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Preview Screening: The Burning Child

Still from The Burning Child. Courtesy of Joseph Koerner.


Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

The Harvard Art Museums proudly present an exclusive test screening of the film The Burning Child. Devised and directed by Joseph Leo Koerner, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard, the film—still in progress—is the culmination of the Vienna Project at Harvard, a scholarly and artistic collaboration that explores Vienna at the turn of the last century through the lens of home and homemaking. The project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Burning Child is a cinematic journey into the Viennese interior. Since about 1900, when Vienna became central Europe’s magnet metropolis, the city has inspired fateful dreams of home and homemaking. Its most famous denizens—Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Adolf Loos, and others—designed visionary interiors that determined the future of the modern home around the world. Part documentary and part personal journey, The Burning Child, in stunning, 4K digital format, explores the dream of homemaking in this most, and least, homely city. Through interviews, testimony, and archival footage, the film presents the Viennese domestic interior against the backdrop of Austria’s troubled past: with Hitler’s annexation of Austria in 1938, the concept of home came to a catastrophic end for Vienna’s most ardent homemakers.

Joseph Leo Koerner will answer questions from the audience after the screening.

This program is co-sponsored by the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Harvard Art Museums.

The screening will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.

Free admission, but limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund.