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25 December 2023

Preview Exhibitions 2024: First Exhibition of the Backhausen Archive of Textile Designs

In the second half of December, Austrian museums began to publish the first previews of the exhibitions for the coming year. The Leopold Museum in Vienna combined the preview with a review of the year 2023, such as the fact that the museum has been awarded the Austrian Ecolabel by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, or the reminder of the 2023 digitally published intervention 'A Few Degrees More' (, which uses paintings by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser,... to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on nature, starting with higher global temperatures above 1.5° Celsius. The Leopold Museum's intervention won three gold medals at the iab webAD 2023 awards in the categories 'Best Corporate Responsibility Campaign', 'Best International Campaign' and 'Best Website, App & E-Commerce'; details at

Previewing the exhibitions that will open in 2024, the first exhibition of the Backhausen Archive, featuring treasures of Viennese Modernism, is a highlight for visitors interested in interior and textile design. The 'Poetry of Ornaments: The Backhausen Archive' is scheduled to run from November 13, 2024 to March 9, 2025. It's announced that visitors will get a comprehensive insight into the famous holdings of Backhausen. The Austrian company was founded in 1849 and is known as one of the country's most important producers of furniture and decorative fabrics. The exhibition will highlight the company's history, from its origins with Jakob Backhausen in 1810, through its achievements in the late 19th century - Backhausen produced fabrics for the interiors of several buildings on Vienna's Ringstrasse, including the Opera, the Reichsratsgebäude, the City Hall, and the Burgtheater - to the early 20th century, focusing on the company's collaborations with key artists of Viennese Modernism, including Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Otto Wagner, and others, for the production of high-quality fabrics and Backhausen's role as the main supplier to the Wiener Werkstätte.

According to the press release, different artist perspectives and specific production steps, from design to implementation, will be presented. The exhibition was made possible by the late Dr. Louise Kiesling (1957-2022), who had been the owner of the company, including the archive, since 2014. In particular, the Leopold Museum cites her contributions to the scientific processing, inventory, photographic documentation and preservation of the Backhausen Archive. The archive has been under monument protection since 2022.

Image: Dessin Nr. 7741 from 1910 by Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956); watercolor on paper, 65,6 × 91,3 cm. Backhausen-Archiv. Photo: Backhausen-Archiv.

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