Kuno and Helga Mayer from Götzis in Vorarlberg have entrusted the Admont Benedictines with a significant part of their collection of medieval art in the form of a donation and permanent loans, so that this rescued cultural asset is permanently accessible to the general public and future generations. Realised as a permanent exhibition entitled "DEM HIMMEL NAHE-Sammlung Mayer" on the ground floor of the museum landscape of Admont Abbey. A collection of 85 exhibits. Sacred. International. The presentation of the Mayer Collection in the Abbey Museum is the reflection of an art-historically relevant private collection as well as a manifestation of the thoughts, feelings and actions of an extraordinary collector couple with a focus on Gothic art treasures. 


In Admont Abbey, the Mayer couple found a partner who provided the financial, spatial and personnel framework and generously gave them the freedom to realise their exhibition concept, which had been thought through in many layers and put down on paper in detail, in a way that could be experienced and explored by visitors. Their overall concept included the conversion of the hall on the ground floor, which is divided by 12 pillars, the production of structural style elements, the purchase of special display cases, the compositional and visual communication of the content and the overall text, including audio guides and printed works such as the richly illustrated catalogue for the permanent exhibition.

On the occasion of the opening of the permanent exhibition in 2017, Abbot Gerhard Hafner formulated memorable words for the future: "With this generous and magnanimous donation, Mr and Mrs Mayer will inscribe themselves in the long-term historical memory of Admont Abbey. Both of them have collected these Gothic works of art with great love and dedication - we will honour this immeasurable treasure with great care and responsibility". The decision in favour of this value partnership was made in 2014 and proved to be a "fortunate coincidence", as it was possible to close the historical Gothic gap in the abbey's treasury, which had suffered severe losses due to two drastic events: the so-called "great abbey fire" in 1856 and the emergency sales from the precious collection due to the economic crisis in the late 1920s and 1930s.

In a joint letter to visitors to the permanent exhibition, Kuno and Helga Mayer postulated their personal connection with the forms of expression and the expressive power of the sculptures and panel paintings as "lovely and delicate", "comforting and uplifting": "Beautiful Madonnas" from around 1400, the so-called Soft Style, works from the Ulm School of the early 16th century, numerous exquisitely crafted works of art on themes such as the life of the Virgin Mary, intercession scenes, depictions of saints, the birth of Christ and the baptism of Jesus as well as Anna Selbdritt, the crucifixion, the crucifixion and the baptism of Jesus. There are also numerous exquisitely crafted works of art on themes such as the life of the Virgin Mary, intercession scenes, depictions of saints, the birth of Christ and the baptism of Jesus as well as St Anne, the crucifixion, the resurrection and much more.

Gothic Admont Abbey Kuno Mayer Michael Braunsteiner
Children's Museum c Thomas Sattler www

In 2019, Österreichische Post AG honoured the cultural and art-historical significance of the permanent exhibition with a special stamp entitled "Mayer Gothic Collection at Admont Abbey Museum" (issue of 360,000, face value 135 cents). And on behalf of Pope Francis, Kuno Mayer was awarded the Order of the Knights of St Sylvester in April 2018. This honour also highlights the significance of the Mayer Collection for cultural memory - in the spirit of Pope Francis. This "Gothic hotspot" is sought out and appreciated by numerous visitors to the Abbey Museum every year.

Shortly after the opening of the permanent Gothic exhibition in 2017, Helga Mayer fell seriously ill and died on 10 October of the same year. On 12 July 2022, Kuno Mayer died after many years of illness, succeeding his wife Helga with the certainty that the works so familiar to them have found a home in the Admont Abbey Museum and have been made permanently accessible to the public in the Abbey Museum. You can read more about their joint path for the Gothic "forever" in the museum newspaper 2023 as "In Memoriam Kuno and Helga Mayer" on pages 14-17 (downloadable as a PDF, see homepage You can also read about the genesis of their joint initiative to launch a Habsburg exhibition at Admont Abbey Museum, which was developed to accompany the special exhibition "WE FRIEDRICH III & MAXIMILIAN I. - Their World and Their Time" in 2021 and was presented in 2022 in a transformed form with the subtitle "CULTURAL PROPERTY MOVED" - with loans from the secular part of the Mayer Collection in the context of 46 lending institutions (see Museum Journal 2021: "Frederick III and his son Maximilian I - Special Exhibition 2021", pp. 10-15 and Museum Journal 2022: "We Frederick III & Maximilian I - Cultural Property Moved!", pp. 22-25 and Museum Journal 2023: "Frederick III & Maximilian I - 2021/2022 in retrospect", pp. 18-21).

Catalogue for the permanent exhibition.

CLOSE TO HEAVEN. Art of the Middle Ages in the Benedictine Abbey of Admont. The exhibition / Mayer Collection. Edited by the Benedictine Abbey of Admont. Admont Abbey 2017 (available in the museum shop).

Catalogue book for the 2021 special exhibition

WIR FRIEDRICH III. & MAXIMILIAN I. - Their world and their time, Barbara Eisner-B. and Kuno Erich Mayer - on behalf of the Benedictine Abbey of Admont (ed.), 50 authors, richly illustrated, 368 pages, 30.3×21.5×3.4 cm, Admont 2021, ISBN: 9783200077058.


Admont Abbey - Gothic Monks Museum © Stefan Leitner
Children's Museum c Thomas Sattler www
Special exhibition Gothic II
Benedictine Abbey Admont - Library & Museum Children © Thomas Sattler
gothic museum 1 20171221 19622659101
Gothic Museum 2 c Stefan Leitner e1648800053384
Benedictine Abbey Admont - Library & Museum Children © Thomas Sattler
Gothic Museum Pano c Stefan Leitner
Children's Museum c Thomas Sattler www