Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Can You Expect to See at the Essl Museum?

The Essl museum is considered to be an important part of Austrian heritage and cultural history. The main body of the not-for-profit collection is Post-War Austrian art, and in this striking, angular building you can find 7 galleries with over 7,000 pieces of artwork. A huge range of artists from Austria and elsewhere are displayed here, but the collections often show us much more of one artist than many galleries tend to, so if you find someone you like, you’re in for a real treat.

Founded by Karlheinz and Agnes Essl, the collection has become something of great international value. The couple have been collecting contemporary European art together for decades, much of which captures the tumultuous spirit of the second half of the 20th century. The collection has even expanded to include art from as far as Australia, South America, and Asia. New art and young artists are also accounted for in the ‘Emerging Artists’ exhibition.

Though the museum is privately owned, the entry prices really are extraordinarily low considering how much you see. The museum is purpose built and placed in a beautiful part of Austria, just outside Vienna on the banks of the Danube; the whole place is a treat to the senses, not to mention the restaurant! Enjoy a guided tour, have a look around the library, stroll through the landscaped surroundings, and even take a book home from the bookshop. 

The Essl’s are extremely passionate about contemporary art and their impressive collection; they want to share their excellent knowledge, and love of all things ‘art’ (especially paintings). That’s why the place is so reasonably priced, not to mention the free shuttle bus and free entry for students. The museum is also open relatively late, and is easy to reach by U-Bahn and public bus.