Daily Culture and Social Life

The Wien Museum is home to a diverse range of objects and pictures reflecting Vienna’s everyday, cultural and social history since 1500. The spectrum of subjects encompasses broad areas of urban life: migration, work, leisure, housing, household, traffic, consumerism, nutrition, gastronomy, physical culture, sport, health, hygiene, social welfare, customs and family life. 

One focus of the collection is devoted to the change in the professions and guilds from the 18th through into the early 20th century. Of particular interest are the graphic drawings, porcelain figures, photographs and watercolours of the “Kaufrufe” (“Market Criers”) series as well as those of the “Wiener Typen” (“Viennese Types”) and “Wiener Szenen” (“Viennese Scenes”). Besides works from the applied arts, guild, house and shop signs can be found, such as that of the material and spices merchant “Der schmeckende Wurm” (“The Smelling Lindworm”) dating from the first half of the 18th century. Guild objects like guild chests and flags as well as artistically designed certificates for apprentices and journeymen are further highlights of this sub-collection. 

Complementing the Furniture Collection of the Art Department, which focuses on the bourgeois style of living of the 19th century, the “History and City Life” Collection also documents the style of living of broader segments of the population. Here the collection’s focal point is the 20th century. Among the most outstanding objects are the items of furniture entitled “Soziale Wohnkultur” (“Social Style of Living”, 1954-1976), a project of the post-war reconstruction effort that was intended to enable as many Viennese citizens as possible to “live in a modern way”. 

The history of Viennese consumerism is revealed in the Museum by means of objects garnered from markets, shops and firms – for instance, the complete interior furnishings of the hairdressing salon “Marko” around 1900, or commercial signs from the 1920s and 1930s. Historical menus, depictions of gastronomic décor, and everyday objects bear witness to the history of nutrition and gastronomy. Materials used for inns and coffeehouses, and documents concerning public distribution of food are also to be found. 

In the area of leisure and entertainment, the spectrum spans from a collection containing more than 2,000 free gifts handed out at Viennese balls since the 19th century, right up to football fan articles from the 2008 European Cup championships. 

Besides those objects which convey specific elements of city life, the Wien Museum also collects items which visualise representations and clichés of Vienna, from the powder compact with depictions of Viennese sights from the 1950s up to oven cloths with a printed recipe of the Viennese Schnitzel (21st century).


MAG. DR. MICHAELA KRONBERGER (history and city life until 1500: Archaeology and Guilds - interim)
P: +43 1 505 87 47 84054
E: michaela.kronberger(at)wienmuseum.at

MAG. DR. MARTINA NUSSBAUER (history and city life 1500-1918: consumer and company history (inns, coffeehouses, department stores, markets, hotels, advertising), sport, representations and clichés of Vienna, house and street signs professions and work life)
P: +43 1 505 87 47 84029
E: martina.nussbaumer(at)wienmuseum.at

Mag. Susanne Winkler freemasonry) (Sabbatical until April 30th, 2019.)
P: +43 1 505 87 47 84043
E: susanne.winkler(at)wienmuseum.at

Dr. Werner Michael Schwarz (history and city life since 1918: media, leisure and pleasure culture, sport, working world)
P: +43 (0)1 505 87 47 84042
E: werner-michael.schwarz(at)wienmuseum.at