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Austrian Event Honored SMU Meadows' Alessandra Comini June 16

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History honored with symposium entitled 'Alessandra Comini und Neulengbach'

Alessandra Comini, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, was honored for her life’s work on June 16, 2012, in Austria.

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

Professor Comini attended along with colleagues from Europe and America and commissioned a former SMU student, Berlin cellist Ehrengard von Gemmingen, to compose an Elegy for Egon that premiered at the symposium’s opening event on June 16. She also arranged for British artist Alan O’Cain to be locked in Schiele’s prison cell overnight while a live video feed showed him at work on drawings, à la Schiele.

Symposium speakers included Renée Price, director of New York’s Neue Galerie Museum, and the son of Rudolf Leopold, founder of Vienna’s Museum Leopold, which houses one of the world’s largest and most important collections of Schiele’s work.

Honored by the Republic of Austria in 1990 for “services to Germanic culture,” 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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