Salzburg Art Association

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Salzburg Art Association
purpose Mediation of contemporary art (1844: "To awaken the love of art and to develop the sense of art")
Chair: Elfrid Wimmer-Repp
Establishment date: 1844
Number of members: 550 members (approx. 350 artists)
Number of employees: approx. 10
Seat : Salzburg , artist house

The Salzburger Kunstverein was founded on March 10, 1844. The initiative for its formation came from Cardinal Prince Schwarzenberg , only later did the citizens participate in the management of the association. According to the association's statutes, it was the goal of the association "to awaken the love of art and to develop the sense of art". A special feature of the Salzburger Kunstverein were the year-round exhibitions in which only the objects on display changed, and this for the purpose of educating the public. Today the association pursues an internationally oriented program in the consequent continuation of the founding intentions.

The Salzburger Kunstverein is located at the Künstlerhaus Salzburg .



Art associations were formed in Austria against the dominance of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts with the predominance of history painting that was cultivated there . Other genres, such as landscape painting , were considered secondary by the academy; This also had consequences for the exhibition, because in the exhibitions of the academy only its members could exhibit pictures. In addition, there had been a change in the class of buyers of art in the early 19th century: In addition to the traditional clients, the imperial family, the nobility and the clergy, the wealthy bourgeoisie had come, who also preferred other subjects in the presentation. In addition, there was the painter's urge to paint from nature and this also led to the fact that the Salzburg area was discovered as a subject by painters. By 1830, important painters had already settled in Salzburg, such as Friedrich Loos , Sebastian Stief , Johann Fischbach and Georg Pezold . The Prince Archbishop invited these and other publicly significant personalities to the residence on December 29, 1842, in order to discuss with them his idea of ​​founding an art association, which was inspired by a trip to Italy. On March 10, 1844, the draft statutes received the official imperial approval to enter the association as "Kunstverein zu Salzburg" in the association register.

The association was funded through the sale of shares or share certificates. Through this the owner received the right for himself and his family to visit the exhibition free of charge, he received an annual club journal and was able to take part in the drawing of a painting. This turned out to be a very successful business idea, as 600 club members came together in the first year, so that the financial side was covered. The spatial accommodation was more problematic, with the first exhibition taking place in the knight's hall of the winter residence , the others in the so-called landscape hall in the new building of the Linz district office and from 1873 in the St. Peter monastery . The fact that the Imperial Academy of Vienna asked its artists to submit the Salzburg exhibition speaks for the fame of the Salzburg Art Association. Likewise, artists from Munich and Regensburg soon exhibited in Salzburg.

Salzburg artist house

(For the building history of the house → see Künstlerhaus Salzburg )

Künstlerhaus Salzburg - seat of the Salzburg Art Association

On August 1, 1885, the newly built Salzburg artist house was handed over to the Kunstverein. The first exhibition in the new house was an "arts and crafts exhibition", which was extremely successful with the public, but met with criticism from representatives of the arts and crafts because the extremely high exhibition space did not match the medium-high exhibits, which led to that the founding of its own arts and crafts association was decided. This split was partly welcomed by the artists who wanted to see the arts and crafts as an “appendage of art”. Due to financial considerations, the concept of a permanent exhibition was abandoned and in future only a large summer exhibition and smaller exhibitions on special occasions were planned.

The idea of ​​an art school for Salzburg was ventilated several times, but could never be implemented. After all, Anton Faistauer 's idea of ​​an academy led to a building design by the architect Hermann Rehrls, which was not implemented. On the other hand, the proposal for an own gallery, which had already been considered in 1862, had at least partially been implemented. Due to financial bottlenecks, this facility, which existed between 1914 and 1959, had to limit itself to gifts from exhibiting artists; Between May 2 and 14, 1959, the holdings were auctioned off in favor of a building fund, but some memorabilia seem to still be there. A number of artistic innovations emerged from the Salzburg Art Association, such as " The Aquarius ", which existed between 1919 and 1922. The “ Salzburg Group ” , founded in the early 1950s , cautiously devoted itself to modern art, but remained stuck in rejecting the representational. The union of the " Salzburg naive " remained a short-term phenomenon that did not come close to the format of Henri Rousseau .

During the time of National Socialism , the Salzburg Art Association was also dissolved and incorporated into the Reich Chamber of Culture under the name “Cooperative of Salzburg's Visual Artists” . The regional directors of the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts in Salzburg were Richard Spitz (until 1942) and Viktor Kuschel (until 1945), who were quartered in the Künstlerhaus.

