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Austrian Event to Honor SMU’s Dr. Alessandra Comini, June 16

Dr. Alessandra Comini, SMU University Distinguished Professor of Art History

Dr. Alessandra Comini, SMU University Distinguished Professor of Art History

Dallas’s retired Southern Methodist University (SMU) Distinguished Professor of Art History, Dr. Alessandra Comini, will be honored for her life’s work in Austria next month.

To celebrate her discovery, almost a half century ago, in 1963, of the village prison cell where Viennese artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918) was incarcerated for 17 days in 1912, the town of Neulengbach is holding a symposium entitled Alessandra Comini und Neulengbach.

In attendance will be not only Professor Comini, but colleagues from Europe and America. Dr. Comini has commissioned a former SMU student, Ehrengard von Gemmingen, a Berlin cellist, to compose an Elegy for Egon which will be premiered at the opening of the symposium on June 16. She has also arranged for British artist Alan O’ Cain to be locked up in Schiele’s prison cell overnight while a live video feed shows him at work on drawings, a la Schiele.

Comini will speak at the event and other speakers include Renée Price, director of New York’s Neue Galerie Museum, and the son of Rudolf Leopold, founder of Vienna’s extraordinary new Museum Leopold, which holds a vast number of works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

Honored by the Republic of Austria in 1990 for “services to Germanic culture,” Professor Comini is now at work on a murder mystery (of which she is the 77-year-old heroine) called Killing for Klimt and set in Austria, Santa Fe, Alaska, New York, and Antarctica.

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