Universalmuseum Joanneum (Graz)

Raubergasse 10 (Natural Science)

Tel. 0316- 8017 9660


Description of Universalmuseum Joanneum

The Universalmuseum Joanneum, formerly Landesmuseum Joanneum, is a museum with 12 locations in Graz and in Styria. It was named after Archduke Johann, the founder of the museum. It is the oldest and after the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna also the second largest museum in Austria. More than 4.5 million collection objects form the basis of a multifaceted exhibition and event program that conveys a broad spectrum of culture and science. The following museums belong to the Universalmuseum Joanneum: In Graz: Kunsthaus Graz, Landeszeughaus, Museum im Palais, Folklore Museum, Eggenberg Castle (State Rooms & Park, Old Gallery, Coin Cabinet, Museum of Archeology), Joanneum Quarter (New Gallery Graz with BRUSEUM, Multimedia Collections, Natural History Museum) Styria: Austrian Sculpture Park, Trautenfels Castle, Roman Museum Flavia Solva, Stainz Castle (Hunting Museum and Agricultural Museum), Rosegger Birthplace Alpl, Rosegger-Museum Krieglach.



The Joanneum was founded by Archduke Johann in 1811, originally it was both a museum and a teaching institution. Several famous scientists taught and researched around the Archduke's extensive natural science collections: Friedrich Mohs developed the hardness scale for minerals named after him at the Joanneum, and the father of paleobotany, Franz Unger, also passed on his knowledge to students here. The writer and historian Johann Ritter von Kalchberg was also involved in setting up the facility when it was founded. In 1864, the Joanneum was given the rank of "k.k. Technical University”, which later became the Technical University of Graz. The spatial and organizational separation of the university from the overall institution was followed in 1887 by the decision to combine the Joanneum collections in a state museum.

In the years that followed, the Joanne collections were reorganized in the Lesliehof in Graz's Raubergasse, the so-called Old Joanneum. Shortly after the reinstallation, however, there was again a lack of space and between 1890 and 1895 a new museum building was erected in Neutorgasse – in the immediate vicinity of the Lesliehof – which was designed by August Gunold in the Viennese Neo-Baroque style. This representative building, the New Joanneum, was home to the "Museum of Cultural History and Applied Arts", which also included the collection of medieval art. The State Picture Gallery also moved to this new address.

In 1941, the Landesbildergalerie was finally divided into a department for art up to around 1800 ("Alte Galerie") and another for more recent art ("Neue Galerie").

The two opposite buildings of the old and new Joanneum were extensively renovated from 2010 to 2013 and connected underground to the Joanneum Quarter. On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Joanneum, the Neue Galerie Graz and the multimedia collections were located here in 2011. With the opening of the newly designed natural history museum on March 15, 2013, this project, which was supported by the Styrian provincial government with a substantial special budget, was completed for the time being.

Developments in the 21st century
The 21st century began for the Joanneum with the spin-off of the museum from the state administration: In order to remain competitive in the international museum business, the non-profit Landesmuseum Joanneum GmbH was founded in 2003. The universal museum Joanneum has reached its current form through the constant incorporation and spin-off of individual museums, making it the largest universal museum of its kind in Central Europe:

• In 2003 Graz was “European Capital of Culture” and in this context the Kunsthaus Graz was opened as part of the Joanneum. The Folklore Museum was reorganized in 2003 and the Künstlerhaus Graz was taken over.

• In 2004, the provincial Roman collection was reorganized with the opening of the lapidarium in the park of Schloss Eggenberg and the Flavia Solva museum pavilion. The planetary garden in Eggenberger Schlosspark was also opened in 2004.

• In 2005 the old gallery moved to Schloss Eggenberg and was repositioned there, and the manorial gartel in the castle park was renovated. The Joanneum Museum Academy was founded in the same year and has been headed by Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen since 2014.

• In 2006 the Stainz Castle Hunting Museum was opened and the temporary exhibition rooms in Eggenberg Castle were completed.