As early as August 23, 1945, the provisional committee of what would later become the Kunstverein met in the Künstlerhaus and discussed the re-establishment of the Kunstverein. Although a number of exhibitions had already been held in the Künstlerhaus, it was not until August 30, 1947 that the Salzburg Art Association was re-established; Rigobert Funke-Elbstadt , director of the Carolino Augusteum Municipal Museum , was elected president. The attempts by the Kunstverein to gain a foothold in downtown Salzburg are remarkable. An exhibition room was found in the residence , and the artists Toni Schneider-Manzell , Poldi Wojtek and Karl Schatzer were able to set up their own workshops there. The graphic experimental  workshop , the Society for Modern Art (MOKU) and the Contemporary Art Gallery also found accommodation there. Thus a significant part of the activities of the Kunstverein shifted from the Künstlerhaus to the Residenz. The most successful events of the art association also took place there.

Today's conception

The founding intentions continue to form the basis for today's concept of the association. The association serves as a forum for contemporary art by international and Austrian artists. With the premises of the Künstlerhaus a cultural center has been created, which is characterized by interdisciplinary events such as readings, music performances and scenic interpretation of installations.

The Irish-Canadian curator and artist Seamus Kealy has been director of the Salzburg Art Association since 2014. Kealy completed his art studies at the University of British Columbia and from 2008 to 2013 was the director and artistic director of The Model in Sligo , one of Ireland's leading houses for contemporary art.

The association's exhibitions are dedicated to all forms of contemporary art, but the focus is on the new media, film and video installations, conceptual art and photography. Innovative thinking is also at the center of the presentation of traditional art forms such as sculpture and painting. On this basis, in addition to solo exhibitions, topic-specific and multidisciplinary exhibitions that relate to current topics are created. The association opens an annual exhibition especially for its members. Only members can apply with their works to participate.

The concept of a center for contemporary art is also reflected in the artist-in-residency program that the Salzburger Kunstverein has been offering since 2015. In cooperation with the Federal Chancellery of Austria, the State of Salzburg and the City of Salzburg, studios of the Künstlerhaus are regularly awarded to international and national artists. The studios are made available to the artists for the development of new art projects for periods of between one and three months.

In 2008, however, the Kunstverein was awarded the ADKV-ART COLOGNE Prize “for its excellent exhibition practice and mediation activities” (together with the Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster).

ARTgenossen - association for cultural mediation
purpose Art education
Chair: Doris Oberholzer
Establishment date: 2001
Seat : Salzburg , Künstlerhaus (Hellbrunner Strasse 3)

In 2001, the ARTgenossen association was founded to provide art education. This association runs youth and adult education.

Events (selection)

Exhibitions and events since 1998 (with an annually changing focus).

1998 architecture, town planning and urbanism
1999 living conditions
2000 inner space / outer space
2001 collaborations
2002 narratives
2003 focus on Eastern Europe
2004 Anthropological Aspects of Everyday Life
2005 Fantastic world of images
2006 moods
2008 Image Politics
2009 Performing the East
2010 participation
2011 Sense and Sensibility
2012 Yonamine
2013 Cecilia Nygren - My Dreams Are Still About Flying
2014 Punctum - Comments on Photography
2015 Invisible Violence
2016 Hans Schabus. The Long Road from Tall Trees to Tall Houses
2016 Stan Douglas. The Secret Agent
2016 The People's Cinema
2016 Anna-Sophie Berger & Hayley Silverman & Flaka Haliti



The Salzburger Kunstverein is a member of the umbrella organization Salzburg cultural sites .

Prizes and awards

2008 ADKV-ART COLOGNE Prize for art associations
2015 Salzburg Culture Poster Prize for the exhibition poster Invisible Violence

Publications (selection)


  • Gottfried Goiginger: Tolerance as a program. The Salzburger Kunstverein after 1945. In: 150 Years of the Salzburger Kunstverein (ed.): Art and the public 1844–1994. Salzburg 1994, pp. 171-199.
  • Roman Höllbacher: The artist house as a monument to the art association. In: 150 Years of the Salzburger Kunstverein (ed.): Art and the public 1844–1994. Salzburg 1994, pp. 47-77.
  • Christa Svoboda: On the history of the Salzburg Art Association. In: 150 Years of the Salzburger Kunstverein (ed.): Art and the public 1844–1994. Salzburg 1994, pp. 9-46.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d program ,
  2. ^ Board of Directors ,
  3. a b employee ,
  4. Christa Svoboda, 1994, p. 16.
  5. ^ [1] Salzburg Art Association
  6. Christa Svoboda, 1994, p. 32.
  7. ^ [2] Salzburg Art Association
  8. ^ [3] Salzburg Art Association
  9. ^ [4] ADKV
  10. [5] Culture poster award