Franz Hauer was quite possibly the most spectacular self-made man amongst European art collectors. A postman’s son from Weißenkirchen and manservant at Krems’ hotel “Zur Rose”, Hauer‘s rise as an “art enthusiast of the most original kind” (Carl Moll) occurred with just one restaurant, namely the “Griechenbeisl”. It was to become a first-rate European hotspot around 1900, with famous guests ranging from Karl May to Mark Twain. With no family history in the field to speak of, Hauer became a passionate fan of contemporary art. He was the most important collector of Albin Egger-Lienz, but also owned many pieces by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. In 1914 he died at the age of only 48. His legendary collection was largely sold and is now owned by many important museums and private collections across Europe and the United States. The exhibition in Krems succeeds in showcasing a cross-section of his legendary collection, which once comprised more than 1,000 pieces.

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