Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Innsbruck)

Universitatsstrasse 2

Tel. 0512 594 89510

Open: daily


Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum of Innsbruck or Tyrolean Folk Art Museum is a museum that is devoted to the local folk art and crafts of citizens of Innsbruck.



In 1888, the Tyrolean trade association decided to set up a "Tyrolean trade museum" in Innsbruck: a collection of models was to be created to give suggestions and orientation aids to Tyrolean handicrafts, which were threatened by industrialization. Accordingly, the original collecting activity was primarily for contemporary products of high quality craftsmanship.

The collections were soon expanded to include "objects of old Tyrolean arts and crafts" and "products of Tyrolean domestic diligence". In 1903 the Tyrolean Museum of Folk Art and Crafts was founded and became the property of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. After a long search for a location, they moved to the former Franciscan monastery. In 1926, the state of Tyrol took over the collections with the condition that a public museum be established. This was opened in 1929 by Federal President Wilhelm Miklas.

In 2007, the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum was merged with the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum into the Tyrolean State Museums-Operating Company m.b.H. incorporated. The company is led by Wolfgang Meighörner, who is also director of the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum. A little later, the collection was redesigned and the house remodeled accordingly. It reopened on May 18, 2009 to mark the museum's 80th anniversary.



1928-1938, 1945-1959: Josef Ringler
1939-1945: Gertrud Pesendorfer
1959-1979: Franz Colleselli
1980-2003: Hans Gschnitzer
2004-2014: Herlinde Menardi
since 2015: Karl C. Berger



Most of the collections were bought before the First World War. The collection area was the historic county of Tyrol, which included not only today's federal state of Tyrol, but also South Tyrol, Trentino and the Ladin valleys around the Dolomites, which today belong to the Italian province of Belluno. This area is still considered when making purchases today. In the 1930s, objects from the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum were exchanged.

The objects come from the rural, but above all from the bourgeois and aristocratic classes of the population. The focus is on handicrafts, arts and crafts, domestic industry, popular piety, customs (masks and costumes). The museum is particularly well-known for its extensive collection of Christmas and Easter cribs and for its rooms, most of which come from aristocratic surroundings.

Redesign 2009
The exhibition was redesigned on the basis of a newly developed concept and reopened in 2009. Since then, visitors have received information on selected objects using Personal Digital Assistants. Since then, Lucifer, the dazzling character from the St. Nicholas play, has been seducing through the exhibition: as a questioning provocateur who opens up new perspectives.

An area on the first floor, above the cloister, is called the Pralles Jahr and shows a cycle of church festivals, folk customs, celebrations and work throughout the year. The show Precarious Life on the second floor shows how earlier societies dealt with the suffering, struggles and fears of life, how to cope with everyday life through blessings and magic, requests and thanks. A special study collection deals with the areas of domestic industry, work, belongings and inheritance. Under the motto Being and Appearance, a photo studio reconstructed according to historical models traces the romantic transfiguration of folk costumes: 48 hand-carved figurines provide an insight into the idealization of clothing that was already discarded in everyday life around 1900.

A multimedia show now deals with the Hofkirche adjoining the museum, and a reopened earlier access from the monastery to the rood screen of the church connects the two buildings in terms of content.

As in the past, the ground floor is mainly dedicated to the cribs. The paneled rooms from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods on the first and second floors, which were built in by 1929, also remained unchanged.