Schwarzenberg, a village in western Austria near Hohenems, is one of the performance locations for the annual music festival, the Schubertiade. It became part of the festival in the 1990s when outings to neighboring locations were arranged, inspired by the travels of Franz Schubert. The village permanently became part of the Schubertiade in 2001 after the renovation of its concert venue, Angelika Kauffmann Hall.
What began as a small settlement during the 11th century now has approximately 1,800 residents. Schwarzenberg’s entire village center is historically protected for its wooden clapboard houses. The concert hall is also made completely of wood and is known for its acoustics that are well-suited for chamber music. It is considered to be one of the best chamber music halls in Austria. The hall was named for the 18th-century artist, Angelika Kauffmann, who lived in Schwarzenberg during her childhood.Kauffmann learned painting technique at an early age from her father. He was an artist who was working as a painter for the local church. By the time Angelika was 16, she was already accepting commissions for portraits and frescoes. She received further training in Italy where she became an honorary member of various academies, including the Academy of St. Luke in Rome. She moved to England and continued to receive numerous commissions for portraits, achieving prominence as a leading historical painter. When King George III founded the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, Kauffmann was one of the founding members. Her travels took her back to Italy where she later died.
In addition to the concert hall, Schwarzenberg established the Angelika Kauffmann Museum to honor her life and work. An old farmhouse was adapted to be used as the museum but the original structure was not compromised. Some of the exhibits have never been seen in public and other exhibits change periodically. Even though Kauffmann was well-known, she never forgot Schwarzenberg. As visitors walk through the museum, they will see her as a famous artist, an international figure, and someone close to home.
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