Franz Hauer’s life was a truly remarkable rags-to-riches story. Born to an impoverished family in rural Lower Austria, Hauer’s tavern quickly turned into one of the most popular locations in Vienna. But the landlord was also one of the most busy collectors of art of his time.
Hauer died at the age of just 48 in 1914. However, the vast array of paintings he had garnered leads to the assumption that acquiring art must have been his chief priority. An ardent admirer of various artists active at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the Hauer collection was especially dominated by Albin Egger-Lienz and Anton Faistauer but also featured artworks by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
Now a museum in Lower Austria presents works from his astonishing collection which are today part of private collections and the stock of public institutions in Austria and abroad. Landesgalerie Niederösterreich (State Gallery of Lower Austria) – which opened only last year – is drawing the crowds with “Franz Hauer. Selfmademan und Kunstsammler der Gegenwart”. Hauer’s collection featured meticulous Wachau landscapes but the sumptuous still lifes and intimate portraits underline Hauer’s wide-ranging interest.