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 in 2020 in the 19th-century Künstlerhaus.
- New museum of modern and contemporary art
- Draws on extensive Albertina collections, including the Essl collection
- Location is also home to the Stadtkino cinema & Künstlerhaus association of artists
- Selected exhibitions:
- See also: Albertina tickets & visitor info | Contemporary art in Vienna
A new art museum
(The beautiful, refurbished Künstlerhaus building)
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, they’ve expanded their body of modern and contemporary art, most notably through the gift of a significant portion of the Essl collection and acquisition of the Jablonka collection.
But where to show it all?
In May 2020, the Albertina opened a 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 beyond 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. The in-house collection 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, and Cindy Sherman.
So expect some pretty spectacular exhibitions to appear in the future.
Albertina Modern owes its existence in part to the support of one of Austria’s great 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 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
At the time of writing, tickets cost €12 for an adult at the door. Alternatively, get a dual ticket* with the main Albertina museum for €23.
- The ticket office has a (very) small shop and that entrance floor also features a café.
- The museum has a cloakroom (though not in operation on my visit) and plenty of lockers (requiring a €1 or €2 coin to operate).
- Even if you stick to the Albertina Modern, consider climbing the stairs to get a closer look at the ceiling of the beautiful atrium.
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
If you’re at the Albertina Modern, you probably want to cross the road and take a peek at Otto Wagner’s marvellous 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 building looks like from above, then nip across the road to the Karlskirche church: a panorama lift takes you up into the roof where a small window looks out across to the new home of the Albertina’s modern and contemporary art.
Address: Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna | Website