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The idea for an independent association had been discussed by Gustav Klimt, Josef Engelhart and Carl Moll as early as 1896 with the Munich Secession, founded by Franz von Stuck in 1892, as their model. The idea certainly gained momentum in the weekly gatherings at Blaus Freihaus where many of these breakway artists had begun to gather under the groups the ‘Siebener club’ (the seven club) and the Haagen society where they could discuss their ideas on modern art and their frustration at the preference for classicism in the Künstlerhaus (Vienna’s main association of artists). It wasn’t; however, until the appointment of the conservative Eugene Felix in 1896 to the board of directors of the Künstlerhaus in the place of the more progressive sculptor Edmund Hellmer that the breakaway was put in motion.

On April 3, 1897, a letter was put forth to the Kunstlerhaus announcing the formation of a new group with Klimt as president and Rudolf von Alt as honorary president. Of a total of 40 members on the list, 23 were members of the Kunslerhaus, including Klimt, Olbrich and Moser. The group had in fact intended to stay in the Kunstlerhaus, but on May 22nd the board of directors put forth a motion of censure against the new group during their assembly forcing Klimt and the group to leave the meeting in silence. Two days later, an official letter of resignation was sent to the Kunstlerhaus announcing the resignation of twelve member artists including Stor, Olbrich, Moser, Carl Moll, and Felician von Myrbach. More resignations followed over the course of the next two years, including Hoffmann, Kurzweil and ending with Otto Wagner on October 11, 1899.

The first official meeting of the Secession took place on June 21, 1897 at which a committee was formed with Gustav Klimt as presidents and Carl Moll as vice president. The rest of the committee included Rudolf Bacher, Wilhelm Bernatzik, Adolf Bohm, Josef Englehardt, J.victor Kramer, Max Kurzweil, and Anton Novak.

From the onset, one of the primary goals of the Secession was to include foreign artists in their exhibitions. Engelhardt, Moll and Kramer were influenced by French impressionist painting, but it was Engelhardt who had studied in Germany and France and had a capacity for foreign languages, who made trips to France, Belgium, Germany and England for the purpose of securing works for the exhibitions. Many of these artist were only too eager to lend works and give support to the new group. As a result, a second group of ‘corresponding’ members was formed which included such masters of early twentieth century such as Rodin, Khnopff, Carrier, Sargent, Whistler, among others.

The Split:

While the presidents of the association changed in the early years, there were growing disagreements between the members of the Secession concerning the objectives of the association. On the one side were the ‘Klimt group’ who set out to include the applied arts into the Secessionist program by including designers and architects in their exhibitions. On the other side were the ‘pure painter’ members with Engelhardt at their head who felt the applied arts did not possess the same artistic quality as easel painting.

The breaking point, however, was an incident involving Carl Moll and the Galerie Miethke- a prominent gallery in Vienna. In the srping of 1905, the gallery had sought the curatorial advice of Moll who wanted to run the gallery as a commercial outlet for the artists of the Secession. This proposal was of course seen as a conflict of interest by the Klimt group who regarded the move as the commercialization of their association. In the end the decision to become involved with the gallery was put to a vote and the Klimt group lost by one vote. As a result, the Klimt group resigned from the Secession leaving behind the most valuable asset: the building. The association saw a reduction of the number of official members from 64 listed in the 23rd exhibition catalogue (May 1905) to 48 members listed in the 24 exhibition catalogue (November- December 1905).

While the Secession would continue at least in name for another 13 years, the quality of the exhibitions never matched the creative vision of Klimt, Olbrich, Hoffmann and Moser during the first 8 years.


Andri, Ferdinand– 1905-1906
Bernatzik, Wilhelm– 1902-1903
Bacher, Rudolf, 1904-1905 and 1912-1914
Engelhart, Josef– 1899-1900 and 1910-1911
Harlinger, Richard– 1917-1919
Hohenberger, Franz– 1906- 1908 and 1909- 1910.
Klimt, Gustav, 1897-1899
Messner, Franz– 1919-1920
Moll, Carl– 1900-1901
Myrbach-Rheinfeld, Felician– 1903-1904
Nowak, Anton– 1908-1909
Oerley, Robert– 1911-1912


