Munich Secession

The Munich Secession was an association of visual artists who broke away from the mainstream Munich Artists' Association in 1892, to promote and defend their art in the face of what they considered official paternalism and its conservative policies. They acted as a form of cooperative, using their influence to assure their economic survival and obtain commissions. In 1901, the association split again. Another split occurred in 1913, with the founding of the "New Munich Secession". By the end of the Nineteenth Century, more artists lived in Munich than lived in Vienna and Berlin put together. However, the art community there was dominated by the conservative attitudes of the Munich Artists' Association and its supporters in the government; these attitudes found expression in the official "mission statements", written by the so-called "Prince of Painters" Franz von Lenbach. Matters came to a head in 1891 when the Prince-Regent Luitpold of Bavaria founded the Prinzregent-Luitpold-Stiftung zur Förderung der Kunst, des Kunstgewerbes und des Handwerks in München, an art foundation devoted to promoting traditional history painting in the service of the state.

This foundation created and maintained a high level of artistic quality and brought world attention to the Academy of Fine Arts, but was opposed to impressionism, expressionism and other contemporary trends in the art world. Another factor was the complete financial failure of an exhibition in 1888 at the Glaspalast, organized by the Artists' Association; this led to a bitter debate about responsibility and the exhibition's content which grew so furious, it attracted the attention of the Ministry of State for Science and Art. To address this situation, a group of artists with a progressive outlook gathered together in 1892, announced their separation from the official Artists' Association and established the Munich Secession, with an eye toward exhibiting at the upcoming World's Columbian Exposition, they called for a transformation in the ideas of what constitutes art and promoted the idea of an artists' freedom to present works directly to the public. "Man soll auf unseren Ausstellungen Kunst sehen und jedes Talent, ob älterer oder neuerer Richtung, dessen Werke München zur Ehre gereichen, soll seine Blüte reich entfalten können."

In this statement of principles, the artists declared their intentions to move away from outmoded principles and a conservative conception of what art is. On April 4, 1892, ninety-six artists who had resigned from the official Association, established the Association of Visual Artists of Munich. Bruno Piglhein was elected the first Paul Hoecker became the first Secretary. In a few months the original name gave way to the more popular name: Munich Secession. Financial support came from three sources: Georg Hirth, a writer and journalist who coined the word "secession" to describe the spirit of the various art movements at that time. In 1896, he would establish the Art-Nouveau magazine Jugend; that same year saw the creation of another breakaway association, the Luitpold-Gruppe, composed of more moderate artists who wanted to maintain the high-quality standards of the Academy. The Vienna Secession followed five years and the Berlin Secession was established in 1898. At first, the Secession had some difficulty finding a building for their exhibitions.

The city of Frankfurt offered to provide the necessary space and 500,000 Gold Marks, if the group would move there permanently. Their first exhibition took place at Berlin's "National Exhibition Building" early in 1893. Baurat Franz von Brandl provided the Secession with some free land at the corner of Prinzregentenstraße and Pilotystraße. Construction began and their debut exhibition took place on July 16, 1893, in the first portion of the building to be completed. Over 4,000 visitors came to see 876 works by 297 artists; the success of this effort allowed them to come to an agreement with Franz von Lenbach and the Artists' Association. As a result, the art exhibition building on the Königsplatz was transferred to the Secession in 1897. In 1933, the National Socialist party began their crusade to bring all forms of artistic expression under their control: a process known as Gleichschaltung. Artists were required to obtain state endorsement for all of their works; those who were considered "degenerate" were not allowed to paint.

In 1938, the Munich Secession was dissolved as part of the "Kulturellen Säuberung" process. Following the end of World War II in 1946, the Neue Gruppe and the Neue Münchner Künstlergenossenschaft were founded and led to the establishment of the Bundesverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler. In 1992, the Secession celebrated its centennial and, in March of the following year, the Society of Friends and Sponsors of the Munich Secession was created to support the Secession's continuing goals, maintain the "Secessionsgalerie" and promote exhibitions. Offizieller Katalog der Internationalen Kunst-Ausstellung des Vereins bildender Künstler Münchens "Secession" 1898. Vierte Auflage. Bruckmann, Munich 1898. — Full text. Offizieller Katalog der Internationalen Kunst-Ausstellung des Vereins bildender Kün

SS Bessemer

The SS Bessemer was an experimental Victorian cross-Channel passenger paddle steamer with a swinging cabin, a concept devised by the engineer and inventor Sir Henry Bessemer, intended to combat seasickness. Bessemer, a severe seasickness sufferer, devised in 1868 the idea of a ship whose passenger cabin - the Saloon - would be suspended on gimbals and kept horizontal mechanically to isolate the occupants from the ship's motion: an idea he patented in December 1869. After successful trials with a model, the levelling achieved by hydraulics controlled by a steersman watching a spirit level, Bessemer set up a limited joint stock company, the Saloon Ship Company, to run steamships between England and France; this gained £250,000 capital, financing the construction of a ship, the SS Bessemer, with the naval constructor Edward James Reed as chief designer. Bessemer was a 4-paddle steamer, length 350 feet, breadth at deck beam 40 feet, outside breadth across paddle-boxes, 65 feet, draught 7 feet 5 inches, gross register tonnage 1974 tons.

