Mehrdad Rashidi

*1963, Iran/Germany

Mehrdad Rashidi was born in Sari, in northern Iran, and has lived in Germany for many years now. Although western modern art was very influential at the time of his childhood, in fact he was unaware of contemporary artistic and intellectual trends, as he grew up in a rural province.

Heinrich Reisenbauer

*1938, Austria

Heinrich Reisenbauer was born in Kirchau, Lower Austria and was in high school when his problems first appeared.

Karl Reisenbauer

*1940, Austria

Karl Reisenbauer was born in Lower Austria. He received psychiatric treatment from the age of 26 onwards. His drawings evolved as part of what Leo Navratil described as a “confessional urge”.

André Robillard

*1931, France

André Robillard was born in Gien, a town in central France. After his parents separated he lived with his father, a gamekeeper, who was violent.

Karoline Rosskopf

*1911, date of death unknown, Austria

Karoline Rosskopf was one of the few female artists in Leo Navratil’s era in Gugging. Due to a brain disease, she became a patient at the psychiatric clinic, namely in the department in which Leo Navratil’s wife Erna worked as a doctor.

Yuichi Saito

*1983, Japan

Yuichi Saito is a member of Kobo Shu, a creative studio for adults with developmental disabilities, in Saitama Prefecture in Japan. He began to make his first drawings in 2002. Yuichi Saito produces “script-works”.

Shinichi Sawada

*1982, Japan

Shinichi Sawada was born in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. He attended a special school for several years, as he is autistic, and communicates very little.

Philippe Saxer

1965 to 2013, Switzerland

Philippe Saxer grew up in Bümpliz, a neighbourhood in the western part of Bern, and completed an apprenticeship as an ornamental glazier. From very early on he began drawing and painting of his own accord and selling his works for quite modest prices.

Johann Scheiböck

*1905, date of death unknown, Austria

Johann Scheiböck was born in Lower Austria where he had a small farming business. From 1959 to 1972 he lived in the psychiatric clinic in Gugging.

Arnold Schmidt

*1959, Austria

Arnold Schmidt was born in Wiener Neustadt and has lived at the House of Artists since 1986. He has become famous for his representation of dynamic figures, individually or grouped, usually in bold colours.

Philipp Schöpke

1921 to 1998, Austria

Philipp Schöpke was born in Erlach. He worked as a construction assistant. After he was declared unfit to serve during the Second World War, he was admitted to the psychiatric clinic in Gugging.

Günther Schützenhöfer

*1965, Austria

Günther Schützenhöfer was born in Mödling, Lower Austria and lived in various care facilities in Austria before coming to the Gugging House of Artists in 1999.

Mary T. Smith

1904 to 1995, USA

Mary T. Smith was born in Copiah County in southern Mississippi and grew up in a sharecropping family. As a child she already had hearing difficulties which made social contact impossible.

Harald Stoffers

*1961, Germany

Harald Stoffers was born in Hamburg, and joined Elbe-Werkstätten GmbH at the age of 22. There he took to writing individual words on small pieces of paper, which he handed out to the people around him.

Leopold Strobl

*1960, Austria

Leopold Strobl was born in Mistelbach, Austria. He attended a grammar school, and decided while still a student there that he wanted to become an artist.

Jürgen Tauscher

*1974, Austria

Jürgen Tauscher was born in Vienna, with microencephaly. He attended a special school, but did not learn to read and write. He spent many years in care homes, and also lived periodically with his grandparents.

Oswald Tschirtner

1920 to 2007, Austria

He was born into a Catholic family in Vienna. Oswald Tschirtner adored biblical themes and wanted to become a priest. This was not possible for him because he was drafted into the military after his matriculation.

Karl Vondal

*1953, Austria

Karl Vondal has lived at the House of Artists in Gugging since 2002. He usually combines his erotic drawings of people in pastel colours with sexually charged texts.

Vorstadt-Gräfin (Elisabeth)

Switzerland, born 1908, date of death unknown

Elisabeth was born in 1908, the only daughter of an Italian bricklayer in the Swiss canton of Vaud. Little is known about her childhood and adolescence, except that in school she had to repeat a year.

August Walla

1936 to 2001, Austria

August Walla was born in Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria as the only child of the already 40-year-old Aloisia Walla, who was a postal worker. His father did not want to get married but paid child support.

Scottie Wilson

1888 to 1972, Scotland/Canada

Scottie Wilson was born as Louis Freeman in Glasgow, Scotland. He attended school only briefly, remained illiterate and helped his family by selling newspapers on the street.

Josef Wittlich

1903 to 1982, Germany

Josef Wittlich was born in Gladbach/Neuwied, in Westerwald, Germany. He was the son of button-maker, and grew up in humble circumstances. He lost his mother when he was four years old.

Agatha Wojciechowsky

1896 to 1986, Germany

Agatha Wojciechowsky was born in Stainach, Germany, and experienced her first visions already when she was four. At 27 she emigrated to America. In New York she worked as a maidservant, seamstress, laundress and kitchenhand.

Bertha Wuilleumier

1907-1999, Switzerland/USA

Bertha Flora Wuilleumier Denneler was born in Bern, Switzerland. Little is known about her life. A single letter remains, dated 1954, written in French during a stay in the Waldau psychiatric clinic in Bern; at the foot of the letter she added drawings of female figures in her characteristic style, reminiscent of girlish mannequins.

Anna Zemánková

1908 to 1986, Czech Republic

Anna Zemánková was born in Olomouc, an industrial town in southern Moravia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; its culture and architecture are characteristically late Gothic in style, and the town is rich in tradition and history.

Carlo Zinelli

1916 to 1974, Italy

Carlo Zinelli was born in San Giovanni Lupatoto, in Verona, Italy. His mother died when he was very young and as a child he had to work on a farm to provide financial support for the family.

Erich Zittra


Erich Zittra was born in Lower Austria. He did not complete primary school and did not learn to read or write. He lived with his mother, who had a small farming business.