Through (missing) representations and the (in)visibility in the public space, gendered writing of history and commemorative culture manifest themselves. City walks, therefore, offer an exceptional possibility to engage with patriarchal presentation practices as well as marginalized and absent cultural and town history.
As a pioneer of feminist city walks in Vienna, one has to mention the founder of the “Viennese Women’s*Walks“, Petra Unger1. Petra Unger not only tells “the history(ies) of women* in Vienna in a range of districts“ but also connects the past with the present and makes “particular women*spaces“2 visible.
For this toolkit, we devised a walk through Vienna (seven stations in the first district, one in the neighbouring ninth district) that focuses on the topics “Gender norms, economy, career choice, power and independence“.
Memorial of Charlotte Bühler (1893–1974) in the arcaded courtyard of the University of Vienna: a German psychologist and founder of the modern developmental psychology; from 1927 to 1938 adjunct professor at the University of Vienna; in 1938 escaped from Nazi Austria; Co-Founder and President (1965/66) of the “American Association for Humanistic Psychology”.1
See: Universität Wien: 650 plus – Geschichte der Universität Wien: Charlotte Bühler: https://geschichte.univie.ac.at/de/charlotte-buehler ↩︎
The city walk can be conducted in smaller and larger groups. However, the ideal is a group consisting of ca. 12 participants. For a larger group, it is recommended to have another group leader with you.
Entrance Austrian Nationalbank
It is recommended to take the city walk yourself before you do it with a group. This allows you to get to know the stations and decide whether you will actually walk all the way or take public transport. It also gives you an impression of the time you can or want to spend at any given stop to discuss it.
The presented city walk consists of seven stations. Depending on the group and time resources, you can also make a choice.
The group visits the individual stations and information is given about each station when standing in front of it. It is important to make the connections between the scene and the thematic complexes of gender, economy, and independence (of women but also marginalized groups). Ask these guiding questions before providing any information:
What do you see?
Who is represented? What is behind it?
Why do you think this monument/building was erected?
When was it built, and what does it stand for?
What did the depicted person do in her life? Does this have any influence on our lives today?
What does the inscription on the monument/building say?
Memorial of Berta Karlik (1904–1990) in the arcaded courtyard of the University of Vienna: a physicist; mathematics and physics research, University of Vienna; later scientific work there, also during the Second World War. She discovered three isotopes of the element 85 and closed the last gap in the periodic table. In 1973, she was the first woman to become a full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Since 2011,the Berta Karlik Programme of the University of Vienna exists to support excellent female scientists. In the 13th district of Vienna, an alley is named after her.1
In order to be prepared, solid research about the individual stations is needed. The brief information provided below should serve as a basis:
The Austrian Nationalbank / Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)
The Oesterreichische Nationalbank serves as the central bank of the Austrian republic and is a co-creator of the economic development in Austria and the European and Monetary Union.
In 1990, Maria Schaumayer (1931–2013) became a president of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. She was the first woman worldwide who presided a national bank and remained in this function until her retirement. In 1991, the Dr. Maria-Schaumayer-Trust was founded with the following aim: “The trust serves scientific purposes alone, whereas the focus lies on the advancement of women for leadership positions through excellent scientific accomplishment."1
Until today, women are underrepresented in the Oesterreichische Nationalbank.2
“The Muse has had it”
Accomplishments of women are often made invisible, and this holds for science and its representational practice and remembrance culture. The project “The Muse has had it”, installed by the artist Iris Andraschek, with its oversized female silhouette shadow refers to this drawback. The inscription on this artwork reads as follows:
MEMORIAL FOR THE HONORING OF FEMALE SCIENTISTS
THAT DID NOT TAKE PLACE
AND FOR THE FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA.
(ERINNERUNG AN DIE NICHT STATTGEFUNDENEN
EHRUNGEN VON WISSENSCHAFTERINNEN
UND AN DAS VERSÄUMNIS, DEREN LEISTUNGEN
AN DER UNIVERSITÄT WIEN ZU WÜRDIGEN.3)
Monuments for female scientists
For a long time, among the 154 monuments honouring important scientists in the Arkadenhof of the University of Vienna, there was only one for a woman: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, who was honoured with a commemorative plaque rather than a monument as her male colleagues. In 2016 within the framework of a competition, three artists were chosen to create and install monuments for six female scientists. The artists were Thomas Baumann, Catrin Bolt, and Karin Frank, and the scientists were a psychologist Charlotte Bühler, a social researcher Marie Jahoda, a physicist Lise Meitner, an archaeologist Grete Mostny-Galser, a professor of Romance languages Elise Richter, and a mathematician Olga Taussky-Todd.4
Centre for women — city of Vienna
Since 2019, “the centre is the central counselling and information office of the City of Vienna for women for legal and social concerns. The centre is the expansion of the former City of Vienna Women’s telephone. Experienced female experts will provide women from Vienna with information and initial consultation, free of charge."5
Maria Theresia Monument
This colossal memorial is situated on the Maria-Theresien square, between the Art History and Natural History museums, and was revealed after her death in 1888 (on her birthday). It is important to note that Maria-Theresia not only started the reform of the monetary system but in 1774 she introduced compulsory schooling for girls and boys aged 6–12.6
Girls' grammar school
Eugenie Schwarzwald (1872–1940) was a pioneer of girls' education. Being a school reformer, in 1901, she took over the girls' lyceum in the first district on Franziskanerplatz 5, and from 1911 onwards, she led a girls’ grammar school, which provided eight years of schooling for girls. The school was the first in Austria where girls could finish with university entrance examinations.
