B. Meredith Langstaft
    Mr. & Mrs. Frederick D. McKay
    Miss Alice Morse
    Mrs. Henry F. Noyes
    Mr. & Mrs. Dean C. Osobrne
    Miss Julia J. Pierrepont
    Miss Anna J. Pierrepont
    Mr. & Mrs. John Van Buren Thayer
    Mr. & Mrs. Winthrop M. Tuttle
    Mrs. Edwin C. Ward
    Miss Frances E. White
    Miss Harriet H. White
    Mr. & Mrs. John H. McCooey
    Mr. & Mrs. Robert E. Blum
    Mr. & Mrs. William M. Calder
    Mr. & Mrs. Henry J. Davenport
    Mr. & Mrs. Eugene A. Widman
    Mr. & Mrs. Matthew S. Sloan
    Mr. & Mrs. George E. Brower
    Mr. & Mrs. Walter Hammitt
    Hon. & Mrs. William C. Redfield
    Mr. & Mrs. Herbert F. Gunnison
    Mr. & Mrs. Fremont C. Peck
    Mr. & Mrs. Joseph J. Early
    Judge & Mrs. Charles J. McDermott
    Mrs. Stutzer Taylor
    Mr. & Mrs. H. V. Kaltenborn
    Mrs. R. Ross Appleton

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 04-06_1930, 071-5. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3 . View Original 4 . View Original 5
Plans & Models of Projects by Prof. Behrens & His Pupils at the Master School of Architecture of the Fine Arts Academy of Vienna