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Diane Silverthorne

PhD Work

Dissertation: New Spaces of Art, Design and Performance: Alfred Roller and the Vienna Secession 1897–1905

The thesis seeks to establish how the concept of space characterised the art of the Vienna Secession. This question is examined through the practices and concerns of founding Secession artist and designer Alfred Roller (1864–1935). Roller is better known in his role as stage designer at the Vienna Court Opera from 1903, in partnership with its music director, Gustav Mahler.

Roller’s contribution to art and design histories of the Vienna Secession has been little recognised. The thesis argues that Roller, as Secession founder and editor of the Secession art periodical Ver Sacrum (1898–1903), and designer of Secession exhibitions, was a pivotal figure in the achievements of the Vienna Secession in its early years. An analysis of Roller’s Secession roles, and his role at the Vienna Court Opera, indicate a turning point in modern practice in three seemingly disparate spaces of art. The thesis argues that Alfred Roller was an emblematic figure in the overstepping of artistic boundaries, a distinction attributed to Vienna’s artistic and cultural endeavours at the turn of the century.

Info

  • PhD

    School

    School of Fine Art

    Programme

    History of Design–2010

  • Dissertation: New Spaces of Art, Design and Performance: Alfred Roller and the Vienna Secession 1897–1905

    The thesis seeks to establish how the concept of space characterised the art of the Vienna Secession. This question is examined through the practices and concerns of founding Secession artist and designer Alfred Roller (1864–1935). Roller is better known in his role as stage designer at the Vienna Court Opera from 1903, in partnership with its music director, Gustav Mahler.

    Roller’s contribution to art and design histories of the Vienna Secession has been little recognised. The thesis argues that Roller, as Secession founder and editor of the Secession art periodical Ver Sacrum (1898–1903), and designer of Secession exhibitions, was a pivotal figure in the achievements of the Vienna Secession in its early years. An analysis of Roller’s Secession roles, and his role at the Vienna Court Opera, indicate a turning point in modern practice in three seemingly disparate spaces of art. The thesis argues that Alfred Roller was an emblematic figure in the overstepping of artistic boundaries, a distinction attributed to Vienna’s artistic and cultural endeavours at the turn of the century.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London, 2002; MA, Cultural Memory, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, 2006
  • Experience

  • Associate lecturer, Birkbeck History of Art and Screen Media, London, 2008 to present; Associate lecturer, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London, 2008-10
  • Awards

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Award, 2006-9