Alt, Rudolf von, Austrian painter, 1812- 1905.
Andri, Ferdinand, Austrian Painter and Graphic Artist, 1871-1956.
Auchentaller, Josef Maria, Austrian Painter and graphic artist, 1865-1949, member since 1899.
Axentowicz, Theodore, Polish-Armenian Painter, 1859-1938, member since 1897.
Bacher, Rudolf, Austrian Painter, 1862-1945, founding member in 1897.
Barwig, Franz, Austrian sculptor, 1868-1931, member since 1925.
Bauer, Leopold, Polish architect, 1872-1938, member since 1900.
Bernatzik, Wilhelm, Austrian Painter, 1853-1906, Founding member in 1897
Biegas, Boleslaw, Polish painter and sculptor, 1878-1954, member since 1901.
Böhm, Adolf, Austrian Painter and Graphic artist, 1861-1927, Founding member in 1897.
Brusenbauch, Artur, Slovakian painter and graphci artist, 1881-1957, member since 1920.
Dachauer, Wilhelm, Austrian painter, 1881-1951, member since 1914.
Dobrowsky, Josef, Austrian painter, 1889-1964, member since 1919.
Egger-Liez, Albin, Austrian painter, 1868-1926, member since 1909.
Engelhart, Josef, Austrian painter, 1864-1941, Founding member since 1897.
Fabiani , Max, Slovenian architect, 1865-1962. Member since 1903.
Friedrich, Otto, Austrian painter, 1862-1937, Founding member since 1897.
Grom-Rottmayer, Hermann, Austrian painter, 1877-1953, member since 1910.
Haenisch, Alois, Austrian painter, 1866-1937, Founding member since 1897.
Hanak, Anton, Austrian sculptor, 1875-1934, member since 1906.
Harlfinger, Richard, Austrian painter, 1873-1948, member since 1906.
Hellmer, Edmund Ritter von, Austrian sculptor, 1850-1935, Founding member since 1897.
Hölzel, Adolf, German painter, 1853-1934, Founding member since 1897
Hoffmann, Alfred, Austrian sculptor, 1879-1958, member since 1906.
Hoffmann, Josef, Austrian architect and designer, 1870-1956, Founding member since 1897
Hoffmann, Vlastimil, Czech painter, 1881-1970, member since 1908.
Hohenberger, Franz, Austrian painter, 1867-1941, member since 1898.
Jäger, Franz-Wilhelm, German painter 1861-1928, member since 1901.
Jaschke, Franz, Austrian painter, 1862-1910, member since 1901.
Jettel, Eugen, German painter, 1845-1901, Founding member since 1897.
Jettmar, Rudolf, Polish painter and graphic artist, 1869-1939, member since 1898.
Kitt, Ferdinand, Austrian painter, 1887-1961, member since 1919.
Klimt, Gustav, Austrian painter and graphic artist, 1862-1918, Founding member since 1897 until 1905.
König, Friedrich, Austrian painter and graphic artist, 1857-1941, Foounding member since 1897.
Krämer, Johann Viktor, Austrian painter, 1861-19149, member since 1897.
Krause, Heinrich, German painter, 1885- 1983, member since 1914.
Kurzweil, Max, Czech painter and graphic artist, 1867-1916, Founding member since 1897.
Laske, Oskar, Ukranian architect and painter, 1874-1951, Member since 1925.

Lenz, Maximilian, Austrian painter and graphic artist, 1869-1926, member 1901.
Liebenwein, Maximilian, Austrian painter, 1869-1926, member since 1901.
List, Wilhelm, Austrian painter, 1864-1918, member since 1898.
Luksch, Richard, Austrian sculptor, 1872-1936, member since 1900.
Mayreder, Julius, Austrian architect, 1860-1911, Founding member since 1897.
Mehoffer, Jozef, Polish painter and graphic artist, 1869-1946, Member since 1897.
Messner, Franz, Austrian architect and designer, 1873-?, Member since 1906.
Mestrovic, Ivan, Croatian sculptor, 1883-1962, member since 1906.
Metzner, Franz, German sculptor, 1870-1921, member since 1903.
Moll, Carl, Austrian painter, 1861-1945, Founding member since 1897.
Moser, Koloman, 1868-1918, Founding member since 1897.
Mucha, Alphonse, Czech graphic artist and painter, 1860-1939, Founding member since 1897.
Müller, Carl, Austrian painter, 1862-1938, member since 1898.
Müllner, Josef, Austrian painter, 1879-1968, member since 1906.
Myrbach-Rheinfeld, Felician, Graphic artist and painter, 1853-1940, Founding member since 1897.
Nowak, Anton, Austrian painter, 1865-1932, Founding member since 1897.
Oerley, Robert, Austrian Architect, 1876-1945, Member since 1907.
Ohmann, Friedrich, Austrian architect, 1858-1927, member since 1897.
Olbrich, Joseph Maria, Austrian architect, 1867-1908, founding member since 1897.
Orlik, Emil, Czech painter and Graphic artist, 1870-1932, member since 1899.
Ottenfeld, Rudolf Riiter van, Italian painter, 1856-1913, founding member in 1897.
Plecnik, Josef, Slovenian architect, 1872-1957, member since 1901.
Pochwalski, Kasimir, Polish painter, 1856-1940, founding member in 1897.
Roller, Alfred, Czech painter, Graphic artists, set designer, 1864-1935, founding member 1897.
Roux, Oswald, Austrian painter, 1880-1961, member since 1907.
Schimkowitz, Othmar, Hungarian sculptor, 1864-1947, member since 1897.
Schmutzer, Ferdinand, Austrian graphic artist, 1870-1928, member since 1901.
Schwaiger, Hans, Czech painter and illustrator, 1854-1912, founding member in 1897.
Sigmundt, Ludwig, Austrian painter, 1860-1936, founding member in 1897.
Stöhr, Ernst, Austrian painter, 186-1917, founding member in 1897.
Stolba, Leopold, Austrian graphic artist and painter, 1863-1929, member since 1900.
Strasser, Arthur, Austrian sculptor, 1871-1875, founding member in 1897.
Tichy, Hans, Czech painter, 1861-1925, founding member in 1897.
Wacik, Franz, Austrian painter and graphic artist, 1883-1938, member since 1910.
Wagner, Otto, Astrian architect, 1841-1918, member since 1899.
Wyspianski, Stanislaw, Polish painter and graphic artist, 1869-1907, member since 1897.
Zerlacher, Ferdinand Matthias, Austrian painter, 1877-1923, member since 1910.


Albiker, Karl. German, born 1878, member since1937.
Alexander, John W. American, born. 1856, member since 1897.
Aman-Jen, Edmond. 1860-1936, member since 1897.
Apostel, Hans Erich. B.1901.
Baertson, Albert. Flemish, born.1866, member since 1900.
Bartholomé, Albert. French, 1848-1928, member since 1897.
Berton, Arman. Born 1854. Member since 1897.
Besnard, Albert. French, 1849-1934, member since 1897.
Billotte, René. Born 1846, member since 1897.
Boldini, Giovanni, Italian, 1842-1931, member since 1898.
Boutete de Monvel, Maurice. 1851-1913, member since 1897.
Brangwyn, Frank, English, 1867-1956, member since 1897.
Braun, Dr. Felix, Austrian, born 1885
Breddo, Gastone, Italien, born 1915
Briton-Riviére, Member since 1897.
Burne-Jone, Sir Edward, English 1833-1898, member since 1898.
Carabin, François Rupert, 1862-1912, member since 1897.
Carriére, Eugéne, French, 1849-1906, member since 1898.
Charpentier, Alexandre, French, 1865-1909, member since 1898.
Clausen, George, member since 1897.
Cottet, Charles, French, 1863-1920, member since 1899.
Crane, Walter, Englich, 1848-1915, member since 1897.
Csokor, Franz Theodor, Austrian, 1885-1969.
Dagnan-Bouveret, Cai, 1852-1929, member since 1897.
Dampt, Jean-Auguste, sculptor, 1854-1945, member since 1897.
Dettmann, Ludwig, German, 1865-1944, member since 1898.
Dill, Ludwig, 1848-1940, member since 1898.
Fritz, Erler, German 1868-1940, member since 1906.
Gardet, George, member since 1897
Grasset, Eugéne, 1841-1917, member since 1897.
Guthrie, Sir James, Scottish, 1859-1930, member since 1901.
Habermann, Hugo Freiherr von, German, 1849-1929, member since 1899.
Hahn, Hermann, German, 1868-1945, member since 1899.
Helleu, Paul-César, 1859-1927, member since 1898.
Herterich, Ludwig. Member since 1897.
Hofmann, Ludwig von, German, 1861-1945, member since 1899.
Hummel, Theodore, member since 1906.
Jeanniot, George, member since 1898.
Kalckreuth, Leopold Karl Walter von, 1855-1928, member since 1898.
Keller, Albert von, German, 1844-1920, member since 1906.
Khnopff, Fernand, Belgian, 1858-1921, member since 1897.
Klinger, Max, german, 1857-1920, member since 1898.
Koepping, Karl, 1848-1914, member since 1897.
Kolbe, George, German, 1877-1947, member since 1937.
Kroyer, Peter Severin, Danish, 1851-1909, member since 1898.
Kuehl, Gotthard, German, 1850-1915, member since 1898.
Kustodieff, Boris, member since 1908.
Lagae, Jules, Beligan, born 1862, member since 1905.
Lagarde, Pierre, member since 1897.
Landenberger, Christian Adam, 1862-1927, member since 1905.

