Vienna is Artistic
The Albertina, a former Habsburg palace, houses one of the most important art collections in the world. Important exhibitions take place here, and the museum's own collection is spectacular, with names such as Matisse, Renoir and Miro. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna on the Ringstrasse is devoted to Old Masters. Art treasures from all the key eras are on display here, in particular examples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods by Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt and Raphael. The museum also holds the world’s largest collection of works by Bruegel. The Kunstkammer is one of the most important in the world: More than 2,100 objects, collected over centuries by the Habsburgs, are on show.
The Baroque Belvedere Palace is home to the biggest collection of Klimt’s in the world, including The Kiss. The Secession Building, which was used as an exhibition space by Klimt‘s secessionist group of artists, awaits at Karlsplatz. While Klimt’s world-famous “Beethoven Frieze” can be marveled at on the ground floor, contemporary art is presented in the main exhibition room.
Renowned 20th century artists are represented at the MuseumsQuartier. Built by Baroque architect Fischer von Erlach, the former court stables now host a whole new district. The courtyard is once again brimming with life thanks to the Leopold Museum — the Schiele collection is world-renowned — the Museum Moderner Kunst ludwig foundation vienna (mumok), Kunsthalle Wien, Architekturzentrum Wien, Designforum, and various shops, cafés and restaurants. The Belvedere 21 near the Upper Belvedere, built in 1958 for the World Expo, has been renovated and shows Austrian art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since 2020, Vienna has been enriched with another museum for contemporary art: The Albertina modern is a branch of the world-famous Albertina and occupies around 2,500 m² in the totally renovated Künstlerhaus. The most important collection of Austria art post-1945, the Essl Collection, and the Jablonka Collection form the foundation of this new art hot spot. Numerous galleries, especially in the 1st and 4th districts, also offer contemporary art and impress with small, but mighty exhibitions on their premises. historic bread factory in the 10th district is now home to more than ten institutions of contemporary art, including Galerie OstLicht, which together with WestLicht has dedicated itself entirely to photography.
Photographic art can also be marveled at in the Kunst Haus Wien, which was designed by the Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser – together with the nearby Hundertwasserhaus – in his very own style.
Young artists also create a buzz about themselves every year in the autumn at the viennacontemporary art fair Parallel Vienna, at the gallery festival curated by, and in November at Vienna Art Week. Art fairs are also held in the spring – e.g. the SPARK Art Fair established in 2021. The festival Foto Wien, which organizes photographic exhibitions throughout the city for a whole month, has also been held in spring since 2019. This special photo show takes place every two years. Local creative types also show their works during Vienna Design Week. Stars on the Austrian and international art scene can always be found at the Albertina modern, Belvedere 21, the mumok and the Museum of Applied Arts, or MAK for short.
A rest in one of the city's traditional coffee houses is highly recommended following a visit to one of the museums. Take a seat — with any luck it will be a Thonet — and treat yourself. This too is very much a part of Viennese culture.
Facts and figures “Art”
- Vienna has more than 100 museums. (Source: www.wien.gv.at/ma53/museen/museen.htm)
- World’s biggest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt in the Upper Belvedere: 24 paintings (incl. "The Kiss"). (Source: www.belvedere.at)
- World's biggest collection of drawings by Gustav Klimt in the Vienna Museum: 400 drawings (not on permanent display). (Source: www.wien.gv.at/presse/2012/05/15/weltweit-groesste-klimt-sammlung-im-wien-museum)
- World's biggest Egon Schiele collection in the Leopold Museum: 42 paintings, 187 original graphics (drawings and colored sheets) and manuscripts (letters, etc.). (Source: www.leopoldmuseum.org/de/sammlung/egon-schiele)
- Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna:
- 12 paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder – the world’s biggest collection
- world's biggest collection of Flemish paintings: 800 paintings
- one of the biggest collection of Venetian painting in the world (with works from all of Titian's creative periods): 400 paintings
- biggest and most important art chamber in the world: 2,200 objects
- The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna was voted one of the 15 most beautiful museums in the world in 2017 by Condé Nast Traveler. (Source: www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2016-02-25/the-most-beautiful-museums-in-the-world)
- Albertina: one of the biggest graphic collections in the world – around 900,000 graphic reproductions and about 50,000 drawings and watercolors (incl. Albrecht Dürer's "Young Hare", which is not on permanent display, however). (Source: sammlungenonline.albertina.at)
- MuseumsQuartier: one of the ten biggest cultural areas in the world (total area of 87,800 m²). (Source: www.mqw.at)
- The collection of the mumok – museum of modern art ludwig foundation vienna encompasses around 10,000 works. It is therefore the biggest museum of modern and contemporary art in Central Europe, which also owns the world's biggest museum collection on Viennese Actionism. (Source: www.mumok.at/de/uber-mumok)
- Austria (largely thanks to Vienna) had a market share of 1 percent of the world market for art auctions in 2018 (the same as Germany, Italy or Switzerland). (Source: The Art Market 2019. An Art Basel & UBS Report, published by Dr. Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics)