Long Night of Museums in Vienna

Tonight was the “Lange Nacht der Museen” (long night of museums).  And yes, I had a long night.  Morten and I were in Vienna, and (almost last-minute) decided to check out a few museums.  We started our museum tour around 10:00 p.m.  We purchased our 11 Euro tickets (gives us free admission to almost any museum in Vienna from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.).  I suppose we started a little late, but we were determined to make the most of it anyway.

We started at the Albertina.  The first thing that we noticed was that there were streams of people moving into and out of the museum.  Luckily, despite the plethora of museum-goes, we were able to have our own space to view the paintings and pictures that we wanted to see.  We first saw a photograph exhibit, which displayed photographs as far back as the 1800s.  It was pretty incredible to see.  We also saw a photo of the first real photo exhibit in Vienna.  It was in a private palace, with photos crowding the walls floor to ceiling.  The information written on the wall next to it said that even the floor was covered in photos and chemicals for developing photos.  Really crazy.

woman under the sun

Do you see "pi and a circle" or "a woman under the sun"?

Then, we saw the “Monet bis Picasso” (Monet to Picasso) exhibit.  I liked this one, although I thought that it should have ended with Picasso.  The modern art that followed this exhibit was rather boring in my opinion, and with titles like “Untitled Number 7”, I think it must have bored the artist too.  Morten had a particular grievance with the photo entitled something like “woman and the sun”.  Instead, he thinks that it should have more appropriately been called “pi and a circle”.  (Sorry, the photo of the painting is sideways and I couldn’t figure out how to reorient the image in wordpress’s editing environment.  Instead, just turn your head a bit).

the Key to the Opera House

By the time we left the Albertina, it was already after 11:00, so we did not have much time left.  (The last bus leaves Heilengenstadt at 12:47, and I was getting tired, so I was hoping to make the 12:05 bus).  So, we made a quick stop in the Staatsopermuseum before leaving.  This museum is quite small, and has a lot of text to read.  We didn’t really have the time to read through about the lives of all of the opera singers and composers.  So, we looked at the few (but neat) items they had in the museum.  The first thing that caught our attention was key to the opera house.  (If you look at the photo to the left, you’ll see Morten’s green shoes and my silver necklace in the reflection).  It is just a neat looking key, so I took a quick picture of it.  The next thing we noticed were the elaborate costumes on display.  Some were very elegant looking, some were quite comical, and none were simple.  Then, we walked into a little cove to see a mosaic (I think depicting one of the opera singers).  And finally, we concluded our visit in the Ballet section, where we attempted to put our feet in the five ballet positions (it didn’t quite work).  Feet were drawn on the floor to help you figure out how to stand in the positions, but I think we are helpless as ballerinas.  Good thing we are PhD students instead.

on the Roof of Karl Marx-Hof

on the Roof of Karl Marx-Hof

Alas, by the time we got to Heilengenstadt, it was ten after 12.  (Maybe we spent a bit too much time in the Ballet section of the staatsopermuseum.  Luckily, there was another museum nearby, Das Rote Wien im Waschsalon (the red Vienna in the washroom).  First, I will explain why it it is in the washroom.  The Karl Marx-Hof is an enormous housing complex across from Heilengenstadt.  It was built in the 1920s and is to this day the longest residential building in the world.  It is a testimony to the socialistic ideals that characterized the politics in Vienna in the early 20th century.  The waschsalon is where the baths/showers were found.  Each apartment had a kitchen and a bedroom (and a large closet), but the showers were located centrally (I think the toilets also).  It is in this part of the building that the museum is located.  Since the writing was in German with no translation and we only had 15 minutes in the museum before we had to leave for the bus, we probably did not get the full experience of the museum.  It gives the history of red Vienna.  It was neat to see old uniforms and socialist propaganda.  The floor was marked with the life-size layout of a typical apartment in the Karl Marx-Hof.  This is how I realized that they have large closets.   The door to the roof/fire escape was open, so I of course took the opportunity to step out on the roof.  This came with great joy since I had tried to get on the roof another day, and failed to even get in the building (I guess you don’t technically need to get in the building to get on the roof though).

So, that was my long night of museums in Vienna.  I saw three museums that I have not been to before, and now I also have this handy booklet that tells me all about the >100 museums in Vienna.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: