Good Living Street by Tim Bonyhady
Portrait of a Patron Family, Vienna 1900

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Vienna and its Secessionist movement at the turn of the last century is the focus of this extraordinary social portrait told through an eminent Viennese family, headed by Hermine and Moriz Gallia, who were among the great patrons of early-twentieth-century Viennese culture at its peak.
Good Living Street takes us from the Gallias’ middle-class prosperity in the provinces of central Europe to their arrival in Vienna, following the provision of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1848 that gave Jews freedom of movement and residence, legalized their religious services, opened public service and professions up to them, and allowed them to marry.
The Gallias, like so many hundreds of thousands of others, came from across the Hapsburg Empire to Vienna, and for the next two decades the city that became theirs was Europe’s center of art, music, and ideas.
The Gallias lived beyond the Ringstrasse in Vienna’s Fourth District on the Wohllebengasse (translation: Good Living Street), named after Vienna’s first nineteenth-century mayor.
In this extraordinary book we see the amassing of the Gallias’ rarefied collections of art and design; their cosmopolitan society; we see their religious life and their efforts to circumvent the city’s rampant anti-Semitism by the family’s conversion to Catholicism along with other prominent intellectual Jews, among them Gustav Mahler. While conversion did not free Jews from anti-Semitism, it allowed them to secure positions otherwise barred to them.
Two decades later, as Kristallnacht raged and Vienna burned, the Gallias were having movers pack up the contents of their extraordinary apartment designed by Josef Hoffmann. The family successfully fled to Australia, bringing with them the best private collection of art and design to escape Nazi Austria; included were paintings, furniture, three sets of silver cutlery, chandeliers, letters, diaries, books and bookcases, furs—chinchilla, sable, sealskin—and even two pianos, one upright and one Steinway.
Not since the publication of Carl Schorske’s acclaimed portrait of Viennese modernism, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, has a book so brilliantly—and completely—given us this kind of close-up look at turn-of-the-last-century Viennese culture, art, and daily life—when the Hapsburg Empire was fading and modernism and a new order were coming to the fore.
Good Living Street re-creates its world, atmosphere, people, energy, and spirit, and brings it all to vivid life.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Tim Bonyhady

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Tim Bonyhady is an award-winning art historian, curator, and environmental lawyer. He is the director of the Centre of Climate Law and Policy at the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra, Australia.
Published November 15, 2011 by Pantheon. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Australian art historian Bonyhady (Words for Country: Landscape & Language in Australia, 2001, etc.) revisits the lives and collections of several generations of his family, members of whom had to flee the Nazis.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Living Street: Portrait ...

Publishers Weekly

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This disquieting family saga begins in early 20th-century Vienna and ends in Sydney, Australia, portraying through three generations of the author’s family the patriotism, conservatism, and love of culture among Viennese Jewish haute bourgeoisie and their dispersal after the Nazi Anschluss in 1...

Sep 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Living Street: Portrait ...

The Wall Street Journal

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But 1938 was "a good year to be a mover in Vienna," as Tim Bonyhady wryly notes in "Good Living Street," a history of his Austrian forebears, the Gallias, who managed to send away most of their artworks and personal belongings ahead of their timely flight in November, days after the ominous bruta...

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The Wall Street Journal

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Tracing the history of a Viennese family that fled Hitler, but with a Klimt portrait in tow.

Dec 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Living Street: Portrait ...

The Telegraph

Growing up in Australia in the Sixties, the art historian and environmental lawyer Tim Bonyhady loved visiting his grandmother, Gretl, and great-aunt, Kathe, in their Sydney flat.

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Good Living Street: Portrait ...

Christian Science Monitor

Australian art critic and environmental lawyer Tim Bonyhady has written a book of multilayered history refracted through the prism of his family, an economic and cultural powerhouse in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century.

Dec 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Living Street: Portrait ...

We Love This Book

Tim Bonyhady traces the lives of three generations of his family, beginning with the history of Jews in Vienna at a time when many thousands fled to escape the pogrom ordered by Joseph Goebbels.

Jan 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Good Living Street: Portrait ...

The New Zealand Herald

The main suspect in the gang rape and fatal beating of a woman on a New Delhi bus, an attack that horrified Indians and… Radical Islamic fighters killed seven foreign hostages in Nigeria, European diplomats said today, making it the worst such kidnapping violence in decades for a country… H...

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