Universalmuseum Joanneum

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Universalmuseum Joanneum
Old Joanneum
Old Joanneum
place Graz , Styria , Austria
Universal museum
opening November 26, 1811
Number of visitors (annually) 529,571 (2015)

The Universalmuseum Joanneum , formerly the Landesmuseum Joanneum , is a museum with 13 locations in Graz and Styria . It was named after Archduke Johann , the founder of the museum. It is the oldest and after the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna also the second largest museum in Austria .


Old Joanneum, inner courtyard Lesliehof
Extensive construction work took place between the “old” and “new” Joanneum during the redesign of the inner courtyard

The Joanneum was founded in 1811 by Archduke Johann, originally it was both a museum and a teaching institution. Several famous scientists taught and researched around the Archduke's extensive scientific collections: For example, Friedrich Mohs developed the hardness scale for minerals named after him at the Joanneum, and the father of palaeobotany, Franz Unger , passed his knowledge on to students here. In addition, the writer and historian Johann Ritter von Kalchberg also helped build the facility when it was founded. In 1864 the Joanneum was raised to the rank of "Imperial and Royal Technical University", from which the Technical University of Graz emerged . The spatial and organizational separation of the university from the overall institution was followed in 1887 by the decision to unite the Joanneum collections in a state museum.

In the following years, the Joanne show collections were reorganized in the Lesliehof in Graz's Raubergasse. Since the spatial conditions here were soon inadequate, a new museum building in neo-baroque style was built from 1890 to 1895 in Graz's Neutorgasse, based on designs by August Gunold - the “New Joanneum”.

The two opposite buildings of the Old and New Joanneum were extensively renovated from 2010 to 2013 and connected underground to form the “Joanneum Quarter”. For the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Joanneum, the Neue Galerie Graz and the multimedia collections were located here in 2011 . With the opening of the newly designed natural history museum on March 15, 2013, this project, which was supported by the Styrian state government with substantial special budgets, was completed.

The Künstlerhaus Graz , opened in 1952, was incorporated into what was then the Landesmuseum Joanneum in 2003. In 2012 it was again outsourced from the responsibility of the Joanneum and has been operated by the Kunstverein Medienturm as a hall for art and media since 2013 .

In October 2019, the CoSA - Center of Science Activities, a science center, opened in cooperation with the Graz Children's Museum FRida & freD .


Organization and staff

For a long time it was run as an office of the Styrian regional administration, but in 2003 the Joanneum was converted into a non-profit limited company, headed by two managing directors: Peter Pakesch as artistic director and Wolfgang Muchitsch as scientific director. With this step, the Landesmuseum Joanneum GmbH gained more personal responsibility and autonomy in terms of personnel and budget. However, the state of Styria - following the Archduke Johanns Foundation - continues to own the property and bear the property rights to the museum. September 2009 the name was changed to Universalmuseum Joanneum. From October 15, 2015 to December 31, 2017, Wolfgang Muchitsch was the sole managing director of the GmbH. On January 1, 2018, Alexia Getzinger was appointed commercial director.

The Universalmuseum Joanneum employs around 420 people and enjoys international recognition. More than 4.5 million objects in the collection form the basis for a multifaceted program of exhibitions and events that conveys a broad spectrum of art, culture and science. This traditional house is following its founding mandates of collecting, preserving, researching and communicating in order to present a comprehensive picture of nature, history, art and culture of Styria in an international context in the future.

Savings in the state budget, which will bring about 4.3 million euros less in financial resources for the Universalmuseum Joanneum by the end of 2012, made a comprehensive restructuring necessary, which was completed in 2011. The previously existing 24 departments were partially merged.


The collections and exhibits are currently housed or presented in buildings that mostly represent evidence of historical architecture: castles, aristocratic palaces, former monasteries and the state armory in Graz, which is the world's largest historical armory. But also striking examples of modern architecture can be found in the association of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, e.g. B. the Kunsthaus Graz (2003), the Roman Museum Flavia Solva (2004) and the new archeology museum in the park of Eggenberg Palace (2009). In 2006, the Madrid architecture firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, together with the Graz firm eep architekten, won the tender for the new visitor center, which will be built underground in the courtyard of the Neutorgasse and Raubergasse buildings; the opening took place in 2011.

