From Hieroglyphics to Isotype: a visual autobiography

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From Hieroglyphics to Isotype: a visual autobiography – by Otto Neurath

  • Thu 20 Jan 2011
  • 7:00PM
Imported 1302
Imported 1302

Austrian Cultural Forum London

28 Rutland GateLondon SW7 1PQ


T 020 7225 7300

F 020 7225 7300


A book launch with Christopher Burke, from the ‘Isotype revisited’ project, University of Reading; and Robin Kinross, Hyphen Press. In conjunction with the display Isotype: international picture language at the V&A Museum, London.

Otto Neurath (1882–1945) was a polymath whose life’s work encompassed politics, sociology, philosophy, urbanism, and visual communication. Born into a scholarly home in Vienna, he went on to become a founding member of the Vienna Circle and director of the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum (Social and Economic Museum) in Vienna. After the brief civil war in Austria of 1934 he left Vienna and settled in The Hague; then in 1940 he escaped to England from German invasion of the Netherlands.

Neurath wrote From Hieroglyphics to Isotype (in English) during the last two years of his life. This is the first publication of the full text, edited from the original manuscripts in the Otto & Marie Neurath Isotype Collection at the University of Reading. Neurath called this unusual book a ‘visual autobiography’. In it he documents the importance to him of visual material, from his earliest years to his professional activity with the picture language of Isotype. His engaging and informal account gives a rich picture of Central-European culture around the turn of the twentieth century. The book was edited by Matthew Eve and Christopher Burke.

For more information and to read the author's comments visit