Vienna was a rapidly changing city during Ferdinand Schmutzer's childhood. The Ringstrasse, a boulevard lined with trees, was just being built. Large palaces and official buildings with styles from different eras, architectural reminders of the past, flanked the boulevard. The era produced a large potential of creative personalities from which Ferdinand Schmutzer made a number of portraits. In the year 1908 Schmutzer was named professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He became the chairman of the Special School of Graphic Arts, where he introduced the medium of original graphic design and where he developped etching into an intependent genre of art. In the same year, Schmutzer married Alice Schnabel, the daughter of the Jewish industrialist Theodor Schnabel and cousin of the writer Hermann Broch. Austria's media world of that time was dominated by two important newspapers: Neues Wiener Tagblatt and the upper-class liberal newspaper of the Neue Freie Presse, with Moritz Benedikt at its helm and with Theodor Herzl as head of the feature section. Writers like Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Felix Salten published their work in that paper. In the 1910, Arthur Schnitzler took home nearby Schmutzer. Guests like the writer Arthur Schnitzler, newspaper publishers Moritz und Ernst Benedikt, the Berlin theatre director Otto Brahm, who discovered Max Reinhardt, authors like Felix Salten, Hermann Broch, the cellist Pablo Casals and numerous others gathered together regularly at the Schmutzer's home. Excerpt from a text by Anna Auer in Photographers International: Ferdinand Schmutzer - A Photographic Discovery (see also at Books).
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