11 Cultural Highlights in Vienna This Spring

11 Cultural Highlights in Vienna This Spring


Even though the sunniest time of year is finally upon us, the indoors is beckoning: Vienna’s museums are filled with exciting shows and themed exhibitions.
One of the highlights can be found at the 21er Haus: the Chinese concept artist, sculptor and architect Ai Weiwei will contrast the 21er Haus, which was originally constructed as a pavilion for the world’s fair in Brussels, with the ancestral temple of a prominent Chinese family from the Ming dynasty, complemented by additional works on the subjects of transformation and translocation. The Albertina is hosting the first comprehensive retrospective of the German artist Anselm Kiefer, showing some 35 monumental major works from his famous series of woodcuts. With Masterpieces in Focus: Max Kurzweil the Belvedere is dedicating an exhibition to the creative work of an exceptional artist of the Vienna Secession, and in another show opening on 17th June the museum will explore Inspiration Photography and the use of the new medium by artists ranging from Makart to Klimt.


“Celebrate when you have the chance” appears to be the motto of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. To mark the 125th year of this Viennese institution, the special exhibition Celebration! 125 Years – Anniversary Exhibition is decorated with objects and pictures on the topic of the food, drink, dancing and music in the context of celebrations and festivities. And if that doesn’t quench your thirst for partying, then head to the Wien Museum to trace the history of amusements at Vienna’s Prater. Meet Me at the Prater! Viennese Pleasures since 1766 recalls the diverse history of the former imperial hunting grounds. The entertainment on offer ranged from spectacular hot-air balloon experiments and scenic firework displays to sporting events, only ending when the Prater was destroyed in 1944/45. In the Winter Palace, too, there is no lack of spectacle: the exhibition Princely Splendour will showcase The Power of Pomp. The finest hours of the American entertainment industry are the focus of the Jewish Museum Vienna: Stars of David shines a light on the correlations between European entertainment culture and American music. As a result of Jewish people migrating, creative innovation moved to the Anglo-American world after 1945. Jewish musicians such as Irving Berlin, Bob Dylan, Benny Goodman, Stan Getz and Lou Reed have had a lasting influence on the history of American music. Theatre lovers are faced with an unusual experiment in Five Truths at the Theater Museum: an installation by Katie Mitchell stages the famous scene in which Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet goes mad in the style of five of the most influential European theatre practitioners. Get to know Konstantin Stanislawski, Antonin Artaud, Bert Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook up close and personal.

Cult of the body and gold rush

The Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg is investigating the views that we have of our bodies and our sexualities. The exhibition Body & Soul is dedicated to our – revolutionized, redefined, but also problematized – relationship to the body in the 20th century in the mirror of modern art. A single body part is the focus of the Wien Museum’s exhibition Tip of the Hat! A Social History of the Covered Head, ranging from reactionary top hats to the ban on wearing face coverings. The majority of the exhibits on display is from the Wien Museum’s own fashion collection, one of the most significant in the whole of Europe. And there’s yet another collection of worldwide importance for you to discover: with its 600,000 objects spanning three millennia, the KHM’s Coin Collection is ranked among the five largest coin collections in the world. The Emperor’s Gold will show select pieces of gold and rare items from the Numophyliacium Imperiatoris, as the emperor’s coin collection used to be called.
Albertina: Anselm Kiefer. 18th March – 19th June 21er Haus: Ai Weiwei. transformation – translocation. 14th July – 10th November Belvedere, Upper: Masterpieces in Focus: Max Kurzweil. 11th May – 4th September Belvedere, Orangery: Inspiration Photography. 17th June – 30th October Belvedere, Winter Palace: Princely Splendour: The Power of Pomp. 18th March – 26th June Wien Museum: Meet Me at the Prater! Viennese Pleasures since 1766. 10th March – 21st August Wien Museum: Tip of the Hat! A Social History of the Covered Head. 9th June – 30th October Jewish Museum Vienna, Dorotheergasse: Stars of David. The Sound of the 20th Century. 13th April – 2nd October Theater Museum: Five Truths! 21st April – 31st October Kunsthistorisches Museum: Celebration! 125 Years – Anniversary Exhibition. 8th March – 11th September KHM Coin Collection: The Emperor’s Gold. 24th May 2016 – 5th March 2017 Essl Museum: Body & Soul. 6th April – 4th September
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