1220 Donaustadt


Pages: 16 + cover
Edition: 5 + artists copy (first edition)

Film: ,

5 in stock

Buy a print


Alexander-Mell-Gasse (Hirschstetten), named in 1968 after the civil servant and teacher for the blind Alexander Mell (February 17, 1850– September 30, 1931).

Alexander Mell studied natural sciences at the University of Graz and then from 1876 was a teacher at the grammar school in Marburg an der Drau. During this time he married Marie Rocek. With her he had four children, including the writer Max Mell and the actress Mary Mell.

After working as a professor at a teacher training institute, he became head of the k.u.k. Educational institution for the blind. He incorporated its own printing facility (Braille) and a lending library for the blind into the institute.

Mell not only contributed to improving the teaching but also ensured that specialist teachers were adequately trained.

In the years 1896 to 1898 Mell had the institute building in Vienna renovated and in 1910 he built a holiday home for the blind in Waldamt-Prolling, Lower Austria; probably the first of its kind. He also expanded the Museum for the Blind in Vienna, founded by Johann Wilhelm Klein, thereby bringing the history of education for the blind to the attention of society.

With regard to the theory and practice of pedagogy for the blind, Mell has done lasting reformatory work. His main pedagogical goal was to develop the independence of the blind in school and later in the profession and to turn them from an object of compassion into capable and equal members of human society.

Through his international contacts, Mell brought the 23rd Congress of German Teachers for the Blind to Vienna. During the First World War, Mell was active in the care of the war blind and tried very hard to reintegrate them into working life. Austria thanked for this with the honorary title of Hofrat.

From 1914 he was responsible as an inspector for all Austrian institutions for the blind. In 1919 he submitted for his retirement. The journals Der Blindenfreund and Eos had one of their most capable editors in him. Even after his retirement, Mell continued to publish there.

Alexander Mell died in Vienna on September 30, 1931 at the age of 81.