Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vienna Museum Visits - An Overview

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to several museums and art exhibitions while I was in Vienna last week. This will be just an overview of what I've seen. The details about some of the places are coming soon.

  • Treasury aka Schatzkammer is a smallish museum featuring royal jewels, crowns, robes and other luxurious items once belonging to the Habsburg royal family, church and nobles. What I found most interesting here were all the wonderful patterns used on various objects in the exhibition, especially the robes. I did some quick sketches of some of the patterns and I might try to turn them into tangles, or just use them in future drawings.
  • Albertina hosts different exhibitions, focusing on contemporary art and 19th and 20th century art. At the time of my visit there was an Impressionism exhibition showing work of Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Degas and others. The list of painters is impressive and it's was a nice exhibition in general, but I am not much of an impressionism fan, so it didn't do much for me. The second exhibition was "Gustav Klimt. The Drawings." That one was more interesting especially since it gave an insight into the creative process by showing many sketches for Klimt's famous portraits and paintings. The third was a permanent exhibition showcasing artwork from Albertina's own collection. That one is called Monet to Picasso. For me that was the best one of the three as there was a variety of different artists and a whole load of amazing paintings to see.
  • Wien Museum tells the story of Vienna through it's history including showing some art of prominent artists Klimt and Schiele who once lived there. There were a few gems in this museum, but overall it was not very interesting to me.

 Just outside of Wien Museum (the museum of the city of Vienna) at Karlsplatz.

  • Leopold Museum is my favorite museum in Vienna. It features a large collection of paintings by Egon Schiele who is one of my favorite painters. Plus they hold interesting exhibitions of contemporary art which I also enjoy greatly. An additional pro this time was an interesting exhibition called Melancholy and Provocation which was made of art inspired by Schiele's work. One exhibition I didn't like was by Hermann Nitsch which was just blah. Still that didn't change my mind about liking this museum the best of all Vienna museums.

Leopold Museum in the Museum Quarter

  • MUMOK - Vienna's museum of modern art was very interesting. The major part of the museum was dedicated to a Claes Oldenburg exhibition which I found very interesting. Some parts of it I loved, some were meh, some I just didn't get, but overall it was well worth seeing. Another exhibition currently shown is Pop and the Sixtiess which was also interesting and a mixed bag of amazing paintings and some that made me scratch my head and wonder how on Earth they deserved a place in a serious museum. 

A view out of a window in Leopold Museum. The dark building on the left is the Museum of Modern Art.

  • MAK - Museum of Applied Arts was really lovely and full of interesting and inspiring pieces. The Klimt exhibition of cartoons for the mosaic frieze at Stoclet House was the best of all special Klimt exhibitions I've seen. There was so much to see: glass, ceramics, cool furniture, lace. For someone who has recently entered the world of patterns this was a real treasure trove.

 Inside the Museum of Applied Arts. Those vitrages are gorgeous, this picture does not do them justice.

  • Kunsthaus Wien also know as Hundertwasser Museum. I think Hundertwasser's art is amazing, so this is a great place for me, but I think it's universally attractive, even to people who don't care for art much. The unique architecture of the building is just an introduction to the wonderful world of Hundertwasser's creations. It's so busy, joyful and colorful - absolutely not a place to miss when in Vienna.
Outside the Kunsthaus Wien.

This was not my first visit to Vienna, so I decided to skip some of the museums that I already visited in the past, like Belvedere and History of Art Museum (KHM). Instead I opted to go to some other museums that are not related to art and do other city activities, like visit the Easter Markets and such.

A giant painted egg on the Freyung Easter market.

After spending so much time observing art I am now filled with inspiration and ready to get back to creating my own stuff.

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