Collections and locations in Graz

State Armory

The unique Landeszeughaus in Graz is considered the largest preserved historical armory in the world. On behalf of the Styrian estates, Antonio Solar built the "landscape arsenal" between 1642 and 1644. Until the 18th century, it was the most important weapons depot in the southeast of the Habsburg Empire. When Maria Theresa centralized the army, the armory was closed, but was preserved as a “monument to the history of the country”. The Landeszeughaus has been part of the Joanneum since 1892 and conveys the atmosphere of an original armory from the 17th century. 32,000 exhibits have been preserved, including armor , mail shirts, helmets, weapons and other military equipment .

Joanneum district

New Gallery Graz

The Neue Galerie Graz was created in 1941 by dividing the Landesbildgalerie des Joanneum, founded in 1811, into an old and a new gallery, with the latter taking over the holdings from the 19th and 20th centuries as a new museum department. The collection includes important holdings of fine art from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the present. The Neue Galerie also has a graphics collection with around 40,000 works, a photo collection and a film and video collection. Regular special exhibitions show international and Austrian contemporary art as well as works from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Neue Galerie has been located on the premises of the New Joanneum in the newly designed Joanneum Quarter since 2011. In addition to a permanent exhibition, special exhibitions and the so-called Bruseum with works by Günter Brus can be visited.

Natural History Museum

In 2013 the newly designed Natural History Museum (Graz) was opened in the Joanneum Quarter in the premises of the Old Joanneum . In a modern presentation, the permanent exhibition conveys selected topics related to the diversity of animate and inanimate nature. Objects from all natural science collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum (botany, geology, paleontology, mineralogy, zoology) can be seen. Special exhibitions enable in-depth discussion of changing topics.

Center of Science Activities (CoSA)

The Center of Science Activities (CoSA) is a science center in the Natural History Museum, in which technology and natural sciences are taught at a low level. It was opened in 2019 after a four-year planning phase as a joint project of the Graz Children's Museum FRida & freD and the Universalmuseum Joanneum. A special feature of the CoSA is the combination of storytelling, augmented reality and gamification for knowledge transfer in the museum area.

Multimedia collections

The multimedia collections (formerly image and sound archive) were founded in 1960 in order not only to collect photo, film and sound material relevant for Styria, but also to record it, to process it for scientific and educational purposes and to make it accessible to the public . The collection now consists of more than 2.5 million photos, tens of thousands of sound carriers and thousands of films and documents the development of the state, starting with the beginnings of photography. The management of the multimedia collection has been located in the Joanneumsviertel since 2011, and exhibitions can be viewed in the Museum of History.

Natural History Study Center

The natural science collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum (botany, geology & palaeontology, mineralogy, zoology) have been located in the Natural History Study Center since autumn 2009, where collection maintenance and research are carried out at a contemporary level. While the Natural History Study Center provides scientific work as well as technical information, lectures and seminars are held, the collections are exhibited in the Natural History Museum, which is part of the Joanneum Quarter.


Ferns, flowering plants, mushrooms and mosses - dried, pressed, stretched, packed in paper capsules: the core of the botanical collection consists of more than half a million different, preserved plants. Special collections with fruits, seeds and fruit models as well as an extensive xylothek (wooden library) complement the herbarium , which is not only a comprehensive archive of the Styrian flora, but also the basis for research on local vegetation.

Geology and paleontology

500 million years of Styrian history are gathered here: petrified remains of earlier living beings tell of ice ages , tropical seas, primeval and swamp forests. In addition to the ancient elephant, the cave bear and the giant deer, corals, shells and fish are among the core pieces of the collection. The Geology & Paleontology Department has been organizing fossil excavations with schools since 1998 .


The mineralogical collection came from Archduke Johann's private collection, which comprised several thousand pieces. Today it has grown to around 80,000 objects and presents minerals from all over the world as well as a Styrian regional collection. The mineralogy at the Landesmuseum Joanneum was also the place of activity of Friedrich Mohs , who invented his hardness scale here , which is still decisive today. He was the first custodian of the Joanneum.


