Let's Go
A New Era for the Wien Museum

8 November 2018 to 3 February 2019

1040 Vienna, Karlsplatz 8
P: +43 (0)1 505 87 47
F: +43 (0)1 505 87 47 7201

The Wien Museum Karlsplatz is to be renovated and extended in the coming years. The building, opened in 1959 and designed by Oswald Haerdtl, is to be transformed into a city museum that embraces the future. It will incorporate more space for exhibitions, purpose-built areas for educational programmes and school classes, functional spaces for events and appealing cuisine. One of the city's hubs and an attractive destination for all target audiences.

Prior to the museum closing temporarily for the planned redevelopment, the exhibition Let’s Go! A New Era for the Wien Museum is once again to take a concentrated look at the diversity of our programme and, above all, arouse interest in what is to come!

To this end, five galleries on the museum's top floor are each to host a presentation on fundamental topics such as history, discourse, participation, responsibility and space.

Wien Museum Neu

The Wien Museum Neu project is of central importance to the cultural policy of Vienna’s municipal government. Once completed, it is to provide Vienna with a city museum that does justice to the needs of a major city and offers the kind of space that such a top-flight city collection deserves. Inseparably linked to the project is the enormous upgrade of the east side of Karlsplatz, a major urban renewal initiative. The goal is not only a major contemporary museum but a lively public space for all – where the pulse of the city is present.

Under the supervision of Florian Pollack, an updated rendering of the new museum on Karlsplatz will be on view in the first room of the exhibition, along with a video created by the graphic artist Stefanie Hilgarth ans Wolfgang Haas/CastYourArt that is all about the extension project. Matti Bunzl, director of the Wien Museum, will be present at set times in order to receive requests and suggestions from visitors for the the Wien Museum Neu.

Pairwise – Oskar Laske’s wall frieze Noah’s Ark

In an allusion to the process surrounding the Wien Museum Neu, the next room of the exhibition Let’s Go! A New Era for the Wien Museum displays excerpts from Oskar Laske’s wall frieze Noah's Ark, curated by Ursula Storch. The frieze, which Laske produced for the war orphan home in Rodaun, portrays the animals entering Noah's ark in pairs and disembarking after the flood has passed.

The animal frieze was originally over 80 meters long, in the form of individual images of various widths displayed in four rooms of the Rodauner children’s home (today's address: 1230 Vienna, Elisenstraße 45). In 1943, it was removed due to renovation works and given to the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna together with Laske's original plans showing how to display the artwork.

A generous selection of these animal paintings are to be shown for the first time in 75 years. Some of these pictures were already restored in previous years and therefore preserved for posterity, visitors can see others being cleaned and stabilized in public by experienced restorers during the exhibition.

Three Buildings by Karl Schwanzer photographed by Sigrid Neubert

Following the donation of Karl Schwanzer's archive in May 2018, the Wien Museum acquired one of the most significant and valuable collections of the personal effects of a twentieth-century architect in Austria. The archive contains thousands of drawings, plans and photographs, films, books and models as well as pieces of furniture; it holds a mirror up to architectural and cultural history after 1945 and is to be made publicly accessible, including for the purposes of scholarly research.

Sigrid Neubert, one of Germany’s most important architectural photographers, has shot many of Schwanzer’s buildings. Three of his major works were chosen for this exhibition, reflecting different phases and areas of activity in the architect's oeuvre: his own residence in Vienna, the BMW building in Munich and the Austrian embassy in Brasília. At the same time, they provide a foretaste of the major Karl Schwanzer exhibition to be displayed in the new Wien Museum.

Friends of the Vienna Museum, Purchases, 1987 to 2018

Founded in 1987, the Association of Friends of the Wien Museum supports the museum in keeping the history of Vienna alive and preserving the city's rich cultural heritage for future generations. Where the central task of collecting is concerned, the support of the Friends’ Association plays an important role. Even in the face of a declining acquisitions budget, the demands placed upon the universal museum remain unchanged: historical documents must continue to be acquired.

The exciting discourse on expanding the museum’s collection has accompanied the Friends’ Association since its foundation thirty years ago. The exhibition curated by Eva-Maria Orosz and presented here displays a selection of the numerous acquisitions made through the Association or with its financial support. The great diversity of the Wien Museum collections is reflected in these acquisitions: from paintings through valuable copperplate engravings to press photographs, timepieces and fashion items.

A History of the Republic in Ten Objects

Curated by Gerhard Milchram and Matti Bunzl, the fifth exhibition room examines 100 years of history following the declaration of a Republic in Austria at the end of World War I. The period is broken down into 10 decades (1918–28, 1928–38, etc.), with a characteristic object from the Wien Museum collection displayed for each.

These objects provide the starting point for 100 Years of the Republic of Austria:
10 decades in 10 hours – a series of talks organized to coincide with the 3rd Vienna Humanities Festivals (27–30 September 2018) and to which Wien Museum director Matti Bunzl has invited Austria’s leading historians to review the history of the Republic decade by decade. Recordings of the 10 discussions can then be viewed on screens in this room during the exhibition Let’s Go! A New Era for the Wien Museum.


Let's Go
A New Era for the Wien Museum - Informationen


„Am 4. Februar startet der Archen-ähnliche Neubau auf dem denkmalgeschützten Altbau, bis dahin wird im 1. Stock auf den Flächen der zuletzt gefeierten Otto-Wagner-Schau die Ausstellung "Gemma, Gemma. Das Wien Museum im Aufbruch" Richtung Zukunft geblickt. […] Nicht nur als passendes Thema für den Auszug hat Kuratorin Ursula Storch die Tierpaare der Arche Noah in dynamischer Bewegung ausgewählt, sie ermöglichen auch Einblick in die Museumsarbeit durch eine Schaurestaurierung während der Ausstellung, die ebenso Fragen des Publikums berücksichtigt.“
Brigitte Borchhardt-Birbaumer, Wiener Zeitung, Printausgabe, 13.11.2018

„Langsam verabschiedet sich das Wien Museum vom Innenleben des Oswald-Haerdtl-Gebäudes auf dem Karlsplatz. Vor der Räumung ab Februar 2019 wurde eine Abschiedsausstellung zusammengestellt – mit Werken aus allen Epochen, mit großen Dingen und kleinen Kuriositäten. Originelles Adieu!“
Thomas Gabler, Kronen Zeitung, Printausgabe, 8.11.2018

Main Sponsor of the Wien Museum

Wiener Stadtwerke www.wienerstadtwerke.at