The internal Saloon was a room 70 ft long by 30 ft wide, with a ceiling 20 feet from the floor, Morocco-covered seats and spiral columns of carved oak, gilt moulded panels with hand-painted murals. Bessemer was built by Earle's Shipbuilding of Hull, she was yard number 197 and was launched on 24 September 1874. The ship sailed from Dover to Calais on a private trial in April 1875. On arrival, it sustained damage to a paddle-wheel when it hit the pier at Calais, due to its failure to answer to the helm at slow speed; the first and only public voyage took place on 8 May 1875, the ship sailing with the swinging cabin locked. The ship was operated by the London and Dover Railway. After two attempts to enter the harbour, it crashed into the Calais pier again, this time demolishing part of it; the poor performance lost the confidence of investors, leading to the winding-up of the Saloon Ship Company in 1876. The ship remained in dock at Dover until being sold for scrap in 1879; when the ship was broken up, its designer Reed had the Saloon cabin moved to his home, Hextable House, where it was used as a billiard room.

When the house became a women's college, Swanley Agricultural College, the Saloon was used as a lecture hall, but was destroyed by a direct hit when the college was bombed in World War II. The sole remaining parts of the ship are three carved wooden decorative panels from the saloon that were rescued from the wreckage after the bombing. One panel was valued on the Antiques Roadshow at between £300 - 400 in 2012. Primary reference: The Bessemer Saloon Steam-Ship, Chapter XX, Sir Henry Bessemer, F. R. S. An Autobiography, online at University of Rochester


Erdődy de Monyorókerék et Monoszló is the name of a Hungarian-Croatian noble family with possessions in Hungary and Croatia. Elevated to the Hungarian nobility in 1459, the family was subsequently raised to the rank of Count in 1485. In 1565 the family was recognised by the Habsburg Monarchy who granted them the title Reichsgraf / Gräfin; the family was raised again in 1566 to the rank of Reichfürst. The family was first raised in a document dated 1187, under the name of Bakoch de genere Erdewd, they received the title of Count in 1485.. The family origins from the town of Erdőd, in the region Szatmár, they are barons of Monyorókerék and counts of Monoszló. Monyorokerék is a small village in the south of Burgenland near the Hungarian border. Monoszló is a region in central Croatia; the Erdődy family originated from the Bakócz family belonged to the serfdom at the Drágffy estates. They acquired wealth, when Tamás Bakócz became the Archbishop of Esztergom in 1497. After his death his estates were passed down to his nephew Peter and he took the name Erdődy.

Numerous members of the family held important offices: judges of the royal court, masters of the treasury, Croatian bans, Master of the Horse and generals were among the members of the family. In 1607, because of the family's great contribution to the Croatian-Ottoman Wars, King Rudolph named the family the perpetual counts of Varaždin County, they gave 17 župans up until 1845. Notable members included: Péter "Venetianus" Erdődy Péter Erdődy Tamás Erdődy Miklós Erdődy György Lipót Erdődy János Nepomuk Erdődy Ban of Croatia, field marshal and politician József Erdődy - Knight of the Golden Fleece, patron of Haydn's Erdődy quartets Anna Maria Erdődy née Nicky, wife of Péter Erdődy, possible candidate for Beethoven’s muse, the'immortal beloved'. Sándor Lajos Erdődy joined the Batthyany and Kossuth cabinet but withdrew due to their extremist views. Politician, painter, poet István Erdődy Mediated the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1848 Sidonija Erdődy Rubido Opera singer Ferenc Xavér Erdődy István Erdődy Politician, last owner of Jastrebarsko estate Tamás Erdődy Aide-de-camp and childhood friend of the last Emperor CharlesThe family owned many estates in western Hungary and in Croatia and were one of the largest landowners in the empire, making them magnates of the empire.

The Palais Erdődy in Vienna, acquired by the Erdődy family from the Esterházys, suffered bombing damage during World War II and was demolished in 1955. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Erdődys' possessions in the successor states of the monarchy were reduced through forced expropriation by the Béla Kun regime; this caused some of the family to flee west into France. During World War II, the Bavarian royal family, relatives of the Erdődy family, stayed in the castles of Somlóvár and Vép, after they had fled from the Nazis in Germany; the invasion of the Soviet Red Army forced most descendants of the family to flee to the West and resulted in their complete expropriation and the destruction of most of their goods. List of titled noble families in the Kingdom of Hungary Marek, Miroslav. "hung/erdody1.html".