Alois Hauser

Nicolaus Dumba, in: Der Floh, 20.12.1873.
© Wien Museum

Alois Hauser: Archaeological drawings, in: Constantin Uhude: Die Architekturformen des klassischen Alterthums mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Säulenordnung und Gesimsbildung, Berlin 1902.
© Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Alois Hauser was an Austrian architect, monuments conservationist and far-traveled archaeologist. From 1868, he was a lecturer for “art styles, art terminology and art history” at the newly founded Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he would later also teach Gustav Klimt.

Alois Hauser was born in Vienna in 1841. He initially attended the Polytechnic Institute (now Vienna University of Technology) but continued his studies in Berlin, where his archaeological interests were encouraged. Alois Hauser subsequently went on study trips to Greece, Asia Minor, Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. After his return to Vienna he worked at the architectural firm of his uncle Ferdinand Fellner sen. – the father of the theater architect Ferdinand Fellner, who together with Hermann Helmer would be among the first clients of the “Künstler-Compagnie.”

Professor for “Theory of Styles”
Alois Hauser was given a teaching post at the newly founded Vienna School of Arts and Crafts in 1868, when he was only 27 years old. According to the annual report of the Imperial-Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry of 1868, he was hired to give theoretical lectures on “art styles, art terminology and art history.” Ten years later he was made a professor, together with the draftsman Karl Hrachowina and the painter Ludwig Minnigerode. The latter would go on to become the director of the preparatory classes.

Like Hrachowina and Minnigerode, Alois Hauser also taught young Gustav Klimt in the preparatory class. According to a report card that is preserved at the archives of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the teacher rated Klimt’s overall performance in the subject “theory of styles with drawing exercises” in the school year of 1877/78 as “excellent.”

Archaeologist and Conservationist
In addition to being a teacher, Alois Hauser dedicated his time to archaeology. In 1873 and 1875 he went on archaeological expeditions, e.g. to the Greek island of Samothrace. He furthermore discovered an antique amphitheater during excavations in Deutsch-Altenburg and Petronell-Carnuntum in Lower Austria – the location of an antique Roman city – in the 1880s. Hauser also made important contributions to the conservation of monuments. He was an important member of the Imperial-Royal Central Commission for Works of Art and Historic Monuments for Vienna and Austria and worked as an architect and restorer in the Croatian cities of Split and Trogir as well as in Lesina in Italy.
 
Scientific Legacy
Alois Hauser died aged only 55 at his villa in Baden in 1896. He left an extensive legacy in the field of cultural science, comprising numerous publications and textbooks on art history, for instance commissioned by the Imperial-Royal Ministry of Culture and Education.

Literature and sources

  • k. k. Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie (Hg.): Jahresbericht des k. k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie für 1868, Vienna 1869, S. 18.
  • Neue Freie Presse, 09.10.1896, S. 6.
  • Neue Freie Presse, 07.10.1896, S. 7.
  • Der Bautechniker. Centralorgan für das österreichische Bauwesen, 16. Jg. (1896), S. 798.
  • Badener Bezirks-Blatt, 24.10.1896, S. 1.
  • Der Floh, 20.12.1873, S. 9.
  • Felix Czeike (Hg.): Historisches Lexikon Wien, Band 3, Vienna 1994, S. 88.
  • Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Hg.): Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950, Band 2, Vienna 1994.
  • Hans Vollmer (Hg.): Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Begründet von Ulrich Thieme und Felix Becker, Band XVI, Leipzig 1923, S. 140.
  • Otmar Rychlik (Hg.): Gustav Klimts Lehrer. 1876-1882. Sieben Jahre an der Kunstgewerbeschule, Ausst.-Kat., MAK - Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna), 03.11.2021–13.03.2022, Bad Vöslau 2021.
  • Mittheilungen des k. k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie. Monatsschrift für Kunst und Gewerbe, 13. Jg., Heft 153 (1878), S. 115-116.
  • Zeitschrift des österreichischen Ingenieur-Vereines, XLVIII. Jg., Nummer 43 (1896), S. 583.
  • Neues Wiener Journal, 24.09.1896, S. 4.
  • Alois Hauser: Styl-Lehre der architektonischen und kunstgewerblichen Formen, Band 1, Vienna 1877.
  • Alois Hauser: Styl-Lehre der architektonischen und kunstgewerblichen Formen, Band 2, Vienna 1884.
  • Alois Hauser: Styl-Lehre der architektonischen und kunstgewerblichen Formen, Band 3, Vienna 1880.
  • N. N.: Prof. Alois Hauser ✝, in: Mittheilungen des k. k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie. Monatsschrift für Kunst und Gewerbe, N.F., 11. Jg., Heft 10 (1896), S. 206-207.