The collection includes around 850,000 objects. The typical species are presented in their habitats , with the vertebrates being given the largest display area. Representatives from other regions - from the seashore to the original wildlife of Australia - round off the collection. In the case of invertebrates , insects and mollusks (molluscs) are the main focus, while in the case of vertebrates, their skeletons and bird eggs stand out in scientific collections.

Kunsthaus Graz

The Kunsthaus Graz , a joint commitment of the State of Styria and the City of Graz as part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, is committed to lively encounters with art.

It is an exhibition house for international contemporary art that shows international tendencies in regular changing exhibitions and places them in a national and regional context. The Kunsthaus Graz is committed to the freedom of art. It is independent in its program, discursive and open to all people in a diverse society in transition. The Kunsthaus Graz opened its doors in 2003 as the architectural end of the “European Capital of Culture year”. Meanwhile, the "Friendly Alien" with its biomorphic architecture by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier is not only a magnet for art and culture enthusiasts from all over the world, but also an essential part of the urban identity of the city of Graz.

As an exhibition center for contemporary art, it has shown Austrian and international art since 1960. The BIX media facade of the Kunsthaus Graz, designed by the Berlin designers "realities: united", represents a unique fusion of architecture and media technology. Like an urban screen, it serves as an instrument for artistic communication.

History Museum

The Museum of History invites you to examine the development and change in Styria from the Middle Ages to the present day. The exhibitions in the Museum of History are based on two collections from the Universalmuseum Joanneum: The cultural history collection is dedicated to the cultural epochs of Styria and the arts and crafts production in this country. The multimedia collections document regional history in photos, films and sound. The architecture of this museum location is also historically valuable: the Herberstein Palace in Sackstrasse is one of the most important architectural monuments in Graz's old town . The representative staircase opens up a view of a ceiling fresco attributed to the Styrian painter Philipp Carl Laubmann (1709–1792). Since April 2017 two light works by the artist Brigitte Kowanz can be seen there and in the north entrance of the Palais . 

Eggenberg Castle

Eggenberg Palace , the most important palace complex in Styria, is surrounded by an extensive landscaped garden . Modeled on the Spanish Escorial , it is both an impressive representative building and a complex allegory of the universe. The center of the complex building of ideas is a precious ensemble of historical interiors. The cycle of 24 state rooms with original furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries is one of the most important ensembles of historical interiors that Austria has. The highlight of this sequence of rooms is the planetary hall, completed in 1685, which owes its name to the cycle of paintings by court painter Hans Adam Weissenkircher . With its multi-layered picture program, which merges astrological and hermetic ideas, number symbolism and family mythology into a complex allegory for the glory of the Eggenberg family , it is one of the most impressive spatial works of art of the early Baroque in Central Europe.

Old gallery

The Alte Galerie's collection contains masterpieces of European art from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century. The permanent exhibition at Schloss Eggenberg is set up according to an innovative concept: no longer chronologically, but sorted by topic. B. by Lucas Cranach the Elder Ä. , Pieter Brueghel the Younger or Martin Johann Schmidt as well as outstanding medieval works such as the Admonter Madonna to stroll between the ages. Thematically changing special exhibitions such as “Rembrandt. Etchings ”or“ With bold brushstrokes. Baroque oil sketches from the Alte Galerie ”complement the multi-faceted picture arches of the permanent exhibition. The holdings of the Kupferstichkabinett of the Alte Galerie can be viewed by appointment and contain hand drawings and prints from 1500 to the end of the 18th century. Among them are u. a. Works by Rembrandt , Albrecht Dürer and Giambattista Piranesi .

Coin Cabinet

This, too, goes back to Archduke Johann's private collection and, with more than 70,000 objects, is the second largest public coin collection in Austria. The most important pieces in the collection are Roman coins found in Styria, Friesach and Graz pennies from the Middle Ages, as well as coins and medals from the Austrian mints of Graz, Klagenfurt and St. Veit as well as from other countries of the Danube Monarchy . The permanent exhibition of the Münzkabinett is located in the oldest part of Eggenberg Palace.

