Vienna (Austria)

Volkskundemuseum Wien

The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art is one of Europe’s major international ethnographic museums with extensive collections of folk art as well as historical and contemporary everyday cultures. A permanent exhibition as well as changing special exhibitions deal with various topics of coexistence in a constantly changing world. Use your museum We are an open place for research and communication. We enjoy experimenting and trying out new things. In our work we focus on lively and challenging approaches. We provide space for social interaction and discourse. We question Europe's past and present in our exhibited collection, in our special exhibitions and in our educational programmes. For an active, critical and participatory debate, we also use regular events, interventions, performative art, theatre projects, cooperation with NGOs, research and public science projects, online collections, online publications and social media channels. We are working on the museum as a multimedia platform: as a public place of visualization, of debate, of information, of sojourn, of networking, of action. What interests us We understand museums as being both archives of society and political sites. Remaining free from any commercial interests, we work to generate perspectives and positions that are moving and challenging. As cultural scholars, we query historical and present-day realms of experience. What can objects show us? Who speaks – and appears – in stories? And what stories are needed by our future? Where we come from The museum was founded in 1895 by Michael Haberlandt and Wilhelm Hein as an association-run scholarly museum in order to document the Habsburg Monarchy. Today, the museum is still run by the Association for Austrian Folk Life (Verein für Volkskunde), which has around 600 members. Where we work The Schönborn Garden Palace was built as a baroque pleasure palace after designs by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt between 1706 and 1715. Its original owner and occupant was Count Friedrich Karl von Schönborn-Buchheim, Imperial Vice-Chancellor in Vienna. In 1862, the City of Vienna assumed ownership of the building and opened the Schönbornpark to the public. The period that ensued witnessed a colourful sequence of occupants ranging from a theatre and a gymnastics association to coffin-makers and master bookbinders. From 1872 to 1896, it provided a home for what is now the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, which was thereafter followed by various public offices. The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art finally arrived here in 1917.
Volkskundemuseum Wien Building Fassade

Access preferences

Educational Work (Understanding)

On request, all educational programs are designed to be accessible to deaf and hearing impaired, blind, visually impaired, or handicapped persons and in easy language. For visually impaired and blind visitors we offer specially developed educational programs.

Visits to guided tours of the exhibition and participation in educational programs are barrier-free for deaf participants by prior arrangement. In cooperation with the association Baff. Promoting accessibility. Communication assistance for deaf people.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions on how we can further develop our accessibility services.

General Accesibility in the Museum (Accessible entrance for prams and wheelchairs)

The museum is barrier-free and has an elevator (elevator door: 184 cm), which leads to the area of special exhibitions. The permanent exhibition ("The Shores of Austria") is located on the ground floor. The disabled parking lot is directly in front of the steplessly accessible museum entrance. A wheelchair-accessible toilet is located on the ground floor.

Our exhibition openings are accompanied and translated by a sign language interpreter, if indicated in the program. Every year the Vienna Folklore Museum hosts the barrier-free and inclusive open-air short film festival dotdotdot.

Museums for Future (Environmentally responsible)

The Volkskundemuseum Vienna is very proud to be part of Museums For Future.
We are convinced that different social voices have to contribute to the climate crisis and that cultural institutions should also be clearly audible.
We are concerned with ecologies and resources every day on a small and large scale, in everyday operations, in our exhibitions and research. We are concerned with how we as a museum can not only negotiate the issue of sustainability, environmental and climate protection socially and in the museum, but also how we can make specific, often only small changes in our different areas of work (infrastructure, publications, gastronomy, research, Exhibition, ...).

We write "System change instead of climate change" on our posters, but also in our program. The climate crisis, discrimination, racism and sexism arise in a system that only represents the interests of a small, often privileged number of people. We want to question this system and problematize it, because this is the only way we can shape our coexistence and our future together. As a museum, we not only discuss, collect and present climate change and the climate crisis, we also want to actively combat them. We want to take a stand. Fight Every Crisis, Fight Climate Crisis.

Museums For Future

In September 2019 we posted our support for #FridaysForFuture on the museum's social media channels. Employees of the Volkskundemuseum Wien, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Wien, and the Technisches Museum Wien demonstrated at the global climate strike on September 27, 2019, under #MuseumsForFuture for environmental and climate policy measures to meet the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Agreement. NEMO, the Network of European Museum Organizations, and the Austrian Museum Association also drew attention to #MuseumsForFuture. This resulted in the now international action platform Museums For Future .

With #MuseumsForFuture we propose the following ideas and possibilities to become active as a museum or cultural
location : 1) Take part in the #MittagspauseForFuture.
2) Invite strikers to your museum.
3) Offer a children's program on the sustainable future.
4) Enable teach-ins, strike sign handicrafts, and workshops.
5) Put an exhibit/work of art on strike.
6) Document the strike and tell stories of activists.
7) Only sell local, plant-based foods in the restaurant.
8) Make ONE thing about running a museum sustainable.
9) Promote the use of public transport to get there.
10) Stop sponsoring fossil fuel companies.
Twitter: @ museums4future

Contact info

Volkskundemuseum Wien,
Laudongasse 15–19,
Vienna, Austria.
+43 1 406 89 05