MoMA

German Expressionism

Works from the Collection


Styles Themes Techniques | Artists Print Publishers | Illustrated Books Portfolios Periodicals | Maps Chronology

THE COLLECTION

August Chwala, Vienna

Showing 3 of 16

From the illustrated book

View All
  • Oskar Kokoschka. Sleeping Woman (Schlafende Frau) (title page) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Sleeping Woman (Schlafende Frau)...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. Sleeping Woman (Schlafende Frau) (title page) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. The Sailboat (Das Segelschiff) (in-text plate, folio 4) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    The Sailboat (Das Segelschiff)...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. The Sailboat (Das Segelschiff) (in-text plate, folio 4) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. The Sailors Are Calling (Die Schiffer rufen) (in-text plate, folio 5) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    The Sailors Are Calling (Die Schiffer...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. The Sailors Are Calling (Die Schiffer rufen) (in-text plate, folio 5) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. The Distant Island (Die ferne Insel)  (in-text plate, folio 6) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    The Distant Island (Die ferne Insel) ...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. The Distant Island (Die ferne Insel)  (in-text plate, folio 6) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. Couples in Conversation (Paare im Gespräch) (in-text plate, folio 7) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Couples in Conversation (Paare im...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. Couples in Conversation (Paare im Gespräch) (in-text plate, folio 7) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. The Sleepers (Die Schlafenden) (in-text plate, folio 8) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    The Sleepers (Die Schlafenden)...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. The Sleepers (Die Schlafenden) (in-text plate, folio 8) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. The Awakening (Die Erwachenden) (in-text plate, folio 9) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    The Awakening (Die Erwachenden)...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. The Awakening (Die Erwachenden) (in-text plate, folio 9) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
  • Oskar Kokoschka. The Girl Li and I (Das Mädchen Li und ich) (in-text plate, folio 10) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)
    The Girl Li and I (Das Mädchen Li...
    1917 (executed 1907-08)
    Oskar Kokoschka. The Girl Li and I (Das Mädchen Li und ich) (in-text plate, folio 10) from Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys). 1917 (executed 1907-08)

About this illustrated book

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

In 1907, Fritz Waerndorfer, the financial backer of the Wiener Werkstätte, the leading design workshop in Vienna, commissioned Oskar Kokoschka, still a student at Vienna's Kunstgewerbeschule (School of decorative arts), to make an illustrated fairy tale for his children. Kokoschka instead delivered a haunting poem about awakening adolescent sexuality set on far-off islands, away from the modern city and bourgeois life. His carefully composed text alluded to classical and contemporary literature by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Viennese writer Peter Altenberg. Kokoschka dedicated the volume to artist Gustav Klimt, from whom he borrowed the square format for the images, which push the text to the margins. The stylized patterning in Kokoschka's lithographs is typical of the dominant decorative approach in fin-de-siècle Vienna, and show his confident assimilation of various "primitivist" currents in European art, such as in the cloisonné-like outlines, unconventional perspective, and flat planes of color.

PUBLICATION HISTORY

The book debuted at the monumental Kunstschau exhibition in Vienna in 1908. The original printer, who worked with another publisher of a famous series of children's books, backed out upon seeing Kokoschka's proofs. The Wiener Werkstätte published the book under its own imprint. As anticipated, the work sold poorly. In 1917, publisher Kurt Wolff, who had befriended the artist, reissued 275 remainder copies.

Oskar Kokoschka (Austrian, 1886–1980)

The Illustrated Book

Die träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys)

View the interactive
page-turning animation »
Author:
The artist
Date:
1917 (prints executed 1907-08)
Medium:
Illustrated book with eight photolithographs and three line block reproductions
Dimensions:
overall: 9 9/16 x 11 11/16 x 3/8" (24.3 x 29.7 x 0.9 cm); page (each): 9 7/16 x 11 9/16" (24 x 29.3 cm); sheet (of composition): 3 7/8 x 2 7/8" (9.8 x 7.3 cm); composition: 3 9/16 x 2 9/16" (9 x 6.5 cm)
Paper:
Cream, smooth, wove.
Publisher:
Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig
Printer of Plates:
Albert Berger, Vienna (lithographs), August Chwala, Vienna(line block reproductions)
Printer of Text:
August Chwala, Vienna
Edition:
500 printed by Wiener Werkstätte 1908 (of which 275 numbered 1-275 published by Kurt Wolff 1917 [this ex.])
Credit Line:
The Louis E. Stern Collection
Copyright:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro Litteris, Zurich
Reference:
Raabe 166-1. Arntz 1-8. Wingler & Welz 22-29. Rifkind 1556.1-8. Weidinger/Strobl 192-199.
MoMA Number:
863.1964.1-8
Themes:
Fantasy, Literary Subjects, Primitivism
Share by E-mail
Share by Text Message