Architecture's pivotal role in illuminating a range of historical and contemporary cultural issues accounts for its increasing presence in exhibitions of differing content in a variety of venues. In 2009, when London's Wellcome Collection, a unique foundation offering galleries, meeting places, conferences and publications dedicated to "exploring the connections between medicine, life and art," presented Madness & Modernity, architectural works formed the heart of its small but potent display (Figure 1).

The thesis of Madness & Modernity was that, amid the general ferment of societal pressures and economic upheavals that shaped the avant-garde, Vienna's contribution was distinguished by a keen sensitivity to the expression and treatment of mental illness. In the Austrian capital, art and science colluded and sometimes clashed. Evidence lay in the exquisite but unsettling pictures by Gustav Klimt (1862––1918), and the portraits of anguished subjects by Egon...

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