BY PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER LONG
At the beginning of September 1928, the architect Adolf Loos was arrested by the Vienna police on suspicion of child abuse. Two girls (and later a third) aged eight and ten accused Loos of indecently touching them during nude sessions. Almost simultaneously, the press got wind of it and staged a public scandal that culminated in a spectacular trial. However, the accompanying controversy was about more than whether Loos was guilty or not guilty. Rather, in this affair left and right opposed each other as well as representatives of modernism and their conservative critics. The cause became a famous court case.
Christopher Long undertakes a detailed and excitingly told reconstruction of the events and links them to similar affairs involving Theodor Beer, Peter Altenberg, and Egon Schiele.