Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna

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mumok - Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna (2019)

The Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig Vienna ( mumok ) is a federal museum in the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna's 7th district of Neubau .


Mumok shows Erwin Wurm , 2007
Lichthof im mumok (2011)

The mumok was opened on September 20, 1962 as the Museum of the 20th Century in the 20er Haus (the former Austrian pavilion at the 1958 World Exhibition in Brussels) in the Schweizergarten . Werner Hofmann was the founding director . In just a few years he managed to acquire important works of classical modernism and to expand the collection.

From 1979 to 1989 the art historian Dieter Ronte was director of the museum. On April 26, 1979, the Liechtenstein Palace on Alsergrund was rented as a second exhibition building due to lack of space. This is mainly thanks to Hans Mayr, who in 1977, as President of the Vienna Künstlerhaus, organized an exhibition for Vienna with works of modern art from the collection of the Aachen couple Irene and Peter Ludwig .

During the exhibition, the collector couple agreed to give some of the works to Vienna on permanent loan. An Austrian committee set up by the Federal Minister at the time, Hertha Firnberg , negotiated with the Ludwig couple and agreed on a comprehensive loan of exhibits, which also raised the question of adequate accommodation for the works of art.

When the Austrian Ludwig Foundation was established in 1981, many loans were transferred to the collection. The museum owes around 230 works from their international collection to the patronage of the German industrialist and collector couple, including important works by Pablo Picasso , Robert Rauschenberg , Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter . The foundation of the Austrian Ludwig Foundation in 1981 goes back to their commitment. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the foundation and another large donation from Peter and Irene Ludwig to the museum, it was renamed the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation in Vienna in 1991. The foundation ensures the preservation and presentation of the works and purchases additional objects.

On September 15, 2001, the mumok was reopened in Vienna's MuseumsQuartier. The cubic building by the architects Ortner & Ortner , encased in volcanic rock, offers space on 4800 m² of exhibition space for the main works of the modern and contemporary art collection, which today includes around 10,000 exhibits. At the same time, it was given full legal capacity as a federal museum on January 1, 2003.

From 2001, mumok was headed by Edelbert Köb . In October 2010 Karola Kraus took over the management of the museum. She and the commercial management were confirmed for a further term in March 2020.


The mumok collection today comprises around 10,000 works by around 1,600 artists. In 1959 the first purchases were made for the newly founded Museum of the 20th Century, which had 90 works when it officially opened in 1962.

A major impetus for the museum's exhibition and collection policy came from the Ludwig and Hahn collections at the end of the 1970s, which have been on display in a second building, the Palais Liechtenstein, since 1979. If the Hahn Collection was bought by the Republic, the loans from Peter and Irene Ludwig could be permanently secured for the house through the establishment of the Austrian Ludwig Foundation. The budget funds brought into the foundation by the Republic of Austria in return are still used today to acquire major international works of modern and contemporary art.

In line with its eventful institutional history, the mumok collection consists of several blocks. The period up to after the Second World War is covered by the inventory of classical modernism, as acquired by founding director Werner Hofmann. Another focus is the Sam Sie and the commercial management were confirmed for another term of office in March 2020. mlungen Ludwig and Hahn with a focus on the avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s. In the last 15 years, an extensive collection on Viennese Actionism has also been built up. Contemporary art is collected at mumok with a focus on photo, video and film works as well as painting, sculpture and room installations, most of which have been collected over the past two decades.

Collection focus

Classic modern

Created by Werner Hofmann as a teaching collection in the first half of the 20th century, it contains the most important trends and artists of these years, such as Expressionism ( Richard Gerstl , Oskar Kokoschka , Ernst Ludwig Kirchner ), Cubism and Futurism ( Henri Laurens , Giacomo Balla ) or constructive tendencies and Bauhaus ( Piet Mondrian , László Moholy-Nagy ).

Dada and Surrealism are represented by Francis Picabia , Max Ernst and René Magritte . Among the works are some of the most influential of modern times, such as the Crouching by André Derain or Nocturne by František Kupka .