• In 2007 the operation of the Austrian Sculpture Park was taken over. The coin cabinet was opened in Schloss Eggenberg with a reorganization of the coin collection.

• In 2008 the display collection in the folklore museum was given a new design.

• In 2009, with the opening of the new archeology museum in the park of Schloss Eggenberg, the archaeological collections were reorganized, as was the agricultural museum at Schloss Stainz. The Study and Collection Center (SSZ) was put into operation in Graz-Andritz in 2009.

• In 2010 the ground-breaking ceremony for the Joanneum Quarter took place.

• In 2011, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Joanneum, the Joanneum district with the Neue Galerie Graz, the BRUSEUM and the multimedia collections was opened. In the Palais Herberstein, the old location of the Neue Galerie, the cultural history collection was reorganized in the "Museum im Palais".

• In 2012 the Flavia Solva Roman Museum underwent a relaunch. The Künstlerhaus Graz, which opened in 1952, was spun off from the responsibility of the Joanneum in 2012 and has been operated by the Kunstverein Medienturm as a hall for art and media since 2013.


• In 2013, the reorganization of the natural history collections in the Natural History Museum in the Joanneum Quarter was presented. The cannon hall in the state arsenal was also given a new look. The Rosegger Museum in Krieglach and the Rosegger birthplace in Alpl became part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum in 2013.

• In 2017, the Museum of History in the Palais Herberstein was opened as a joint house for the Cultural History Collection and the Multimedia Collections. The Flavia Solva archaeological site also got a relaunch.

• In 2019, the Austrian Open-Air Museum in Stübing came under the umbrella of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, the CoSA - Center of Science Activities was opened in the Joanneum district in cooperation with the Graz children's museum FRida & freD and the Renaissance and Baroque collection in the Old Gallery was exhibited under the title " Between dance and death. Episodes of the Early Modern Era” reorganized.

• In 2020 the Kunsthaus Graz was spun off from the Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH.

organization and staff
The Universalmuseum Joanneum employs around 500 people and enjoys international recognition. More than 4.9 million items from the collection form the basis for the exhibition and event program, which conveys a broad spectrum of history, art, culture and science. This tradition-steeped institution is thus following its founding mission of collecting, preserving, researching and communicating.

Run for a long time as an office of the Styrian provincial administration, the Joanneum was converted into a non-profit limited company in 2003, headed by two managing directors: Peter Pakesch as artistic director and Wolfgang Muchitsch as scientific director. With this step, the Landesmuseum Joanneum GmbH gained more responsibility and autonomy in terms of personnel and budgets. However, following Archduke Johann's foundation, the province of Styria remains the owner of the properties and holder of the property rights to the museum. In September 2009 the name was changed to Universalmuseum Joanneum. From October 15, 2015 to December 31, 2017, Wolfgang Muchitsch was the sole managing director of the GmbH. On January 1, 2018, Alexia Getzinger was appointed commercial director.

1977-1994: Dr. Friedrich Waidacher
1995-1999 Dr. Barbara Kaiser (Director)
2000 dr Odo Burböck (Managing Director)
2001-2002 PhD Odo Burbock (Director)
2003-2015 Peter Pakesch (Artistic Director) and HR Dr. Wolfgang Muchitsch (Director)
2015-2017 HR Dr. Wolfgang Muchitsch (Director)
Since 2018 HR Dr. Wolfgang Muchitsch (scientific director), Alexia Getzinger, MAS (commercial director)



The collections and exhibits are housed and presented in buildings, most of which are testimonies to historical architecture: castles, noble palaces, former monasteries and the Landesarmory in Graz, which is unique in the world as the largest preserved historical armory. But striking examples of modern architecture can also be found in the association of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, e.g. B. the Kunsthaus Graz (2003), the Römermuseum Flavia Solva (2004) and the new archeology museum in the park of Schloss Eggenberg (2009). In 2006, the Madrid architects' office Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, together with the Graz office eep architekten, won the tender for the new visitor center that will be built underground in the courtyard of the Neutorgasse and Raubergasse buildings; the opening took place in 2011.

