Friday, 6 July 2018

Ladies, Harlots, Empresses - Fan Exhibition in Laxenburg near Vienna

Ladies, Harlots, Empresses - since the 18th century, women of all classes had one item in common: the fan. It was carried to draw attention to oneself, to keep the hands busy, to hide one's face; the fan was used for flirting, to show a woman's trendiness (e.g. ballooning fans 1783) or political inclination (revolutionary fans). Women used it at weddings, funerals, balls, soirees and even at church. Sometimes fans were even used to alleviate the heat...

Where?  Kulturzentrum Laxenburg
When? 18 August to 7 October 2018 at weekends and holidays from 12.00 to 18.00 hrs and by arrangement [altlaxenburg[at]]

The exhibition organised by the cultural association "Alt-Laxenburg" is tripartite:  
Token of love - love games shows how love discovered the fan as a most precious tool for its cabals. 

Events - Memories puts the focus on the fan as news carrier, e.g. for royal jubilees or World Exhibitions and includes fans owned by, painted by or commemorating Royalty.
Fashion - Men - Modern Times eventually shows that occasionally, men appropriated fans as well. Moreover, it shows the influence of fashion on fans, particularly during Art Nouveau and Art Deco. 
 Contemporary fans like the one of "MA 48" (Viennese magistrate for street cleaning) and the one edited for the fan exhibition at the Parliament of the German-speaking community in Eupen (Belgium) are witnesses that in the wake of global warming, the fan resurrects from the ashes. 
Link to the exhibition poster
The exhibition is curated by Margaretha Mazura.

A small catalogue will be published as pdf after the exhibition (where it is available in print).


  1. Sounds/looks like a soopah show! As an avid fan of all 3 of the subjects, I am so sorry I shall not be able experience it first hand. Congratulations!

  2. It would be a very interesting exhibition to see.

  3. Margaretha, your exhibition looks wonderful. And your blogpost description is delightful. I wish your exhibit could travel to the U.S. Sorry that I cannot be there with you to enjoy it.