The Poetry of the Everyday. Photographs by Elfriede Mejchar
In 2024, three museums will host exhibitions of works by the Austrian photographer Elfriede Mejchar (1924–2020, Vienna, AT). The Museum der Moderne Salzburg is collaborating with the Landesgalerie Niederösterreich and the Wien Museum to honor the artist’s work at three different locations on the occasion of her 100th birthday, with each location offering a different focus.
Salzburg’s contribution to this collaborative project will present the artist’s portraits. With her series of works entitled “Artists at work” (1954–1961), for example, Mejchar demonstrates impressively how she engages with the artistic personalities of Christa Hauer, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Josef Mikl and Arnulf Rainer by mapping their working situation in their studios. But she also demonstrated the same precision of perception when encountering the inanimate objects in her surroundings, thereby giving landscapes, flowers and discarded furniture the appearance of animated portraits.
The photo collections at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg hold a total of 665 photographs by Mejchar. Otto Breicha, the first director of the Museum’s predecessor institution, was a long-time colleague of Mejchar who recognized the artistic value of her photographic work and helped to promote it. As early as 1982, one year before the official opening of the Rupertinum, a comprehensive collection of her work was added to the photographic collection that later grew through further purchases and donations and today constitutes a focal point of the Museum’s photographic holdings.