One side of Felderstraße has the imperious and imperial Rathaus, rich in history. The other side has the Wien Museum MUSA, which sits at the other end of the time spectrum with its contemporary art exhibitions.
- Exhibition space for established and new artists, as well as particular eras and epochs
- Includes the Artothek art library
- Current exhibition: Richard Neutra: California Living
- See also: Vienna Museums | The Kunstforum
MUSA exhibition venue
One of the younger additions to the sites run by the Wien Museum is the MUSA, a small exhibition centre and cultural spot.
The larger area inside offers space for a main ticketed exhibition. This normally addresses some aspect of Viennese contemporary art, such as a solo exhibition for a particular iconic artist or a review of some genre or era.
Recent exhibitions, for example, covered:
- The work of the Vienna-born abstract painter, Josef Mikl
- The Viennese art scene in the 1990s
- A Jorg Hartig retrospective (a pioneer of acrylic painting in Austria)
The main Wien Museum site recently closed for long-term rebuilding work, and the MUSA has taken over some of the former’s exhibition duties. So the remit now includes the history and culture of Vienna.
For example, on my visit, the main exhibition examined the famous social housing projects of the 1920s and 1930s that shaped 20th-century Vienna and continue to influence the city’s landscape and character today. (All the display information and exhibit labels were in both German and English.)
A smaller room hosts the Startgalerie exhibition space, designed to encourage and support new artists. Art graduates hold solo exhibitions here, with a change every few weeks. On my visit, Julia Haugeneder’s Flooring exhibition presented her folded objects.
- Richard Neutra: California Living (February 13th, 2020 to September 20th, 2020)
- In the Shadow Of Bambi: Felix Salten Discovers Viennese Modernism (October 15th, 2020 to April 25th, 2021)
If you’re planning a longer stay in Vienna, then the Artothek within the MUSA building might pique your interest. Think of it as a lending library for contemporary art.
For a small monthly fee, you can borrow drawings, photographs, paintings and similar from the MUSA’s own collection to hang at home for up to 12 months.
Tickets & visitor tips
A standard adult entrance ticket cost €7 at the time of writing, but there’s a rather nice bonus to it. You can use the same ticket to go into one of the Wien Museum’s other sites for free, though the ticket does expire after 365 days. These sites include, for example, the former residences of Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert or Strauss (but not the Mozarthaus). Access to the Artothek or Startgalerie requires no ticket.
- Put coats and jackets on a coat rack, or make use of the free lockers (these require a returnable €1 coin to operate)
- A small self-service café (by AGGYS – the coffee house normally at home in the main Wien Museum building) offers coffees, teas, cold drinks and one or two cakes or snacks
- The MUSA ticket counter also has a few items for sale, mainly exhibition catalogues, postcards, CDs, DVDs, and a handful of souvenirs
How to get to the MUSA
The MUSA sits opposite the north wing of the Rathaus (city hall), so is easily reached if you’re meandering around the city centre.
Despite the central location, the premises lack any great history, largely because the land was part of the open ground that lay in front of the city fortifications until the late 19th century.
Subway: the closest station by far is the Rathaus stop on the U2 line.
Tram/bus: Go two streets in practically any direction from the MUSA and you hit a tram stop. For example:
- The 34 and 44 lines stop at Landesgerichtsstraße
- The 1, D and 71 stop at Rathausplatz/Burgtheater
- The 2 at Rathaus
Address: Felderstraße 6-8, 1010 Vienna | Website