Adolf Loos on Trial
In early September 1928, Viennese police arrested the famed architect Adolf Loos. The charge was child molestation. Two young girls (and eventually a third), ages eight to ten, alleged that Loos had touched them inappropriately and compelled them to commit indecent acts while he was drawing nudes of them. What followed was a very public affair that culminated in a sensational trial, pitting Loos and his supporters against his many detractors. But the controversy was about more than Loos' guilt: like almost everything in Austria in the late 1920s, those involved saw the events through powerful political and cultural lenses. The arrest and subsequent trial not only set the forces of the right against those of the left, but also the city's avant-gardists against their conservative critics. This volume documents the controversy. Christopher Long is Distinguished Professor at University of Texas, Austin School of Architecture, and the author of The Looshaus (Yale, 2012) and The New Space (Yale, 2016).