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OTTO ZEILLER exhibition at Hotel Stefanie

Freiherr Josef Hammer-Purgstall

The restaurant in the Hotel Stefanie will be the site of an exhibition in July & August 2014!

The Hotel Stefanie – as Vienna’s oldest hotel – has the opportunity to be the site of an art exhibition from July 5 through August 31, 2014. The daughter of Prof. Otto Zeiller, who was present in everyday life millions of times over through his more than 200 postage stamps, is organizing an exhibition togehter with her husband of all sorts of works over the course of her father’s career, as he would celebrate his 101st birthday this year. (See below for details.)

Why the Hotel Stefanie?

Copy of a portrait of Maria Theresa, commissioned by Dr. Stefan Schick to Otto Zeiller in 1963 for the Hotel Stefanie ballroom

Copy of a portrait of Maria Theresa, commissioned by Dr. Stefan Schick to Otto Zeiller in 1963 for the Hotel Stefanie ballroom

In the early 1960s, the father of Dr. Martin Schick, Dr. Stefan Schick, owned a beautiful antique portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph, which fit perfectly in the ballroom of the Hotel Stefanie. There were, however, three equally large wall panels for decoration. “Emperor Franz Joseph” would have been rather lonely. Dr. Stefan Schick therefore commissioned the painter Otto Zeiller – at the time not yet known as a postage stamp master – to paint two equally large and visually and historicaly matching paintings. “Joseph II” and “Maria Theresa,” reproduced from memory from a painting in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, which Otto Zeiller had only ten minutes to view, were the results. He personally considered these to be among his very best works. Both paintings can be seen to this day in the ballroom, hanging quite “peacefully” next to the antique painting.

How it came to be!

To photograph her father’s works, Irmgard Benesch-Zeiller visited the Hotel Stefanie last year. She not only found the paintings she sought, she also found a location for the exhibition straightaway. The walls of the ballroom are ideally suited for presenting major works and to lending them a perfect setting. This is how a major project arose from the initial vague idea and the Hotel Stefanie – already known for its 400-year history and many antiques on permanent exhibition – is able to call itself a “museum” for a month.

Otto Zeiller 1913 – 1988

Otto Zeiller was born in Vienna on April 19, 1913 and received his first drawing lessons already as a child. Following training at the Fachschule für Fotografen (Vocational School for Photographers), he worked as a retoucher in a photo lab and as a press photographer. After his military service he, as a war invalid, could visit the Akademie der bildenen Künste Wien (Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna) already in 1942. After his graduation he operated as a freelanced artist and worked for private clients and museums to designe frescoes, wall panels, landscape pictures and drawings.
From 1962 through 1988, Otto Zeiller made over 200 drafts of postage stamps for the Republic of Austria, the princedom of Liechtenstein, and the Vatican and was awarded many different prizes and distinctions for this work.

The exhibition

Open daily from July 5 through August 31, 2014
11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
at the Restaurant Stefanie, Taborstrasse 12, 1020 Vienna, Hotel Stefanie

except Juliy 17, 19, 26 and August 1, 2, 9, 14, 15, 16, 23, 30 – the restaurant is not publically accessible on these dates due to private events (subject to change).
Telephone information: +43 1 211 50 0