We’re blessed with art museums in Vienna, most of them based in buildings of historical and/or architectural significance. And we recently got a new one: the Albertina Modern opened back in 2020 in the 19th-century Künstlerhaus.
- Modern and contemporary art
- No permanent display; check current exhibitions…
- Book Albertina Modern tickets* online
- See also:
Modern and contemporary
(The entrance to the Künstlerhaus building home)
The Albertina museum in the very centre of Vienna is not short of a picture or two (they have over a million items in their collection).
In recent years, the Albertina expanded its body of modern and contemporary art quite significantly, most notably through the gift of a large portion of the Essl collection and acquisition of the Jablonka collection.
Ah, but where to show it all? The answer is the Albertina’s second home in the country.
Well, not exactly in the country (unless you’re thinking of Vienna as it looked in the early 19th century): the Albertina Modern occupies part of the Künstlerhaus building just at the edge of Vienna’s old town.
The new site gives the institution a dedicated space for exhibitions of modern era art, drawing on some 60,000 works from around 5,000 artists, as well as (of course) loans from other international institutions.
The in-house collection alone includes the creative output of such renowned Austrians as Arnulf Rainer or Maria Lassnig, but also art by leading international artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and many more.
So expect some pretty spectacular exhibitions.
(The grand staircase; press photo © Robert Bodnar)
Albertina Modern owes its existence in part to the support of one of Austria’s sponsors of the arts, Hans Peter Haselsteiner, who largely paid for the much-needed refurbishment and modernisation of the venerable and historic Künstlerhaus.
The building housing the new museum is no stranger to art. The Künstlerhaus went up in 1865-1868 as a dedicated exhibition venue and home for the Association of Austrian Artists (the very group that Gustav Klimt left to co-found the Wiener Secession).
Four statues from the early 20th century grace the main entrance in tribute to the building’s scope and purpose: Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Bramante, and Velasquez (I think).
The Künstlerhaus group continues today and uses an upper floor in the refurbished building for its own activities and exhibitions, so look out for those on your visit.
Another prominent occupant of the premises shows art of the silver screen kind. The Stadtkino cinema also serves as one of the usual venues for the Viennale film festival.
Tickets & visitor tips
The Albertina Modern has no permanent exhibition as such, but shows a series of temporary exhibitions included in an entrance ticket. So check what’s on before visiting.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
Current schedule at the time of writing, for example:
- Germany – Austria: Painting 1970 to 2020 (September 6th, 2023 to January 21st, 2024)
- Herbert Boeckl – Oskar Kokoschka (November 17th, 2023 to March 17th, 2024)
- The Beauty of Diversity (provisionally from February 16th, 2024 to August 18th, 2024)
Even if you stick to the Albertina Modern on the lower floor(s), consider climbing the stairs to get a closer look at the ceiling of the beautiful atrium.
If you’re at the Albertina Modern, you might want to cross the road and take a peek at Otto Wagner’s marvelous Pavilion station buildings. And the museum’s immediate neighbour to the east is the famous Musikverein venue, featuring world-leading art of the kind produced on strings and piano keys.
Should you fancy seeing what the Künstlerhaus building looks like from above, then nip across the road to the Karlskirche church: a panorama terrace on the roof looks out across to the new home of the Albertina’s modern and contemporary art (though tree foliage can block the view).
How to get to the Albertina Modern
The Künstlerhaus adjoins Karlsplatz square, which happens to be home to just about the best-connected transport hub in the city.
Subway: Take the U1, U2 or U4 subway lines to Karlsplatz station
Tram/bus: Take the trams 1, 2, D, 71, or 62 to Karlsplatz or Oper/Karlsplatz, as relevant
Address: Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna | Website