Vienna Media News 01/2013 VIDEO: Vienna’s legendary Kunstkammer returns
In 2002 the Kunstkammer had to be closed for structural and technical reasons. Following comprehensive rehabilitation and expansion of the exhibition rooms, the collection of precious objects will reopen amid new splendor on March 1 next year. The new exhibition centers on more than 2,200 items grouped by theme in 20 different rooms covering a total of 2,700 square meters. Highlights of the new look Kunstkammer include superb goldsmithery such as the famous saliera (salt cellar) by Benvenuto Cellini, outstanding sculptures like the Krumlov madonna, beautifully sculpted bronze figurines, intricate and bizarre ivory work, rare stone vessels and priceless clocks, complex automatons, rare scientific instruments and precious games.
The origins of the Kunstkammer Wien lie in the Habsburgs' "chamber of arts and wonders", accumulated in the late Middle Ages, and the renaissance and Baroque periods. These collections included works of exceptional quality, commissioned or acquired by the emperors and other members of the imperial family. During the renaissance and Baroque eras the chambers of arts and wonders were seen as encyclopedic collections encompassing the entire knowledge of the day. Rare, curious and unusual objects were particularly valued. Princes and kings collected exotic and uncommon materials, to which they often ascribed magical powers, such as precious stones, ostrich eggs, coral, and shark's teeth, which were thought to be dragons' tongues. Artists created extraordinary masterpieces from these natural products.
Kunstkammer Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum
from Mar 1, 2013 (official opening on Feb 28, 2013)
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna
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