Ver Sacrum (‘Sacred Spring’ in Latin) was the official magazine of the Vienna Secession from 1898 to 1903. It pioneered new techniques in graphic design such as the use of modular grid system and custom designed typography. This and its unique square format would be a great influence on the Dutch graphic design in the 1920’s, in particular the publication Wendingen. In the first two years, the magazine was published monthly in a run of approximately 500 with the intention of only being circulated among the members of the association. From third year onwards, the magazine was published twice a year instead of once a month, and in a shorter run. From the onset, Ver Sacrum upheld the Vienna Secession’s idea of a ‘Gesamkunstwerk’ (a total work of art) whereby all fields of the the arts were covered. The magazine included contributions by artists as well as prominent writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Maurice Maeterlinck, Knut Hamsun, Otto Julius Bierbaum, Richard Dehmel, Ricarda Huch, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Josef Maria Auchentaller and Arno Holz. Each issue featured the the work of a particular artist; the Koloman Moser issue of 1899 being the most sought after by collectors.
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