Museion (Bolzano)

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The Museion (view from the Talfer meadows) (2014)
The building including the bridge (2008)

The Museion ( Greek μουσείον, muse temple, museum ) is the museum for modern and contemporary art in Bolzano ( South Tyrol ).

The Museion was founded in 1985 and now has an extensive collection. Since August 2006 the institution has been run by a foundation with the participation of the South Tyrolean provincial administration and the Museion association.

On May 24, 2008, the facility moved into a newly built building in the city center on Talfer -Wiesen.


In 1985 the Museion was founded by a private association with the support of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano as a museum for modern art. The museum began operating in 1987, under the leadership of Pier Luigi Siena and the presidency of Karl Nicolussi-Leck .

The focus of the institution was initially on its regional orientation, it was mainly dedicated to the promotion and documentation of the fine arts in the area Ala to Kufstein (historical Tyrol ) from 1900. At the beginning of the 90s, not least because of the special Geographical location of Bolzano the differences between German and Italian art are discussed. Over the years, the museum turned more and more resolutely to contemporary art. The name "Museion", adopted in 1991, was intended to express this development in the direction of contemporary art and thus to the interdisciplinary tendencies that characterize it.

Under the presidency of Alois Lageder beginning in 2000 and the leadership of Andreas Hapkemeyer , the Museion became a museum for modern and contemporary art. Language was given central importance in art, a subject area that is strongly tied to the territory as a multilingual border area.

The new building

The new seat of the museum was built according to the design of the Berlin architects KSV Krüger, Schuberth, Vandreike. The KSV project emerged as the winner of a Europe-wide competition in 2000, in which 285 planning offices from 14 different countries took part.

The building is a 54 meter long cube with a height of 25 meters and a width of 23 meters. The transparent front sides are showcases to the city and the landscape. Symbolically, they should connect the old town with the new town and architecturally express the integration of the Museion as an important element in the city. In the evening, the glass facades serve as projection surfaces, which enable contemporary media art to be enjoyed in an unusual way.

The exhibition levels, starting with the foyer on the ground floor up to the top level with a view of the city, are connected by the cascade of stairs, figuratively representing a connection between the art levels. The closed, metallic shell of the Museion surrounds a changeable interior. The interiors are characterized by flowing transitions and openings. The various exhibition rooms, the event hall, the didactic laboratories, the library, the café and the museum shop are not strictly separated from each other.

The Museion should not only be a presentation forum for works of art, but a place for artists where they can also be artistically active. The function of the Museion as an art workshop is implemented with a studio house integrated into the museum area. The bridge over the Talfer on the south side of the Museion is an essential part of the structure. It is made up of two correlating, swinging curves, bike and footpaths are guided separately.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • "Peripheral view and collective body" (May 24 to September 21, 2008)
The exhibition addressed the question of the collective body in contemporary visual art. Numerous works of art from the collection were shown, including new acquisitions and important permanent loans from private collectors as well as national and international loans. The controversial sculpture First the Feet of Martin Kippenberger , which shows a crucified frog with a beer glass and an egg in his hands, attracted particular attention . Initiated by the Sunday newspaper Zett , there were interventions by numerous political circles and parts of the Catholic Church, as well as a heated discussion, including on the letters to the editor of the daily newspaper Dolomiten . The President of the Regional Council, Franz Pahl , went on a hunger strike, which ended with his resignation as a politician.
  • Sonic Youth etc .: "Sensational Fix" (October 11, 2008 to January 4, 2009)
The subject of this traveling exhibition are works by the versatile music band Sonic Youth, which were created in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, designers and musicians, as well as works of art selected by the band. Alternative contemporary culture should be highlighted.
  • Matti Braun : "Özurfa" (October 4th to December 7th, 2008)
This exhibition is dedicated to the legendary city of Sanliurfa or Urfa (Southeast Anatolia). Some archaeologists consider Sanliurfa to be the cradle of civilization. For Muslims and Jews, it is the holy city where Abraham was burned at the stake.
  • Mike Kelley : "Educational Complex Onwards, 1995–2008" (January 17 to April 19, 2009)
The centerpiece of this anthological exhibition, conceived by the Wiels Center for Contemporary Art in Brussels, is the installation “Educational Complex” from 1995. It is a miniature reconstruction of the educational institutions that the artist has gone through in his life.
  • Valie Export : Time and Counter-Time , (February 19 to May 1, 2011)


The specialist library of the Museion is geared towards the documentation of international modern and contemporary art. In order to make the holdings more accessible, it was transferred to the open access area of the Free University library in January 2011 .


  • 1987-2000 Pier Luigi Siena
  • 2000-2007 Andreas Hapkemeyer
  • 2007–2008 Corinne Diserens
  • 2008-2020 Letizia Ragaglia
  • from June 1, 2020 Bart van der Heide

Foundation, endowment

The Museion Foundation was established in August 2006. It includes representatives of the South Tyrolean provincial administration and the Museion association. The Board of Trustees consists of nine members. The purpose of the foundation is to promote and enhance contemporary art from the 1950s onwards. The foundation sees itself as a meeting point for international art and as a funding institution for art in South Tyrol. The president of the council is the art historian and curator Marion Piffer Damiani (* 1963 in Brixen ).

Artistic Advisory Board

The Artistic Advisory Board is an organ of the Museion that has an exclusively advisory function. It consists of five members who must demonstrate skills in the cultural field with a focus on contemporary art. The advisory board meets with the council of founders once a year to discuss the artistic development of the Museion.

Friends of the Museion

“Friends of Museion” is an independent association that appeals to all those who are interested in contemporary art. The organization offers various events, study trips and meetings with artists.


In addition to guided tours, the Museion's visitor service also offers targeted educational projects. The program includes:

  • Workshops / Museion Mobil
  • specific offers for young people, families with children, schools and kindergartens
  • Summerlab / Artcamp

Web links

Commons : Museion (Bolzano)  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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Coordinates: 46 ° 29 ′ 50.5 ″  N , 11 ° 20 ′ 54.3 ″  E