Archeology museum

Eggenberg Castle Archaeological Museum

The archeology museum shows more than 1200 objects from past lifeworlds around timeless topics of human existence. The second largest archaeological collection in Austria combines evidence of human existence from the "Styrian" prehistoric times with finds from Classical Antiquity, the Ancient Near East and Egypt. A globally unique attraction is the Strettweg cult car , a grave object from the Hallstatt period that can be admired in the archeology museum, which opened in 2009. Also on display is the so-called Grünau silver beaker , one of the most valuable Roman finds from today's Styria . One of the most important Roman stone collections in the Eastern Alps can be seen in the attached lapidarium : 96 stones - tombstones, monuments, medallions and round sculptures -, three floor mosaics and, as an outstanding exhibit, the almost three meter high grave stele of L. Cantius are exhibited.

In terms of content, closely related to the archaeological museum, the Roman Museum Flavia Solva in Wagna, southern Styria, at the most important Roman site in Styria , provides interesting information about everyday life, worship of gods and the cult of the dead in the formerly most cultivated city in the Roman province of Noricum .

Folklore Museum

View into the costume hall in the Folklore Museum Graz (July 2016)

The Folklore Museum houses the oldest and most extensive folklore collection in Styria. The newly designed permanent collection offers insights into the culture and way of life in Styria in pre-industrial times. She is primarily dedicated to the subjects of “living”, “clothing” and “faith” and shows the social and cultural relationships between people and the objects they have left behind. Special features of the collection are the original smoking room and the costume hall.

Collections and locations outside of Graz

Hunting Museum and Agriculture Museum

Stainz Castle in western Styria is home to two locations of the Universalmuseum Joanneum:

The Hunting Museum understands the hunt as a historical, sociological and philosophical-ethical phenomenon and explains the connections between hunting, game ecology and nature. The exhibits - including baroque trophies, historically unique weapons, paintings and objets d'art - help illustrate the development of hunting from the Stone Age through the Roman Age to the courtly and bourgeois period.

The Agricultural Museum refers to the progressive spirit of Archduke Johann , who acquired the rule of Stainz in 1840 . The focus of the collection shows farm work before industrialization as well as equipment and photo documentation on the fields of agriculture and cattle breeding. Original room furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries convey different dimensions of rural living in Styria. In the open-air area, a herb pit, a forge, a herb garden, an orchard and an experimental field illustrate the diversity of agricultural work areas.

Trautenfels Castle

The Baroque Trautenfels Castle , located at the foot of the Grimmings , presents a permanent collection of around 1,000 exhibits on the natural and cultural history of both the Ennstal and Ausseerland . In addition, Count Lamberg's antlers room , the magnificent marble hall and the richly decorated state rooms are open to visitors.

Austrian sculpture park

More than 60 sculptures, embedded in a seven-hectare park with rose hills, lotus ponds and labyrinths, can be discovered in the south of Graz: In the Austrian Sculpture Park , since it was founded in 2003, visitors have been able to get an overview of - mainly Austrian, but also International - contemporary sculpture and plastic art and at the same time enjoy the curved gardens of the Swiss landscape architect Dieter Kienast .

Underneath is the contaminated site ST29 to be rehabilitated, the Schwarzl construction waste and household waste dump from the 1960s.

Austrian Open Air Museum Stübing

The Austrian Open-Air Museum is one of the 10 large central open-air museums in Europe. As the largest and only open-air museum, it shows characteristic historical house landscapes from the various federal states. During a stroll across Austria, the historic rural buildings tell exciting stories about life, living, working and partying, i.e. the everyday life of the rural population of yore. The excursion to the museum valley of the Austrian Open Air Museum Stübing near Graz is an exciting (time) journey for the whole family on the trail of the rural history of Austria.

The Stübing open-air museum has been part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum since January 1, 2019.

