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collection dichter 2005-2006     intense autumn since 2007

intense autumn
100 years of ernest dichter
the dichter family - warenhaus dichter (“retail store dichter”)
5.10. - 20.10. 2007
exhibition and interventions in public space

during the “dichter herbst - 100 years of ernest dichter” (5.10.-20.10.2007) exhibition, the history of the dichter family is brought to life in various exhibition and public spaces on the grundsteingasse. along with this, the themes & ideas of ernest dichter (the father of motivational research; vienna 1907 - usa 1991) are presented to the public by artistic means such as projections onto fire walls and by the use of advertisement posters and neon signs; in addition, parts of the “sammlung dichter” (“dichter collection”) will be shown.

members of the dichter family, including walter arlen (composer and music critic, los angeles) and edith arlen (social scientist, los angeles), who are leopold dichter's grandchildren, will be in vienna, attending the exhibition as contemporary witnesses.

there will also be an accompanying academic programme about the life and works of ernest dichter, the book launch for “ernest dichter - doyen der verführer” (published by mucha verlag), concerts, readings and a theatre and film programme.

the warenhaus dichter - 1160 vienna, brunnengasse 40 - was founded by leopold dichter in 1890. by the 1930s it had become the biggest retail store outside vienna's gürtel (belt road). it was modernised in 1935 by philipp diamantstein, who had an office together with his partner clemens holzmeister.

until the nationalist socialists seized power, the retail store was run as a family business. it was aryanised by the owner of a bank, edmund topolansky, who took over the shop for less than a third of its real value. even this purchase price wasn't paid out of topolansky's own pocket, but from the profits the retail store earned. it remained in topolansky's possession until 1949. the thriving store and the business assets were used to save his bankrupt bank. as a result of restitution proceedings from 1949 to 1951, the shop was sold at a very low price to oskar seidenglanz in 1953; like topolansky, he had been an aryaniser - in this case, of a shop in the 20th district of vienna. under the name of osei (the contraction of “oskar seidenglanz”), the store could be found at the brunnenmarkt until 2005.

between 2005 and 2007, the building was used as a temporary art space by the masc foundation and grundstein (by permission of conwert ltd.) with four exhibitions taking place, the last one being the “sammlung dichter” (“dichter collection”), which will be on-line from october 2007.

the “sammlung dichter” was set up in 2006 by masc foundation as an homage to the dichter family who had been exiled from vienna. in the tradition of standard private collections (dakis joannou collection, hummel collection, erste bank...), its focus is on presenting the works of artists to a broad international public and on addressing the issue of a changed and changing political situation in the 20th and 21st centuries.

on the exhibition
ernest dichter’s philosophy in life was that learning something new, a new skill, a new method, is one of the true reasons for life’s richness – and therefore he acquired an enormously diverse treasure of intellectual property over the course of his life.

this exhibition not only explores the life of ernest dichter but also the exceptional history of the dichter family and their department store – in which ernest worked in the 1920s and 30s –, their displacement and in particular the paths they took in the united states. the family’s oeuvre includes the achievements of an innovative businessman, a motivational researcher, a social scientist, a pianist, a composer and the wife of an architect (pritzker prize).

by means of interventions and exhibitions in different rooms, projections on firewalls, advertisements, neon signs … this family’s history can be rediscovered and revived.
in addition, there is an academic supporting programme with lectures.



mit unterstützung von: ottakringer kulturfreunde      nationalfonds der republik österreich      wien kultur       bezirk ottakring       Falter