Central to Schwarzwald’s pedagogy were the ideas of non-violence and advancement of creativity. She was in an exchange of ideas with Maria Montessori.
In 1928, Schwarzwald emigrated to Switzerland; her property was sold by the National Socialists, and her school was shut down. The Eugenie-Schwarzwald-Way in the 22nd district of Vienna is named after her.7
Commemorative plaques for Bertha von Suttner
Bertha von Suttner was a journalist and writer; in 1905, as the first woman, she received the Peace Nobel Prize, which founding she instigated. She founded numerous peace societies, championed peace and fought against the suppression of women and antisemitism with her world-famous novel “Ground Arms!” (1899), which was translated into several languages.8
In 1966, Bertha von Suthner’s image was portrayed on the 1000-Schilling note. The reproduction on banknotes implies a form of official recognition, which is not bestowed upon many women. (A further, deeper examination of this topic offers the technique “Gender and Money”).
Bertha von Suttner’s house on Zedlitzgasse 7, in which she lived and died, bears two commemorative plaques: a portrait relief, which refers to the bestowal of the Peace Nobel Prize, and another one which shows the following inscription:
Here lived and died
Bertha von Suttner
Founder of the
(Hier lebte und starb
Bertha von Suttner
Die Gründerin der
See Dr. Maria Schaumayer Stiftung: http://schaumayerstiftung.net/cgi-bin/view.cgi?page=home ↩︎
See Wien Geschichte Wiki: Maria Schaumayer: https://www.geschichtewiki.wien.gv.at/Maria_Schaumayer; Dr. Maria Schaumayer Stiftung: http://schaumayerstiftung.net/cgi-bin/view.cgi?page=home; Hodoschek, Andrea: Nationalbank: Neues Direktorium wieder reiner Männerclub. Kurier, 4.2.2019: https://kurier.at/wirtschaft/nationalbank-neues-direktorium-wieder-reiner-maennerclub/400396679; Homepage der Oesterreichischen Nationalbank: https://www.oenb.at/ ↩︎
See more information on the website of the University of Vienna: https://geschichte.univie.ac.at/de/artikel/der-muse-reichts ↩︎
See University Wien monuments: Denkmal von Ebner-Eschenbach: https://monuments.univie.ac.at/index.php?title=Denkmal_Marie_von_Ebner-Eschenbach; Universität Wien: Wissenschafterinnen im Arkadenhof: https://www.univie.ac.at/ueber-uns/auf-einen-blick/wissenschafterinnen-im-arkadenhof/ ↩︎
See Beratungsstelle der Stadt Wien: https://www.wien.gv.at/english/social/women/services/women-centre.html ↩︎
See e.g. Informations Wien Geschichte Wiki: Stichwort Maria-Theresien-Denkmal: https://www.geschichtewiki.wien.gv.at/Maria-Theresien-Denkmal; Stichwort Frauenbildung: https://www.geschichtewiki.wien.gv.at/Frauenbildung ↩︎
See Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Frauen in Bewegung 1848–1938. Privat-Mädchenlyzeum der Eugenie Schwarzwald: https://fraueninbewegung.onb.ac.at/node/537; Wien Geschichte Wiki: Eugenie Schwarzwald: https://www.geschichtewiki.wien.gv.at/Eugenie_Schwarzwald; weiterführende Literatur: Streibel, Robert (Hg.): Das Vermächtnis der Eugenie. Gesammelte Feuilletons von Eugenie Schwarzwald 1908–1938. Wien: Erhard Löcker 2017; Holmes, Deborah: Langeweile ist Gift. Das Leben der Eugenie Schwarzwald. St. Pölten, Salzburg, Wien: Residenz 2012. ↩︎
Information about Bertha von Suttner see e. g.: Hamann, Brigitte: Bertha von Suttner. Ein Leben für den Frieden. München, Zürich: Piper Verlag 1986 bzw. Wien Geschichte Wiki, Personen: Berta von Suttner: https://www.geschichtewiki.wien.gv.at/Bertha_von_Suttner ↩︎
A further discussion, possibly in a follow-up workshop, can be encouraged by the following questions:
Which other monuments come into your mind in relation to the topics of gender/economy/money?
In this context, who would you build further monuments for?
How would they look like, and where could they be placed?