This year I was able to spend some extended in my birth city. My parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and organized a party in the church they got married in. I also enjoyed spending three days taking a group of students from The Kings College around galleries, studios and museums in Vienna. There were many standout shows, but I particularly enjoyed seeing the Rachel Whiteread mid-career retrospective at the Belvedere/21. Haus and the 100th anniversary of Egon Schiele exhibition at the Leopold Museum. Being there were large crowds everywhere I went, it was not possible to photography as many images of the museums and individual works as I would have liked. Vienna's museums across the board are so well researched and curated, it was an extraordinary experience to immerse myself in the museum exhibitions.
One of the highlights of the trip was visiting galleries in downtown Vienna with the students. We had a particularly unique and special encounters with one Vienna's most important art dealers Christine König. After a brief tour of the gallery, Christine and I got talking about the art world and life in Vienna. She spontaneously invited all of us to join her for lunch at a French cafe down the block and we gladly accepted. In addition to telling us some personal anecdotes, she also shared her passion for being a gallerist and building her own private collection. It was candid, inspiring and profound. Such a treat to spend time with a visionary art dealer and it reminded me of the many times I have experienced the beauty of the Austrian friendships and generous hospitality.