The Brothers Josephu

The Brothers Josephu
Young Josef at work...circa 1917

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trip - Day 8

Monday,  June 6

Today we ventured out to a town just north of Vienna, Klosterneuburg. Last fall I was contacted by Herr Dr. Josef Weiss regarding a bust of the founder of the Federal College and Institute for Viticulture and Pomology Klosterneuburg, August Wilhelm von Babo, which was sculpted by my grandfather. The college conducts education and research on wine grapes, vines and wine making.

We foirst stopped off at another housing complex in Vienna, searching for a piece by Florian. Here, again, the location was not exact and we needed to look through many buildings before finding the mosaic titled "Paper and Lanterns," which surrounds the door of one of the buildings. From there we headed to Klosterneuburg, George takes me to the building where my grandfather was born along the way.

We visited the college where we were greeted by Dr. Weiss, past president of the college, and by Karl Vogl. Both very friendly and proud of their institution. We first were shown the bust, temporarily inside while the outside area where it normally stands is remodeled. Then we were given a delightful tour of the impressive facility, which ended in a wine tasting room. Three bottles of excellent wine were opened while we heard tales of Babo, of the institute, and of wine making. Of the three, my favorite was a red wine labled "Cuvee 150" in honor if the 150th anniversery of the institute (though the Chardonay ice wine was fabulous). Then, as we were readying to leave, we were offered a gift - three bottles of the Cuvee 150. Dr. Weiss and Herr Vogl were an abolsutle pleasure to visit with, and their generosity is greatly appreciated.

Goeoge and I took a little time off from our searching to enjoy a visit to the Monastery of Klosterneuburg, founded in the year 1114. We stroll through the grounds, tour the chapel and visit the royal apartments. We paused in their snack shop where we had coffee, and I had Eiernockerl, one of those dishes I grew up on and one my children also learned to love.

We then head off to Arne Carlsson Park in Vienna where there's a statue by my grandfather of Professor Guido Holzknecht. Well, not exactly. Holzknecht was a pioneer in radiation therapy and lost several fingers due to radiation posioning. The original bust featured Holzknecht's hand and missing fingers. The statue was damaged in the war and a replacement was made which barely resembles the original. Here both hands have all fingers. They 'healed' the man. It's interesting that the statue was signed not by the replacement's sculptor, but was honoring my grandfather, with his 'signature' including the original year of the work. But the name is spelled wrong as JOSEFFEU (the proper spelling is Josephu). In an online guide to Vienna, the statue is credited to Josef Sheu, who was a composer/musician and not a sculptor. When one looks at the inscription the 'f' could be misttaken as an "S".....Herbert Fisher has put forth a correction notice.

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