Albertina Gallery in Vienna: collections and exhibitions. Museum guide

The Albertina Gallery is one of the top three museums in Austria. The former palace, which owes its name to Albert, Duke of Teschen, became a modern exhibition complex of 25,000 square meters after its reconstruction in the early 2000s where you always can count on seeing great art.

Exhibition program

Grandiose exhibition projects are what Albertina is famous for today. Curators rely on a no-lose strategy of monographic exhibitions because in the museum world it has long been known that nothing enjoys such popularity as the illustrated life story of a brilliant artist. Therefore, solo exhibitions of the asters of Western art, ranging from Dürer and Bruegel to Monet and Van Gogh, are an inexhaustible source of new emotional and intellectual experiences for art lovers.

Since Albertina’s own collection consists mostly of drawings and graphics, these exhibitions often include a large number of preparatory sketches — a luxury for a true connoisseur. After all, it is the drawings that provide a deeper insight into the artist’s style, creative process and even their personality, since the draft notes often have some commonality with private diaries.

It would be unfair to say that Albertina only exhibits the work of the most famous artists. It is on a smaller scale, but there are always works by those with less prominent names, such as Nico Pirosmani, Max Weiler, or Wilhelm Weil.

Photography is another art form given prominence at Albertina. There are always several rooms dedicated to the presentation of international photographs of different genres and directions.

From Monet to Picasso and Warhol to Richter

In 2007, the Albertina Gallery also acquired its own collection of paintings, covering the period from the second half of the 19th to the end of the 20th century. Collectors Rita and Herbert Batliner gave the museum five hundred paintings, which now form the basis of a permanent exhibition. Although this contains no works which are considered key to art history, the overall weight of this exhibition makes it one of the most significant in Europe.

Part of the collection, namely the works of European modernist and avant-garde artists — Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Malevich, Kandinsky, Chagall, Miró, and Picasso — is represented in the exhibition “From Monet to Picasso”. The paintings by Liechtenstein, Baselitz, Katz, Bacon and Richter are part of an ever-changing exhibition presenting the art of the international post-war art scene. For a full presentation of Austrian art of this period, Albertina received a part of the House of Artists, and in 2020 a new museum under the brand Albertina Modern was opened there.

Habsburg State Rooms

The palace section of the Albertina Gallery has now become a museum within the museum. In the so-called “state rooms” you will find carefully restored 18th-century interiors, reminiscent of the members of the imperial family who started the museum’s collection. In addition to the rooms full of crystal and gilding in the historical interiors, you can also see a collection of Albertina drawings, even if they are just copies of some of the more than one million originals you can always see at exhibitions.

Whatever you find interesting in art, the Albertina always has something that will be of interest to both a curious tourist and a true art connoisseur.

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