With the donation of the Bogner Collection in 2005, a further focus was placed on Johannes Itten and the Viennese contribution to constructivist modernism.

The Hahn & Ludwig collections

In addition to Classic Modernism, it is the collection blocks of Pop Art, Nouveau Réalisme and Fluxus as well as Conceptual Art, Post Minimal and Arte Povera that exemplify the avant-gardes of the 1960s and 1970s. The works of Pop Art that Peter and Irene Ludwig acquired, such as Claes Oldenburg's Mouse Museum , Andy Warhol's Orange Car Crash or Robert Indiana's Love Rising - Black and White Love . For Martin Luther King as well as works by Jasper Johns , Roy Lichtenstein , John Chamberlain and Tom Wesselmann are among the key works of American Pop Art today. In addition to Pop Art, central works by Hanne Darboven , Gerhard Richter , Robert Smithson , Bernd and Hilla Becher , by Pablo Picasso , Joseph Beuys and Richard Hamilton, the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig.

The focus of the collection of the Cologne restorer Wolfgang Hahn is on Nouveau Réalisme, on Fluxus as well as on performative and institution-critical approaches. Accompanied by the donation of the Hahn Library by Hildegard Hahn in 2005, the Hahn Collection encompasses the entire complexity of art of the 1960s: by Joseph Beuys, François Dufrêne , Raymond Hains , Yves Klein , Daniel Spoerri , Jean Tinguely , Niki de Saint-Phalle , Wolf Vostell or Christo to the artists around the Fluxus movement with objects such as George Brecht's Universal Machine or Nam June Paik's legendary piano to ephemera by Marcel Broodthaers or Gilbert & George .

Viennese actionism

The Viennese Actionism was one of the most radical artistic movements of the 20th century and has lost none of its explosiveness to this day. In the early 1960s, his protagonists Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch, Otto Muehl and Rudolf Schwarzkogler crossed the genre boundaries of painting in favor of actions with real bodies, objects and substances in space and time. Her concern was a "direct" confrontation, intensified by the artistic form and creating awareness in this way, with the sensual and psychological experience of reality, in all of its aspects, including tragic, difficult to bear and, above all, socially repressed.

From an art-historical point of view, Viennese Actionism was an important contribution to those international developments of the 1950s and 1960s, which again turned to the concrete living environment after post-war art in the Western world had been dominated by abstraction and its mostly introspective content.

As an international competence center for Viennese actionism, mumok not only houses important works by the Viennese actionists Günter Brus , Otto Muehl , Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler , but also historical documentation material and numerous notes, notebooks, action photographs, sketches and correspondence. The collection conveys the development of actionism from the initial engagement with painting to transcending the panel painting in favor of staging events in space and time. Its scope is unique in the world.

Contemporary art

The mumok is continuously expanding and deepening its collection focus on reality-related as well as social and institutional analysis art from the 1960s and 1970s with contemporary works by Austrian and international artists.

The diverse positions include Yto Barrada , Tom Burr , Josef Dabernig , Andrea Fraser , David Goldblatt , Dorit Margreiter , Zwelethu Mthethwa , Marge Monko , Henrik Olesen , Florian Pumhösl , Rebecca Quaytma , Zineb Sedira , Cindy Sherman , Vivan Sundaram , Emily Wardill , Franz West and Heimo Zobernig .

