A stark basalt building stands almost alien-like in Vienna’s Museumsquartier. Inside…an ever-changing display of avant-garde art. Say hi to the “Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien”, better known as the MUMOK.
- Home to a prestigious international art collection
- Most content takes the form of temporary exhibitions of contemporary and modern art
- See also:
A museum of modern art
(The MuseumsQuartier courtyard with the MUMOK museum on the right; press photo © Hertha Hurnaus)
A rather unusual building has eased itself into the list of Viennese architectural highlights. The MUMOK museum lives in a dark, almost windowless, block of basalt that has echoes of a striking military-industrial bunker.
Inside the MUMOK, though, it’s all airy and light, with tall, open galleries and spaced out displays (the staff, mind you, dressed in black on my visit).
The museum possesses its own extensive collection consisting of thousands of works of contemporary and modern art.
What you see at any one time largely depends on the current temporary exhibitions, since these make up the vast majority of the MUMOK’s displays.
As such, you probably want to check out what’s on during your visit before buying a ticket.
You might catch works by Warhol, Picasso, or Lichtenstein. Or you might not. Though there’s always something interesting to see, whatever the exhibition focus.
As I write this, the MUMOK has, for example:
- Enjoy: a highlights exhibition for the collection, exploring its development over time and also showcasing the best of the past ten years of acquisitions
- Sound is Liquid: a solo exhibition for the German photographer and 2000 Turner Prize winner, Wolfgang Tillmans
- The first European solo museal exhibition for the LA-based artist Jesse Stecklow
Expect to find various media within the MUMOK: paintings, textiles, video and light installations, sculptures, and all things in between.
Tickets & visitor tips
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
A couple of useful tips:
- All labels and display information were in both English and German on my visit, and the major exhibitions all had English-language brochures you could pick up for free
- The MUMOK foyer has a cloakroom and coin-operated lockers
- The foyer also offers access to a small café, which you can use before you enter the museum itself
- Books fill the MUMOK shop, as do various design treats, such as a better class of fridge magnet or bottle opener
- A rare window on the 4th floor offers lovely views across to the Hofburg, the Natural History and Art History museums, and even Stephansdom cathedral in the distance
- Pop across the courtyard to the Leopold Museum for even more views: a lift around the back of that building takes you up to the roof and the MQ Libelle viewing platform.
- Explore all the floors…sometimes exhibitions are split between levels
- Another location with a strong focus on contemporary art exhibitions is the Kunsthalle (which has a site next door to the MUMOK)
How to get to the MUMOK
See the directions and travel tips for the Museumsquartier. The MUMOK is impossible to miss. Just look for the imposing grey building to the right of the main courtyard as you enter the MQ through the main entrance.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna | Website