Vienna around 1900 witnessed a vital and anxious surge in art, design, literature and music. This creativity also inspired psychological investigations into the inner self and dreams, most famously by Sigmund Freud.
The old Imperial city was transformed into a modern metropolis encircled by the cafes and cultural institutions of the new tree-lined Ringstrasse and beyond new elegant suburbs. As the acclaim surrounding Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes and the forthcoming National Gallery exhibition attests, the paintings of Gustav Klimt and the exquisite interiors of the Wiener Werkstätte designers resonate with the delights and dilemmas of our own age. Dr Claire I R O'Mahony is University Lecturer in the History of Art and Course Director for the MSt in the History of Design and the Undergraduate Diploma in the History of Art.