Locations in Graz

State Armory
The unique Landesarsenal in Graz is considered to be the largest preserved historical armory in the world. Commissioned by the Styrian estates, Antonio Solar built the “landscape arsenal” between 1642 and 1644. Up until the 18th century, it was the most important weapons depot in the south-east of the Habsburg Empire. When Maria Theresa centralized the army, the armory was closed, but remained as a "monument to the history of the country". The Landesarsenal has been part of the Joanneum since 1892 and conveys the atmosphere of an original armory from the 17th century. 32,000 exhibits have been preserved, including armour, mail, helmets, weapons and other war implements.

Joanneum district
New Gallery Graz
The Neue Galerie Graz was created in 1941 by dividing the Joanneum's Landesbildergalerie, founded in 1811, into an old and a new gallery, with the latter taking over the holdings from the 19th and 20th centuries as the new museum department. The collection includes important holdings of fine art from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the present. The Neue Galerie also has a graphic collection with around 40,000 works, a photo collection and a film and video collection. Regular special exhibitions show international and Austrian contemporary art as well as works from the 19th and 20th centuries. Since 2011, the Neue Galerie has been located in the premises of the New Joanneum in the redesigned Joanneum Quarter. In addition to a permanent exhibition, special exhibitions and the so-called Bruseum with works by Günter Brus can be visited. In 2017 the studio series of the Neue Galerie Graz, which had been built up from the 1990s to 2010, was resumed. The studio serves as a platform for young artists who are not yet fully established in the art world or who are at the beginning of their careers, as well as an instrument for the promotion and documentation of young art.

Natural History Museum
In 2013, the redesigned Natural History Museum (Graz) was opened in the Joanneum Quarter on the premises of the Old Joanneum. In a modern presentation, the permanent exhibition conveys selected topics relating to the diversity of animate and inanimate nature. On display are objects from all of the natural science collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum (botany, geology, palaeontology, mineralogy, zoology). Special exhibitions enable in-depth examination of changing themes.

Center of Science Activities (CoSA)
The Center of Science Activities (CoSA) is a science center in the Natural History Museum, in which technology and natural sciences are conveyed in a low-threshold manner. It was opened in 2019 after a four-year planning phase as a joint project of the Graz children's museum FRida & freD and the Universalmuseum Joanneum. A special feature of the CoSA is the combination of storytelling, augmented reality and gamification for knowledge transfer in the museum sector.

Kunsthaus Graz
The Kunsthaus Graz, an exhibition house that combines international contemporary art with regional and local themes and tasks.

It shows exhibitions on current social issues, initiates the creation of new works of art and implements a wide range of educational projects. In addition, it promotes engagement with art, design, architecture and exhibiting itself. In order to realize its visions, the Kunsthaus Graz works together with a network of partner institutions - worldwide and locally. The Kunsthaus Graz opened its doors in 2003 as the architectural conclusion of the "European Capital of Culture year". In the meantime, the "Friendly Alien" with its biomorphic architecture by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier is not only a magnet for people interested in art and culture from all over the world, but also an essential part of the urban identity of the city of Graz.

As an exhibition center for contemporary art, it has been showing Austrian and international art since 1960. The BIX media façade of the Kunsthaus Graz, designed by the Berlin designers "realities:united", represents a unique fusion of architecture and media technology. Like an urban screen, it serves as an instrument for artistic communication.

In 2019, the Kunsthaus Graz was spun off from the Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH and has since been managed by the Kunsthaus Graz GmbH. This is owned equally by the city of Graz and Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH, a company owned by the province of Styria.


History Museum

The History Museum invites you to explore the development and transformation of Styria from the Middle Ages to the present day. The basis of the exhibitions in the Museum of History are two collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum: The cultural-historical collection is dedicated to the cultural epochs of Styria and the arts and crafts production in this state. The multimedia collections document regional history in photos, film and sound. The architecture of this museum location is also historically valuable: the Palais Herberstein on Sackstraße is one of the most important architectural monuments in Graz's old town. The impressive staircase opens up to a ceiling fresco attributed to the Styrian painter Philipp Carl Laubmann (1709–1792). Since April 2017, two light works by the artist Brigitte Kowanz have been on display there and in the north entrance of the palace.

