Various Artists, Fritz Zeymer, Berthold Löffler, Oskar Kokoschka, Carl Otto Czeschka. Kabarett Fledermaus (Cabaret Fledermaus). 1907
Various Artists with Fritz Zeymer, Berthold Löffler, Oskar Kokoschka, Carl Otto Czeschka

Kabarett Fledermaus (Cabaret Fledermaus)

On view
Peter Altenberg (Prologue)
Collaborating Artist
Fritz Zeymer, Berthold Löffler, Oskar Kokoschka, Carl Otto Czeschka
Theater program with six line block reproductions (including front and back cover)
page (each): 9 5/8 x 9 1/4" (24.5 x 23.5 cm); overall: 9 5/8 x 9 1/4 x 1/16" (24.4 x 23.5 x 0.2 cm)
Wiener Werkstätte, Vienna
August Chwala, Vienna
Purchased with funds given by Mrs. Henry I. Cobb and Mrs. Melville Wakeman Hall
Object number
Illustrated Book
Drawings and Prints

The program for the first season of the Cabaret Fledermaus in Vienna provides a permanent record of the nightclub's ephemeral entertainments. In October 1907, the Wiener Werkstätte, a cooperative of architects, artists, and designers as well as the preeminent producer of luxury goods and furnishings in the city, opened the nightspot and performing arts space. It was created to dispel boredom with doses of avant-garde theater and poetry readings taken with the latest cocktail creations. As recorded in the program, this mix of high and low culture included a shadow play by the young Expressionist Oskar Kokoschka, music and dance performances, and a parody of a mythological love story.

Designed by Carl Otto Czeschka, this program exemplifies the then-current idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, in which all components, no matter how humble or disposable, follow the same aesthetic idea. The book's square format, Vienna's favorite symbol of modernity, mirrored the dominant decorative motif throughout the cabaret, while Czeschka's playful marginal decorations suggested the increasingly ornamental style that took hold at the Werkstätte at this time. The flat, stylized patterning of the four illustrations contributed by Oskar Kokoschka, Berthold Löffler, and Fritz Zeymer show the widespread influence of folk sources and the rejection of traditional academic standards in modern Viennese art.

Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

Provenance Research Project
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Lure Art Books, San Francisco; sold to The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1993

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This work is on view on Floor 3, in Architecture and Design Gallery West, with 257 other works online.
There are 6 works in this illustrated book online.
Carl Otto Czeschka has 12 works online.
Oskar Kokoschka has 144 works online.
Berthold Löffler has 4 works online.
Various Artists has 60 works online.
Fritz Zeymer has 3 works online.
There are 3,970 illustrated books online.