Lagarde, Pierre, member since 1897.
Landenberger, Christian Adam, 1862-1927, member since 1905.
Lavery, Sir John, Irish, 1856-1941, member since 1897.
Leibl, Wilhelm Maria Hubertus, German, 1844-1900, member since 1898.
Lerolle, Henry, French, 1848-1929, member since 1897.
L’Hermitee, Leon Augustin, French, 1844-1925, member since 1897.Liebermann, Max, German, 1847-1935, member since 1897.
Mackensen, Fritz, 1866-1953, member since 1898.
Mackintosh, Charles Renne, Scottish, 1868-1928, member since 1900.
Marr. Carl, member since 1897.
Martin, Henri, member since 1897.
Melchers, Julius Gari, member since 1897
Meunier, Contstantin, Belgian, 1831-1905, member since 1898.
Olde, Hans, German, 1855-1917, member since 1897.
Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre-Cecile, French, 1824-1898, member since 1898.
Raffaëlli, Jean-Francois, French, 1845-1924, member since 1897.
Renouard, Paul, French, 1845-1924, member since 1897.
Repin, Ilya Efimovic, 1844-1930, member since 1897.
Riviere, Henri, French, 1864-1951, member since 1899.
Rodin, Auguste, French, 1840-1917, member since 1897.
Röhrich, Nikolai, 1874-1947, member since 1908.
Roll, Alfred Philippe, French, 1846-1919, member since 1897.
Rops, Félicien, 1833-1898, member since 1898.
Rysselberghe, Théo van, Belgian, 1862-1926, member since 1899.
Saint-Marceaux, René de, member since 1897.
Samberger, Leo, 1861-1949, member since 1906.
Sargent, John Singer, English, 1856-1925, member since 1905
Sauter, George, born 1866, member since 1905.
Schwabe, Carlos, 1866-1926, member since 1897.
Segantini, Giovanni, Italian, 1858-1899, member since 1898.
Serov, Valentin Alexandrovitch, Russian, 1865-1911, member since 1898.
Simon, Lucien, French,  1861-1945, member since 1897.
Slevogt, Max, German, 1868-1932, member since 1899.
Stadler, Toni, German,1850-1917, member since 1906.
Stappen, Pierre Charles van der, member since 1907.
Stuck, Franz von, German, 1863-1928, member since 1897.
Swan, J. McAllen, 1847-1910, member since 1898.
Taschner, Ignaz, German, 1874-1913, member since 1906.
Thanlow, Fritz, member since 1898.
Thoma, Hans, German, 1839-1924, member since 1897.
Toorop, Jan, 1858-1928, Dutch, member since 1900.
Trübner, Wilhelm, 1851-1917, German, member since 1905.
Uhde, Fritz von, 18448-1911, German, member since 1898.
Velde, Henry van de, 1863-1957, Belgian, member since 1900.
Voltz, Wilhelm, 1855-1901, member since 1898.
Walton, E.A, 1860-1922, member since 1897.
Whistler, James McNeill, American, 1834-1903, member since 1898.
Zorn, Anders, Swedish, 1860-1920, member since 1897.
Zügel, Heinrich von, German, 1850-1941, member since 1898.

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