Primavesi, Mäda

BORN 13 Jun 1874, Wien - DIED 31 May 1962, Wien
BIRTH NAME Butschek, Eugenia Franziska
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 56 A, Reihe 15, Nummer 27)

Eugenie Butschek was the daughter of a railway official who lived near Vienna. She studied acting at the Conservatoy in Vienna and she acted under the name of Mäda at the Royal City Theatre in Olmütz (now Olomouc). In 1893 she was engaged in Breslaum, where she debuted as Gretchen in Goethe's "Faust". In Moravia she met the banker and industrialist Otto Primavesi. They married in September 1894 and she ended her acting career. They had four children and in 1912/1913 she and her daughter Mäda (1903-2000) were both painted by Gustav Klimt. In 1913 they commissioned Josef Hoffman to design their house in Winkelsdorf, Moravia.

In 1915 Otto took over the management of the Wiener Werkstätte as its commercial director. In Winkelsdorf they gave parties for the artists and architects of the Werkstätte. In 1920 the Primavesi's bought Klimt's "The Baby". Otto Primavesi resigned from the Wiener Werkstätte in 1925. He also separated from Mäda, but he turned his share in the Wiener Werkstätte over to her. He died in 1926 and the Wiener Werkstätte went bankrupt in the same year. Mäda lived until 1962 and died in Vienna.

Her portrait by Klimt was considered lost after the Second World War but in 1987 it was suddenly auctioned by the younger Mäda, who was then in her eighties and lived in Canada and declared that she had never revealed where the work and herself were because she had wanted to protect her privacy. She also stated that professor Klimt, who worked extremely slow, was had been very nice to her when she sat for her own portrait.

Related persons
• was painted by Klimt, Gustav


The grave of Mäda Primavesi at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (28 Aug 2014)


56, Primavesi Zentralfriedhof

Primodi, Carolina

Published: 13 Sep 2014
Last update: 03 Mar 2024