"It was only in regard to art that all felt on equal terms, because love of art was a communal duty in Vienna, and the immeasurable is the part in Viennese culture the Jewish bourgeoisie took, by their co-operation and promotion. They were the real audience, they filled the theatres and the concerts, they bought the books and the pictures, they visited the exhibitions, and with their more mobile understanding, little hampered by tradition, they were the exponents and champions of all that was new."
Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday
Jugendstil (a design style) and the "Wiener Werkstätte" (Design and Furniture Company) were the two major aesthetic expressions of Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. Ludwig Hevesi phrased the motto for the new building of the artistic movement of the "Secession": "To the time its art; to art its freedom." The journalist Bertha Zuckerkandl, in whose salon some of the first talk of founding the Secession occurred, was an ardent supporter who invited Auguste Rodin (the great French sculptor) to Vienna and had excellent relations with the Viennese cultural scene.
Eugen Jettel, Max Kurzweil, Emil Orlik and Max Oppenheimer were artists of Jewish descent associated with these movements, but their patrons were mainly educated upper middle-class Jews. Many of the society ladies painted by Gustav Klimt had a Jewish background. Karl Wittgenstein, father of Ludwig, allegedly financed the building of the Secession. The "Wiener Werkstätte', the leading design and furniture company of the day, was mainly supported by Fritz Wärndorfer, son of a Jewish textile manufacturer.
Tina Blau (1845-1916) was an impressionist and an associate of Emil Jakob Schindler, the father of Alma Mahler. Richard Gerstl, born in Vienna in 1883, was a promising early Expressionist artist who committed suicide at age 25 because of his unrequited love for Mathilde Schoenberg. Another painter of partly Jewish descent was Max Kurzweil, who took his own life in 1916; he is remembered for his portrait of the young Herzl. Among Jewish artists from other parts of the Habsburg Empire who lived and worked in Vienna for a time were Mauricy Gottlieb, Isidor Kaufmann, Jehuda Epstein, and Leopold Horowitz.
Jews were also important patrons of modern architecture. The Loos House on the Michaelerplatz was commissioned by the tailor and dressmaker Leopold Goldmann for his firm Goldmann & Salatsch. The architect Oskar Marmorek supported Herzl's Zionism and was active in the Vienna Jewish community: Max Fleischer is mainly known for the synagogues he built in Vienna and other cities of the empire. After the First World War, architects that deserve to be mentioned include Paul Engelmann, who was Loos' assistant and a friend of Wittgenstein, Josef Frank and Oskar Strnad, Max Reinhardt's principal stage designer.