Boutique Museum For Classic Art and Design
Albertina Vienna. Should you squeeze in a visit of the Albertina? Probably queue up, and skip another larger museum? Yes, please do. You will get fine historic art and design inspiration without wandering through endless halls.
Top 5 Sources To Get You Inspired
Compared to the Belvedere and the Museum of Fine Art, the rococo town palace of the Albertina is almost ‘private’. However, it houses top international 19th and 20th century art, renowned Austrian and international graphics, fine architectural sketches from Renaissance to Modernism, and Austrian photography. The museum’s name comes from Count Albert von Sachsen-Teschen, one of Empress Maria Theresia’s sons-in-law. The wing-shaped ‘trampolin’ that canopies the Albertina is the work of Austrian architect Hans Hollein.
1. Rococo Interiors
Walking through the Rococo Room, the Spanish Apartment, the Reception Hall, and the Wedgwood Cabinet reminds me of some rooms at the Imperial Palace and Belvedere. But these are just more homely, the fabrics more vibrant, and the atmosphere is more private (despite the visitors). Having a bit more than a dozen rooms to see makes it also easier to focus on graceful sculptures, carved wooden cabinets, frescoes and delicate vases.
2. 19th And 20th Century Art
From Claude Monet’s Lily Pond and Pablo Picasso’s Still Life With Guitar to Gerhard Richter’s Abstract Painting: The Albertina Vienna’s collection of paintings tracks 200 years of art history. Observe international art as it morphs from Impressionist blurry pastels to abstract art‘s fragmented objects and and dismembered individuals.
3. Graphics Heaven
As soon as Austrian children start to draw, they learn about the Albertina’s signature graphic: The Hare by Albrecht Duerer (the visual features on popular drawing pads).
The Albertina’s vast Graphics Collection is world renown, and includes works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Duerer, Paul Cezanne, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
4. Architectural Collection
The Imperial Palace in cross section, Otto Wagner’s sketch of the Imperial Pavilion; sketches of Roman state buildings; wooden architectural models by Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Alvaro Aalto: The Albertina Vienna’s Architectural Collection is small and exquisite, as the palace itself.
5. Photographic Collection
How did Schonbrunn Palace‘s Gloriette look like in 1850? What were Derby horse races like in Vienna 1900? It’s exciting to see photographs from the era of the Habsburg Empire, it gets you so much closer to history than just paintings would. Other great historic photographs you can see at the Albertina include the demolition of the old Vienna city walls, photographs of the former Habsburg crownlands, and shots of the Austrian mountains, mountaineers and skiers.
Albertina Vienna: Practicalities
Location: Albertinaplatz 1; 1010 Vienna; between Vienna State Opera and Burggarten.
Opening Hours: daily 10 am to 7 pm; Wednesday 10 am to 9 pm; On public holidays opening hours apply as for the respective week day
Tickets: EUR 9,50 (adults); visitors under the age of 19 go free;
Vienna Card discount: -16 percent
Public transportation: Underground U1, U2, U4 (Karlsplatz stop), U3 to Stephansplatz;Trams: 1, 2, D, 62, 65, City bus: 3A (Albertina station)
Other great Vienna museums: Belvedere Vienna, Vienna Museum, House of Music, Hapsburgs Museum of Furniture (Hofmobiliendepot)
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