Description of Volkerkundemuseum
Volkerkundemuseum is an ethnological museum with a
collection of weapons, furniture, clothes, masks, musical
instruments from various regions of the World including Africa,
Polynesia, Australia, South East Asia and other regions. Some of the
most interesting items come from the Eskimo cultures that live in
the Arctic as well as large collection of pre-Columbian Mexican
nations from the jungles of Mesoamerica. The latter includes
exquisite feathered head dress worn by Aztec ruler.
Ethnographic collections of the
As early as the 16th century, ethnographic
objects were collected in the so-called chambers of art and
curiosities. Important pieces, such as a feather crown from the time
of Montezuma, were found in the "Ambraser Collection" by Archduke
Ferdinand II of Tyrol, which was moved to Vienna during the
The Collection v. a. through expeditions and
trips undertaken in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the
circumnavigator James Cook (1728–1779) (Emperor Franz I had objects
auctioned in London at the beginning of the 19th century), the
naturalist Johann Natterer (Austrian Brazil Expedition 1817-1836)
and by the Austrian frigate "Novara".
From 1876 the holdings
of the anthropological-ethnographic department of the
"Naturhistorisches Hofmuseum", which later became the
Naturhistorisches Museum, were taken over. This included the
collection of the Austrian heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand of
Austria-Este, who had traveled the world in 1892/93. It alone
comprises around 14,000 objects.
Museum of Ethnology
Finally, on May 25, 1928, the “Museum of Ethnology” was opened in
the Corps de Logis of the New Castle, which was originally planned
as a residential wing. In the post-war period, decisive renovation
measures were carried out. This made it possible to expand the
program, which was characterized by numerous temporary exhibitions.
Matzen Castle and the Charterhouse Gaming acted as branch offices of
were carried out in the 1990s and 2000s. For example, the cellar
rooms were expanded into depots, in which the museum's collections
are now located. In 2001 the museum became part of the KHM
Museumsverband as part of the spin-off of the federal museums. Due
to further work on the building, the house had to be closed from
2004 to 2007. With a large Benin exhibition, the museum was reopened
in May 2007 after extensive renovation. However, this only applied
to special exhibitions. The permanent exhibition has not been open
to the public since 2001.
World Museum Vienna
2013 the museum was renamed Weltmuseum Wien.
2014 the museum for conversions was closed. Minister of Culture
Josef Ostermayer called for a redimensioning of the redesign for
financial reasons. In January 2015 it became known that the World
Museum should be reduced to 3900 square meters of exhibition space.
At the same time a house of history with around 3000 square meters
of exhibition space was to be created. The Weltmuseum Wien was
reopened on October 25, 2017 with an open air designed by Andre
Heller at Heldenplatz.
Focus of the collection
has over 250,000 ethnographic objects, over 140,000 historical
photographs and 146,000 pamphlets on the culture and history of
non-European peoples. In addition to the Cook collection, with
objects from Oceania and North America, there are pre-Columbian
feather works such as the last existing feather crown from the time
of Montezuma, the large collection of Johann Natterer from the
Austrian Brazil Expedition, bronzes from the West African Kingdom of
Benin and about 14,000 objects, had the heir to the throne Franz
Ferdinand gathered on his world tour.
The World Museum Vienna
houses nine collections:
Africa southern of the Sahara
Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Siberia
East Asia: Korea,
South, South Asia, Himalayas
Oceania and Australia
North and Central
Sabine Haag has
been General Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum with Museum of
Ethnology and Austrian Theater Museum since the beginning of 2009.
From 2010, after Christian Feest's departure, she also headed the
Museum of Ethnology on an interim basis. On May 1, 2012, the Dutch
Steven Engelsman became director of the museum. Christian
Schicklgruber succeeded him in this position on January 1, 2018.
Management since 1928:
Fritz Röck: 1928-1945
Leopold Schmidt: 1954-1955 (temporary
Etta Becker-Donner: 1955-1975
Armand Duchateau: 1993-1994 (interim director)
Gabriele Weiss: 2002-2004 (interim management)
Christian Feest: 2004-2010
Sabine Haag: 2010–2012 (represented by
Steven Engelsman: 2012-2017
Schicklgruber: since 2018