Sunday 7 October 2012

Josef Frank does not live here anymore
Past and Present in Wieden

A tree-lined Boulevard
Wiedner Hauptstrasse
4th District

Looking up at blue sky and
green-painted wooden balconies

At street-level,
a once beautiful entrance,
marred by the outpourings of a lost mind -
the more discouraging if one thinks that Josef Frank,
the great artist architect and designer, creator of so much beauty,
lived here for twenty years, from 1913
until he emigrated to Sweden, in 1933

More graffiti next to the entrance, its senseless ugliness
doubled by the reflection in a shopwindow

On a more upbeat note, a blue-framed sign,
down a door or two, promises
"Every day fresh fish"

Photographed 1 October 2012
in Wieden, Vienna's 4th District
© by Merisi

-> Josef Frank @ Svenskt Tenn:
Josef Frank has had an enormous impact on the history of Swedish design. Despite the fact that he was already 50 years old when he fled Nazism for Sweden and Svenskt Tenn, the Austrian architect and designer is considered to be one of Sweden’s most important designers of all time.
-> Google Doodle in honor of Josef Frank's 125th Birthday
-> Josef Frank @ Wikipedia:
Josef Frank was of Jewish ancestry. His parents, Kaufmann Ignaz (Isak) Frank (October 17, 1851 – January 27, 1921 Vienna) and the Vienna-born Jenny (September 3, 1861–10 February 1941 Vienna), were originally from Heves in Hungary. He designed his parents' grave in the old Jewish section of Vienna's Central Cemetery (Group 19, Row 58, Grave No.52).[1] He studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology. He then taught at the Vienna School of Arts from 1919 to 1925. He was a founding member of the Vienna Werkbund, initiator and leader of the 1932 project Werkbundsiedlung in Vienna. In 1933, he emigrated to Sweden, where he gained citizenship in 1939. He was the most prestigious designer in the Stockholm design company Svenskt Tenn (Swedish Pewter). He remained in Sweden after 1945 despite attempts to return him to Vienna.
Quoted from Wikipedia


  1. The person/s with the spray paint have been most unkind to Mr. Frank's former residence. I imagine that they might also have been unkind to other homes.

    Thank you, Merisi, for showing us both the light and the shadows of Vienna. It is good to reveal both views.


  2. I do agree with Frances and thank you for showing both sides of Vienna. It is always sad for me to see the graffiti that seems to be everywhere these days. Thanks, too, for the information about Josef Frank! Hope your weekend is going well!

  3. I hate senseless vandalism and this is all the sadder to be where it is. But I appreciate your showing the "down" side as well as the beauty -- I'm sure every City in the world has the same problems.

  4. So sad to see this place defaced with graffiti. It is a statement of our times, isn't it? Very interesting information about Josef Frank. I like the "Fresh Fish" sign. Life does go on! xx

  5. one wonders what Mr. Frank would have thought...
    The vertical patterns are interesting
    The patinaed balconies are very handsome


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