Last week and this being mock IB exams period at the American School, I have been able to share a few conversations with The Teenager that went beyond “I am hungry. What’s there to eat?” and “I need money” as his schedule has him
in my face home more than usual. This morning, with said Teenager having the entire day free of exams he offered to hang with me, so long as I was doing something interesting.
So. I unwrapped my 2014 Neiderösterreich Card (a museum card of sorts for the Lower Austria, the state adjacent to Vienna, though it also includes a few attractions in the city and the state of Burgenland) and the handy guide book and map for us to review. Our decision: to check out the art of the patients residing at the Maria Gugging Psychiatric Clinic, about 20 km north of Vienna.
Long story short. In the 1950’s a psychiatrist at the Gugging Clinic had his patients create art as part of their therapy. By and by the art made its way to a Vienna gallery, and the “Gugging Artists” were born.
Our drive up to the museum was grey and misty. But the gallery and exhibits? Honestly? The art was so enjoyable, perhaps even more so than what we have seen touted at the MoMA or the National Gallery. There were too many delightful objects to photograph. We even had the privilege of meeting one of the artists!
Some of the art was complex, like this drawing of spring botanics.
Other art leaned more whimsical, as with the WC doors and the little painted wind-up mice throughout the galleries.
By the end of our visit the sun had come out, though this is but a photo of the House of Artists in its brilliant glory. Do visit if you can. You will not be disappointed.
How did The Teenager rate the outing with Mom? So impressionable that he asked me to purchase a book on the art for him (as well as lunch afterward).