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Special exhibition 2021: We Frederick III & Maximilian I

special exhibition 

In the expanded Gothic Museum, Admont Abbey presented a multifaceted special exhibition on two Habsburg personalities in 2021:

WE FRIEDRICH III & MAXIMILIAN I - Their world and their time

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exhibition contents

In the extended Gothic Museum, Admont Abbey presented a special exhibition on the two Habsburg personalities Frederick III and his son Maximilian I in their dynastic network and their environment. This period covered the transition from the late Middle Ages with the late Gothic period to the Renaissance. More than 200 exhibits from 46 lenders guaranteed you a powerful and expressive encounter. This epoch, which signalled a major upheaval for Europe, was very much alive. With a few exceptions, the exhibits were originals/unique artefacts that reflected the two Habsburg personalities in their time and space.

Art and culture. Faith, history and mentality.

Frederick III and Maximilian I could be experienced as father and son. As a prelude, they were placed in a larger historical context. The arc spanned from the acquisition of Tyrol to the rise of the House of Habsburg to great power status. Meinhard II, Margarethe Maultasch, Rudolph IV, Frederick IV with the Empty Pocket, Albrecht VI and Sigmund the Rich in Coin were presented together with Frederick III and Maximilian I in exquisite exhibits. Counts and noble families such as the Schaunbergs, the Polheimers or the Styrian Prankhers were thematised, as were relationships with the Fuggers, Florian Waldauf Ritter von Waldenstein and other privileged individuals. Exhibits on mining and castles provided detailed insights. The art of this period was represented by renowned artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Max Reichlich, Master of the Habsburgs, Bernhard Strigel, Bernard van Orley and Bernhard v. Seyboldtsdorf in panel paintings and portraits.


The special features of the exhibits

The veneration of saints by the House of Habsburg was reflected in depictions of saints such as Florian, Sebastian, St Christopher, St George and St Andrew - as detailed sculptures or as panel paintings with a memorial function. Outstanding unique pieces focused on the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of St George and the Order of Temperance. Frederick III's motto AEIOU was also developed, as were Maximilian's "gedechtnus" projects. Stones as bearers of stately messages, coats of arms, armour, weapons, captivatingly aesthetic funeral helmets and funerary shields. Or a 2.6 metre long funeral procession as a complete work of art. Charters with memorable seals, expressive lettering and signatures; coins and show coins. The "flourishing" arts and crafts of the time were also presented in a variety of ways - and much more besides. This multifaceted special exhibition was on display in the newly adapted area of the Gothic Museum (ground floor) and extended into the manuscript room on the first floor (opposite the entrance to the library).

A catalogue was published for the 2021 exhibition, which is available in the monastery shop!

Mayer Collection and 46 lenders

This theme, which is so unusual for Admont, was initiated by art collector and patron Kuno Mayer. With his wide-ranging expertise, he acted as guest curator, exhibition architect and mediator. This range of activities was based on a mutually vital partnership between Admont Abbey and Kuno Mayer, who celebrated the two emperors with exhibits that mainly came from the secular part of his art collection.

This new look at Mayer's treasures revealed a number of showpieces, but also some unexpected ones. The internationally acclaimed sculpture "Emperor Frederick III" (Inntal Master, around 1460) is a key exhibit of great appeal.

This important period of European history was brought to life in a kaleidoscopic way in the combination of selected works from the Mayer Collection with exhibits from Admont Abbey and loans from 46 institutions.

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Lenders from Austria, South Tyrol, Liechtenstein and Germany

Over a period of two years, the exhibition team travelled across Austria and beyond in search of clues and traces. In several cases, the origin of the exhibits reflected the areas of significance and influence of Frederick III and Maximilian I.

We were particularly keen to involve monasteries such as Kremsmünster, Vorau, St Florian, St Lambrecht, St Paul, Seckau, Stams, Wilten, Klosterneuburg and Heiligenkreuz/Neukloster.

The following institutions were represented as museums:
Universalmuseum Joanneum Graz (Museum Geschichte, Zeughaus, Alte Galerie), Tiroler Landesmuseen, Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Landesmuseum Kärnten, Wien Museum, Belvedere Wien, KHM Wien, Stadtmuseum Nordico Linz, Museum Lauriacum Enns, Stadtmuseum Wels, Heimatmuseum Schärding, Innviertler Volkskundehaus Ried, Stadtmuseum Hall in Tirol, Schattenburg Feldkirch, Familienstiftung Schloss Tratzberg, Diözesanmuseum Brixen, Landesfürstliche Burg Meran, Bergbau- und Gotikmuseum Leogang, Schlossmuseum Peuerbach.

Archives such as:
Provincial Archives of Styria, Austrian House, Court and State Archives, Order of the Golden Fleece, Municipality of Grein, Tyrolean Provincial Archives, Municipal Archives of Hall in Tyrol, Diocesan Archives of Brixen.

Also involved were the parish church of Wildpoldsried/Bishopric of Augsburg, the agricultural community of Obdach Spitalkirche, Liechtenstein - The Princely Collections Vaduz-Vienna, the library of the Montanuniversität Leoben, the Dr Rützler Collection and private lenders.