In 2006, works by James Coleman , Thomas Demand , Andreas Gursky , Louise Lawler , Jeff Wall and Christopher Williams were acquired as part of a comprehensive acquisition in the areas of film and photography . Mumok's media collection includes works by Matthew Buckingham , Carola Dertnig , Omer Fast , Matthias Poledna and Runa Islam , to name just a few.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • Museum of Wishes , September 10, 2011 - January 8, 2012
  • Claes Oldenburg. The Sixties , February 4 - May 28, 2012
  • Andrea Fraser. Projection , February 4 - June 3, 2012
  • Dan Flavin. Lights , October 12, 2012 - January 27, 2013
  • Franz West. Where is my eighth? , February 23 - May 26, 2013
  • Albert Oehlen. Painting , June 8 - October 20, 2013
  • Josef Dabernig. Rock the Void , June 6th - September 14th, 2014
  • Cosima von Bonin. Hippies use side door. The year 2014 got a bike from October 2014 - January 18, 2015
  • Ludwig Goes Pop , February 12 - September 13, 2015
  • My body is the event. Viennese actionism and international performance , March 6 - August 23, 2015
  • Body, psyche and taboo. Viennese Actionism and Early Viennese Modernism , March 4 - May 16, 2016
  • Painting 2.0: Painting in the Information Age , June 4 - November 6, 2016
  • Anna-Sophie Berger. Places to fight and to make up (Kapsch Art Prize) , October 22, 2016 - March 5, 2017
  • Construction_reflection. Works from the Gertraud & Dieter Bogner collection at mumok , November 25, 2016 - April 17, 2017
  • Július Koller. One Man Anti Show , November 25, 2016 - April 17, 2017
  • WOMAN. Feminist avant-garde of the 1970s from the Verbund Collection , May 6 - September 3, 2017
  • Oh ... Jakob Lena Knebl and the mumok collection , March 17 - October 22, 2017
  • Hannah Black. Small Room , March 17 - June 18, 2017
  • Art into life! The collector Wolfgang Hahn and the 60s , November 10, 2017 - June 24, 2018
  • Optik Schröder II. Works from the Alexander Schröder Collection , February 3 to June 3, 2018
  • Bruno Gironcoli. Remaining shy at work , February 3 to June 3, 2018
  • Cecile B. Evans. AMOS 'WORLD: Episode One , March 23 to July 1, 2018
  • Class reunion. Works from the Gaby and Wilhelm Schürmann Collection , June 23 to November 11, 2018
  • Double life. Visual artists make music , June 23 to November 11, 2018
  • Film and more. From the archives of Kurt Kren and Ernst Schmidt jr. , July 12, 2018 to February 3, 2019
  • 55 dates. Highlights from the mumok collection , July 12, 2018 to February 3, 2019
  • Photo / Politics / Austria , July 12, 2018 to February 3, 2019
  • Ernst Caramelle. A résumé , November 30, 2018 to April 28, 2019
  • Pattern and decoration. Ornament as a promise , February 23, 2019 - September 8, 2019
  • Vertigo. Op Art and a History of Fraud 1520–1970 , May 25, 2019 - October 26, 2019
  • Dorit Margreiter. Really! , May 25, 2019 - October 6, 2019
  • Alfred Schmeller. The museum as a source of unrest , September 27, 2019 - February 16, 2020
  • Heimrad baker. it may be that we will not be killed and will be allowed to live * , September 27, 2019 - February 16, 2020


  • Nouveau Réalisme . Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation, Vienna, Publishing House for Modern Art Nuremberg, 2005. ISBN 3-938821-08-6 .
  • Ludwig Goes Pop . Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna / Museum Ludwig Cologne, Walter König, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-86335-599-9 .
  • Dorit Margreiter. Really !, Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig Vienna, Walther König, Cologne, ISBN 978-3-902947-68-0 .
  • Vertigo. Op Art and a history of swindles 1520-1970 , Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation, Walther König, Cologne, 2019, ISBN 978-3-902947-66-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ History. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  2. New Mumok director takes office on ORF from October 1, 2010, accessed on October 1, 2010.
  3. mumok collection. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  4. Classical Modernism. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  5. ^ The Hahn & Ludwig Collections. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  6. ^ Viennese Actionism. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  7. Contemporary art. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  8. mumok: Museum of Desires
  9. mumok: Oh ...
  10. mumok: double life
  11. mumok: 55 dates
  12. mumok: Photo / Politics / Austria
  13. mumok: Ernst Camelle
  14. mumok: Pattern and Decoration
  15. mumok: Vertigo
  16. mumok: Dorit Margreiter
  17. Description
  18. mumok: Heimrad baker

Web links

Commons : Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation, Vienna  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 12 ′ 13 ″  N , 16 ° 21 ′ 28 ″  E