On the site made available by the city administration on Wienzeile near Naschmarkt, Joseph Maria Olbrich constructed a modern, Art Nouveau style exhibition building for the association in 1897/98, which remains one of the best-known buildings in Vienna to this day. The leafwork dome ("golden cabbage") is the symbol of the Secession and visible from afar. At the time, the architecture caused a big fuss among the population. The original site on the corner of Ringstrasse/Wollzeile had to be abandoned following a flood of protests. The members of the Secession included Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Koloman Moser (1868-1918), Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956), and Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908). Olbrich, who built the Secession, was an employee of the famous Viennese architect and city planner Otto Wagner.
The Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt’s "Beethoven Frieze" can be viewed on the basement level of the Secession. The 34 meter-long work is a virtuoso interpretation of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and was created by the exceptional painter Klimt for an exhibition in 1902. Around 20 changing exhibitions of contemporary artists are shown each year on the levels above on 1,000 m² of exhibition space. Mounted above the entrance to the Secession is the motto of the artist’s association: To each time its art. To art its freedom.