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Vienna in the Age of UncertaintyScience, Liberalism, and Private Life$
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Deborah R. Coen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226111728

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226111780.001.0001

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The Education of the Normal Eye

The Education of the Normal Eye

Visual Learning circa 1900

(p.183) Chapter Six The Education of the Normal Eye
Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the visual representations. The Exners understood visual representations as symbols that “call forth visual memories in the viewer of that which they signify.” Sigmund Exner insisted it was the duty of the artist to compensate for his own visual idiosyncrasies. Hilde and Nora Exner had great success in designing children's books and toys. The Exners became steeped in the great Viennese scandal of the year 1900. Gustav Klimt's mural for the philosophy faculty was to represent the illuminating light of knowledge. Serafin Exner concentrated on the problem of defining a color's “white value.” The concept of the normal eye was rooted in the experience of social intimacy, of private “Verkehr.” Even as the Exners used science and art to communicate their utopian vision to the next generation, they sought to impart a disciplined imagination, one that would not stray beyond the limits of the possible.

Keywords:   visual representations, Sigmund Exner, Hilde Exner, Nora Exner, Gustav Klimt, Serafin Exner, visual memories, social intimacy, Verkehr

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