The Secession, an association of visual artists and an exhibition house in Vienna, offers a wide range of exhibitions by international artists. Worldwide, it is the oldest independent exhibition institution specifically dedicated to contemporary art that is led by artists. The Secession was founded back in 1897 by Gustav Klimt and a group of other artists who had dissociated from the conservative Association of Austrian Artists. Among the founding members of the Secession were artists like the painters Molo Moser and Carl Moll and the architects Josef Hoffmann and Joseph Maria Olbrich. While Klimt became the first president of the artist association, Olbrich designed the exhibition house.