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Jindřich Vybíral

Briefwechsel Max von Spauns und Leopold Bauers

The papers of Leopold Bauer, housed in the Albertina in Vienna, contain twenty letters that were written to the architect between 1903 and 1906 by Max von Spaun, the owner of Johann Lötz Witwe Glassworks in Klášterský Mlýn (Klostermühle). The letters provide valuable information about the collaboration between two major figures in the Central European art scene in the early 20th century. The letters mainly discussed the project for and the construction and furnishing of Spaun's villa in Klášterský Mlýn and the construction of the adjacent farm building and inn. Equally important, the correspondence also discussed the preparation of the Šumava glassworks' company exhibits at the winter exhibition of the Austrian Museum in 1903 and at the World's Fair in St Louis in 1904 and in Milan in 1906. The letters also contain important information on trade relations between Spaun's glassworks, including a previously unnoticed dispute with the Vienna furniture company of Sándor Járay. Mention is also made of visits from important artists and of the languid tempo of Spaun's business. The letters paint a three-dimensional portrait of the businessman himself, his interests, and his family's customs. In later letters increasingly more space is devoted to the baron's advancing illness. The correspondence includes two letters from Bauer to Spaun, copies of which are also lodged in the Albertina. The main subject of the first letter is the production of vases that the architect wanted to exhibit in the Wiener Secesion, the second reveals Bauer's efforts, with Spaun's help, to obtain the title of 'Baurat'. The letters are reprinted here almost in their entirety.

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