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A Guide to Vienna’s best Art Galleries

January 14, 2015 4:18 pm by

You might not know it but Vienna is a hub of artistic talent – both past and present. For centuries the Austrian capital has been a source of inspiration and has championed the vision and expression of painters, sculptors and sketchers through the creation of museums and galleries which were built to house the collections of the monarchy and aristocracy.

Now, these museums have become an extension of older collections and over time, through careful investment, have grown into some of the most important museums and galleries in the world. Visitors can see a wide range of art and sculpture that dates back to the Empire and further, to contemporary artworks like that of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt – two of Austria’s most loved painters.

Albertina

Set within the grand Hofburg Palace, the Albertina Museum is one of the most popular art galleries in the city – and certainly one of the most impressive in architecture. Founded in 1776, this cultural museum is full of works of art from modern graphic to impressionism.

Visitors can expect to see masterpieces by the great artists such as Monet, Klimt, Picasso and Degas – among others. So art aficionados, this is a great gallery for you. In the vast collection there are over 65,000 drawings and over 1 million master prints – so you might have to come back to Vienna again to see it all!

We’d recommend you look out for the Print Room, one of the largest and most important in the world, as well as the 21 State Rooms within the Albertina itself. Belonging to the imperial Habsburg family you can see their lavish tastes echoed throughout these impressive rooms. Don’t forget to see The Batliner Collection either, which showcases a collection of French Impressionism to Russian avant-garde, and Monet to Picasso, spanning over 130 years.

Save €11,90 with free entry to this prestigious art museum and gallery.

Leopold Museum

A more modern collection of art, the Leopold Museum is one of the city’s most important galleries due to the focus on Viennese art and that of the first half of the 20th century. Right in the middle of the MuseumsQuartier, the Leopold Museum was born out of a private collection by Dr Rudolf Leopold and thanks to his keen eye it has developed into a priceless exhibition on a range of topics and subjects.

The Leopold Museum is a great place to visit to admire some of the best Viennese artists of the modern and contemporary movements. The gallery is home to the largest collection of Egon Schiele works of art in the world, where you can see 41 original paintings and 188 of his works on paper. As one of the greatest Austrian painters, this exhibition is a great chance to view a real Austrian talent.

The Vienna 1900 exhibition looks at the fin de siècle art movement in Austria where visitors can see works of art on display by Gustav Klimt, Richard Gerstl and Oskar Kokoschka – it’s one for those looking to be inspired and stimulated and one that will leave you appreciating Viennese artists at their best.

With the Vienna PASS you can enjoy this gallery for free and save €12 on entry.

Mumok

One of the finest modern and contemporary museums, the mumok (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation) features works from the 20th and 21st centuries including pieces by the iconic artists Warhol and Picasso. The mumok is well worth a visit if you prefer more abstract art world to classical culture.

The mumok has some brilliant pop art pieces by Warhol and Yoko Ono and has only been open since 1962. Now there are over 9,000 works of art on display from Classical Modernism, to Pop Art and the Viennese Actionism movements. Some other names you’ll find on display are those of John Chamberlain, Roy Lichtenstein and Niki de Saint-Phalle, among others.

An interesting section of this gallery is the Viennese Actionism movement which features the capital’s short and violent movement unique unto its contemporary context.

Visit this fascinating museum for free and save €10 with your Vienna PASS.

Museum of Art History

Built as part of a pair, the Museum of Art History is one of two identical buildings – akin to its sister museum, the Museum of Natural History. The Museum of Art History has the famous Kunstkammer its chamber of ‘art and wonders’, as well as an impressive historical coin collection and the works of art of some of the most esteemed artists such as Vermeer, Raphael and Van Dyke.

The Kunstkammer is one of the most must-see exhibitions in the museum. Having started from the Imperial Habsburgs collecting the odd nick-nack and precious item, this collection has now grown into one of the most important of its kind. Today there are over 2,200 ‘curios’ on display including carvings, paintings, fossilised sharks teeth and much, much more! The collection was originally meant to reflect worldly knowledge, as was the belief and symbolism at the time, and now the Museum of Art History has inherited a wonderful collection of anything and everything!

As one of the finest art galleries in Europe, the Museum is home to some of the most priceless pieces in the world. Visitors can admire works by Titian, Veronese, Rubens and Van Dyke as the exhibition focusses on central European art in particular. Look out for the portraits of the Habsburg family too, to give it all context.

Make the most of this wonderful art gallery and visit for free with a Vienna PASS and save €14!

Kunst Haus – Hundertwasser Museum

One of the most iconic buildings in Vienna, the Kunst Haus – literally meaning ‘Art House’ – is one of the most vibrant and eclectic in the entire city. Another contemporary art gallery, it’s a must-see when you’re in Vienna looking for some artistic and architectural inspiration. You literally can’t miss it – its famous façade is one of the most iconic in the world and it promises both stimulation within and without its doors.

The Kunst Haus Hundertwasser Museum is dedicated to the works of whom it’s named after, Friedensreich Hunderstwasser. The works include paintings, graphics, art and designs and the collection is a brilliant and varied one.

Set in the old Thornet furniture factory, Kunst Haus is a must-see when you’re in Vienna and is one of the most impressive buildings in Austria – if not in the world. So don’t miss it and don’t forget your camera, it’s well worth a photo opportunity, too!

With the Vienna PASS you can enjoy this interesting exhibition for free and save €12 on entry fee.

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