Eggenberg Castle
Eggenberg Castle, the most important castle complex in Styria, is surrounded by a spacious landscaped garden. Modeled on the Spanish Escorial, it is both an impressive representative building and a complex allegory of the universe. The center of the multi-layered intellectual structure is a valuable ensemble of historic interiors. The cycle of 24 state rooms with original furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries is one of the most important ensembles of historic interiors in Austria. The highlight of this series of rooms is the planetary hall, completed in 1685, which owes its name to the cycle of paintings by the court painter Hans Adam Weissenkircher. With its multi-layered pictorial program, which merges astrological and hermetic ideas, number symbolism and family mythology into a complex allegory to the glory of the Eggenberg family, it is one of the most impressive interior works of early Baroque art in Central Europe. In August 2010, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee expanded the existing World Heritage site “Graz – Historical Center” to include Eggenberg Castle.

Old gallery
The Alte Galerie collection contains masterpieces of European art from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.[4] The permanent exhibition in Schloss Eggenberg is set up according to an innovative concept: no longer arranged chronologically, but by subject, exhibits e.g. B. by Lucas Cranach d. Ä., Pieter Brueghel the Younger or Martin Johann Schmidt as well as outstanding medieval works such as the Admonter Madonna to stroll between the ages. Thematically changing special exhibitions complement the multifaceted range of images in the permanent exhibition. The holdings of the Kupferstichkabinett of the Alte Galerie can be viewed by prior arrangement and contain hand drawings and prints from 1500 to the end of the 18th century. Among them are u. a. Works by Rembrandt, Albrecht Dürer and Giambattista Piranesi. In 2019, the Renaissance and Baroque collection of the Old Gallery was reorganized.

Coin cabinet
This also goes back to Archduke Johann's private collection and, with more than 70,000 objects, is the second largest public coin collection in Austria.[5] The most important items in the collection are Roman coins found in Styria, Friesacher and Grazer pfennigs from the Middle Ages, as well as coins and medals from the inner-Austrian mints of Graz, Klagenfurt and St. Veit and from other countries of the Danube monarchy. The permanent exhibition of the coin cabinet is located in the oldest part of Schloss Eggenberg.

Archeology Museum
The archeology museum shows more than 1,200 objects from the past living environments related to timeless themes of human existence. The second largest archaeological collection in Austria combines evidence of human existence from the "Styrian" primeval times with finds from classical antiquity, the ancient Near East and Egypt. One of the world's unique attractions is the Strettweg cult wagon, a burial object from the Hallstatt period, which can be admired in the Archeology Museum, which opened in 2009. Also on display is the so-called silver cup from Grünau, one of the most valuable Roman finds from what is now Styria. One of the most important collections of Roman stones in the Eastern Alps can be seen in the adjoining lapidarium: 96 stones – tombstones, memorials, medallions and round sculptures –, three floor mosaics and, as an outstanding exhibit, the almost three meter high tomb stele of L. Cantius are on display.

Folklore museum

The folklore museum houses the oldest and most extensive folklore collection in Styria. Founded in 1913 under the direction of Viktor von Gerambs as a department of the Joanneum, the folklore museum has a unique collection. More than 40,000 objects document the material and spiritual folk culture of Styria. The museum is housed in a former Capuchin monastery from the early 17th century. It also includes a new building from the 1930s and the St. Antonius Church with paintings by Pietro de Pomis and Hans Adam Weißenkircher. The original focus of the folklore museum was on the rural life of the pre-industrial era. In 2021 the museum was fundamentally repositioned. The new permanent exhibition takes a look at social issues, issues and cultural phenomena of the present. The focus is on people in and from Styria and the question of how they shape their living environments in times of change and social change.


