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Admont Abbey starts museum season with unique special exhibitions

"Long live diversity"...

Admont Abbey starts museum season with unique special exhibitions

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 

"Long live diversity"... is the slogan of our Abbey Museum and this is to be taken quite literally. After all, the oldest existing monastery in Styria is home to world-class cultural artefacts. Admont's Abbey Museum includes a museum of contemporary art, a museum of natural history and a museum of art history, as well as the world's largest abbey library. Since 2017, exhibits from the Mayer Collection have also been on display in a dedicated Gothic museum. The permanent exhibition "DEM HIMMEL NAHE" has now been expanded to include a room dedicated to two special Habsburg personalities. "WE FRIEDRICH III & MAXIMILIAN I - Their World and Their Time" is the title of this year's special exhibition, which can be seen until 1 November 2021. "It shows a fascinating world that allows visitors to experience both imperial personalities from the House of Habsburg from the cradle to the grave in their environment as father and son," says Abbot Gerhard Hafner O.S.B.

A multifaceted journey through time

Over 200 exhibits from a total of 46 lenders guarantee an expressive encounter with the art and culture of the Middle Ages in the transition to the early modern period. For the Prior of our museum, Father Maximilian Schiefermüller O.S.B., this is an unrivalled experience, as he says: "In my opinion, the special exhibition on Emperor Frederick III and his son Maximilian I in their dynastic network and environment beats everything that has gone before on this subject." With a few exceptions, the artefacts are originals and unique pieces that reflect both Habsburgs in their time and space. As a prelude, father and son are placed in a larger historical context. The arch spans from the acquisition of Tyrol to the rise of the House of Habsburg to great power status. The art of this period is represented in panel paintings and portraits by renowned artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Max Reichlich, Master of the Habsburgs, Bernhard Strigel and Bernard van Orley. The multifaceted special exhibition occupies the newly adapted area in the Gothic Museum and extends to the manuscript room on the first floor.

Located in Admont

In addition to "WE FRIEDRICH III & MAXIMILIAN I - Their World and Their Time", Admont's Abbey Museum is also hosting another special exhibition. Under the title "Localisations", the Museum of Contemporary Art is showing photographs that are "Made for Admont". "These works of art are particularly authentic because they originated here in Admont," says Dr Michael Braunsteiner, Artistic Director of the Abbey Museum. The special exhibition should have been presented last year to mark the 20th anniversary of the "Made for Admont" programme, but had to be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past two decades, many works have been created with a close connection to the region, the monastery and the people who work here. The project was launched in 2000 by Austria's most modern painter at the time, Lois Renner. He was followed by many other well-known artists, including Erwin Wurm, who gave his "One minute sculptures" a reference to the Benedictine monastery. Braunsteiner emphasises the importance of the dialogue between old and new art in Admont's Abbey Museum: "By building up a collection of contemporary art, we have made an important statement that has also earned us the Austrian Museum Prize."