Rosegger's birthplace in Alpl and the Rosegger Museum in Krieglach

The Styrian folk poet Peter Rosegger often drew from memories of his childhood in the Kluppeneggerhof am Alpl and coined the term “ Waldheimat ” for this place . The house where he was born is reminiscent of the humble life of the mountain farming family and is still only accessible on foot. A half-hour walk through the Alpl forest landscape leads up to the building ensemble, which consists of a residential building, stables, barn, field box and a flax drying hut.

In Peter Rosegger's former country house in Krieglach, you will find the Rosegger Museum , which traces important stages of his life and work in an exhibition and gives an authentic insight into the author's private lifestyle. His workroom and his death room have been preserved in their original state. Especially in comparison to the humble birthplace, this museum also conveys Rosegger's social rise from a mountain farmer's child to a successful writer.

Both locations were incorporated into the Universalmuseum Joanneum in 2013.

Donations to the Neue Galerie Graz

On April 12, 2016, the art collector Helmut Suschnigg , who comes from Styria and lives in Vienna, donated around 470 works from the museum, the majority of his collection - paintings, graphics and sculptures - including works by Roy Lichtenstein , Andy Warhol and Erwin Wurm . The significant increase for the museum, with its focus on pop art, represents new territory for the Neue Galerie.

With the Ploner Collection , the Neue Galerie Graz received an important selection of 47 works of Austrian and international painting and graphic art after 1945 from the possession of the Viennese entrepreneur and art collector Heinz Ploner through his widow Regina Ploner. The Ploner donation also contains works by artists such as Brigitte Kowanz, Erwin Wurm and a larger block of works by Henri Michaux. These artists were also given exhibitions and their works were bought for the collection of the Neue Galerie Graz. The Ploner donation made it possible to add important works to these holdings.

Another focus was initiated by the donation from Petra and Ralph Schilcher, whose collection of "Serial Art" with a volume of more than 1,000 works, which were created during their thirty years of production and publishing in the Edition Artelier, was transferred to the collection of the Neue Galerie Graz . Edition Artelier, founded by Petra and Ralph Schilcher in 1985, ended the production and publishing of editions after 30 years. From the beginning of 2016 the collection was transferred to the holdings of the Neue Galerie Graz at the Universalmuseum Joanneum as a closed collection complex. The collection includes names of great artists such as John Baldessari, Martin Kippenberger, Peter Kogler, Jörg Schlick, Michael Schuster, Erwin Wurm and Heimo Zobernig.

Among the important patrons are the collector Hellmut Czerny and his wife Norli, who donated several thousand works of art from the fields of painting, graphics and photography to the museum over a period of more than three decades.




Web links

Commons : Universalmuseum Joanneum  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The Joanneum Quarter was opened! In: Joanneumsviertel. Retrieved July 12, 2015 .
  2. 2015 Annual Report of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, page 21. Accessed on December 26, 2016 .
  3. ^ Künstlerhaus Graz becomes "Hall for Art and Media". In: DerStandard. January 21, 2013, accessed July 13, 2015 .
  4. Planning & construction. In: Joanneumsviertel. Retrieved July 12, 2015 .
  5. About the Kunsthaus Graz - Mission Statement.
  6. Old Gallery, Eggenberg Palace.
  7. Coin Cabinet
  8. Hunting Museum Schloss Stainz
  9. http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/umweltschutz/altlasten/altlasteninfo/altlasten/steiermark/st29 Altlast ST 29: Schwarzl landfill, Federal Environment Agency, November 2012, updated January 1, 2014, accessed December 25, 2015.
  10. Annual Report 2013. Accessed July 12, 2015 .
  11. Generous donation: 470 works for Joanneum orf.at April 12, 2016, accessed April 12, 2016.
  12. ^ The Ploner Collection. Universalmuseum Joanneum, accessed on January 18, 2019 .
  13. Donation "Collection Artelier". Universalmuseum Joanneum, accessed on January 18, 2019 .
  14. Patrons. Universalmuseum Joanneum, accessed on January 18, 2019 .

Coordinates: 47 ° 4 ′ 21 ″  N , 15 ° 26 ′ 12.5 ″  E