Study Center and Collections

Natural History Study Center
The natural science collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum (botany, geology & paleontology, mineralogy, zoology) have been housed in the Natural History Study Center since autumn 2009, where collection maintenance and research are carried out at a contemporary level. While the study center for natural history not only provides scientific work, but also provides technical information and holds lectures and seminars, the exhibition activities of the collections take place in the natural history museum, which is part of the Joanneum Quarter.

botany and mycology
The core of this collection, the herbarium, consists of more than half a million different preserved plants (ferns, flowering plants, fungi and mosses). Special collections with fruits, seeds and fruit models as well as an extensive xylotheque (wooden library) supplement the herbarium, which not only represents a comprehensive archive of Styrian flora, but also forms the basis for research work on native vegetation.

geology and paleontology
The geological-palaeontological collection includes objects from 500 million years of Styrian geological history. In addition to the primeval elephant, the cave bear and the giant deer, corals, shells and fish are among the core pieces of the collection. Since 1998, the Geology & Paleontology Collection has also organized fossil excavations with schools.

The mineralogical collection came from Archduke Johann's private collection, which comprised several thousand pieces. Today, the collection has grown to around 80,000 objects and presents minerals from all over the world as well as a Styrian regional collection. The mineralogy at the Landesmuseum Joanneum was also the workplace of Friedrich Mohs, who invented his hardness scale here, which is still relevant today. He was the first curator of the Joanneum.

This collection includes about 850,000 objects. The typical species are presented in their habitats, with the vertebrates receiving the largest display area. Representatives of other regions - from the sea coast to the original wildlife of Australia - round off the collection holdings. In the case of invertebrates, insects and molluscs are the main focus, while in the case of vertebrates, their skeletons and bird eggs attract attention in the scientific collections.

Multimedia Collections
The multimedia collections (until 2009: image and sound archive) were founded in 1960 not only to collect photo, film and sound material relevant to Styria, but also to record it, process it for scientific and educational purposes and make it accessible to the public close. The collection now consists of more than 2.5 million photos, tens of thousands of sound carriers and thousands of films and documents the development of the federal state, starting with the beginnings of photography. The administration of the multimedia collections has been housed in the Joanneum Quarter since 2011, and exhibitions can be viewed in the History Museum.


Donations to the Neue Galerie Graz

With the Ploner Collection, the Neue Galerie Graz was given an important selection of 47 works of Austrian and international painting and graphics after 1945 from the possessions of the Viennese entrepreneur and art collector Heinz Ploner through his widow Regina Ploner. The Ploner donation also includes works by artists such as Brigitte Kowanz, Erwin Wurm and a larger block of works by Henri Michaux. These artists were also given exhibitions and their works were purchased for the collection of the Neue Galerie Graz. Thanks to the Ploner donation, important works could now also be added to these holdings.

Another focus was initiated by the donation of Petra and Ralph Schilcher, whose collection of "serial art" with a scope of more than 1,000 works, which were created during their thirty years of production and publishing activities at Edition Artelier, was transferred to the inventory of the Neue Galerie Graz . Edition Artelier, founded by Petra and Ralph Schilcher in 1985, ended the production and publishing of editions after 30 years. From the beginning of 2016, the collection was transferred to the inventory of the Neue Galerie Graz at the Universalmuseum Joanneum as a closed collection complex. The collection includes names of great artists such as John Baldessari, Martin Kippenberger, Peter Kogler, Jörg Schlick, Michael Schuster, Erwin Wurm and Heimo Zobernig.

Among the important patrons, the collector Hellmut Czerny and his wife Norli should be mentioned in particular, who donated several thousand works of art from the fields of painting, graphics and photography to the museum over a period of more than three decades.

On April 12, 2016, the art collector Helmut Suschnigg, who came from Styria and lives in Vienna, donated around 470 works from the museum, the majority of his collection - paintings, graphics and sculptures - including works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Erwin Wurm . The significant growth for the museum, with its focus on pop art, represents new territory for the Neue Galerie.