Stone sculptor Anna Mahler (1904-1988) was the daughter of Gustav and Alma. The studio where she worked in Spoleto from 1969–1987 is known as Casa Mahler and continues to be a hub of cultural and artistic activity and exchange.
In the courtyard of Casa Mahler, Anna chipped rhythmically away at massive stones, revealing striking and mysterious figures in undulating forms reminiscent of landscapes. Anna had begun her career as a painter tutored by Giorgio de Chirico in Rome. Encouraged by the artist Fritz Wotruba, however, she soon discovered her métier sculpting stone. She also worked in clay and used her kiln for portrait busts and smaller figures. Ernst Gombrich wrote how the value of her art, “...is not determined by superficial characteristics but by the ability to reach and touch our innermost feelings”.
Today, the house has been transformed from a working studio into an elegant villa.
Casa Mahler has an ambience, a personality of its own. As you enter you are in an open courtyard with an enormous magnolia tree greeting you with open arms; reclining stone figures by Anna Mahler adorn the patio. To the left, a small pool in Italian marble surrounded by flowers, to the right the door to the house itself. Large and intimate at the same time, Casa Mahler stores endless hidden spaces as you make your way through it, floor by floor. At the bottom a Roman well dating back centuries, on the ground floor the master bedroom, seating areas, and a chef’s kitchen. On the second floor, another enormous living room leads to the music room, with the piano and scores of Alma Mahler. Adorning this space are further works of Anna Mahler, many are busts of famous musicians such as her father, Gustav Mahler, as well as Otto Klemperer, Arnold Schoenberg and others who were friends of the family. There now follows a myriad of bedrooms, large and small, perfectly appointed and cozy. All have baths, each floor has a kitchen. At the top, a terrace with an extraordinary view of Spoleto and the hills of Umbria stretching out in all directions.
It is a place of quiet and repose, yet brimming with deep creative energy, a retreat that becomes entirely your own and that soon becomes your home as you settle into its welcoming embrace. If you wish, explore the ancient city of Spoleto. It is literally at your doorstep, with its narrow streets, its theaters and galleries, its shops and cafes, exuding its charm at every turn. Or stay where you are, wonder at the light streaming in, the time you have been given, and the magic of this very special place.
Click on "Projects" in the menu bar to learn about the work the Mahler family promoties through Casa Mahler, including the Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Mahler Foundation, the Anna Mahler Association and the Festival dei Due Mondi.