New Photography Museum Will Open in Vienna

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: June 1, 2022; 20:56 ♦ (Vindobona)

A new photography museum will open in Vienna's Arsenal in fall 2024. This museum will be a showcase and discussion space under the name Foto Arsenal Wien. In order to adapt the building, the city is investing two million euros. Read more about Vienna's newest addition to the city's bustling cultural scene.

A new photography museum will open in Vienna's Arsenal in fall 2024. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons /P e z i , CC BY-SA 3.0

With the Foto Arsenal Wien, Vienna will get an autonomous center for the presentation and mediation of contemporary photography. After the necessary planning and renovation phase, it is scheduled to open in the fall of 2024 in Vienna's Arsenal, more specifically in Arsenal Objekt 19.

The call for tenders for the artistic direction of the Foto Arsenal Wien is scheduled for June 8, 2022. After a corresponding tender period until mid-July, a review of the applications received and hearings by a jury of experts, the appointment of the new director should take place before the end of the summer.

The invitation to tender will be issued by Stadt Wien Kunst GmbH, which is owned by the City of Vienna.

Known formerly as Kunsthalle Wien GmbH, Stadt Wien Kunst GmbH is the supporting organization, which provides the appropriate organizational framework for the 'Foto Arsenal Wien' as well as the independent biennial 'Foto Wien' festival that is integrated there.

Under the Stadt Wien Kunst GmbH, the autonomy of the brands Foto Arsenal Wien, 'Foto Wien-Festival' and 'Kunsthalle Wien' is ensured. This model also enables synergies and efficiency in administration, communication and ticketing.

Due to the spatial connection to cultural institutions already existing or in planning on-site (Austrian Film Museum, ART for ART workshops, rehearsal stages of the Bundestheater, etc.) the new institution will be integrated into a lively cultural area.

"Vienna is gaining a cultural meeting place, its location for photography: in the future, the 'Foto Arsenal Wien' will be dedicated exclusively to this genre, its history, present and development. In the future, the dedicated exhibition hall will unite presentation, expertise, discourse, mediation and networking in one place. The Arsenal, with its proximity to surrounding cultural institutions and opportunities for synergies, is the ideal location for this. Together with the 'Filmmuseum Lab', a unique new cultural cluster is being created in the Arsenal for the Viennese and international guests," says Vienna's City Councillor for Culture Veronica Kaup-Hasler.

"We are very pleased to be able to add another building block to the planned cultural cluster in the Arsenal with the 'Foto Arsenal Wien'," says Petra Höfinger, Managing Director of ART for ART Theaterservice GmbH, owner of the property.

Höfinger stressed, "With the revitalization of the site by different actors from art and culture, we expect an upgrading of the location towards a new cultural and social center in the heart of Vienna."

According to the City of Vienna, Photography, as the most formative medium of our time, is omnipresent and significantly determines our perception.

The Foto Arsenal Wien will be a place for contemporary engagement with this genre, a space for mediation and competence. The new center will cover an area of 950 m², 740 m² of which will be used for exhibitions, lectures, workshops, etc., while the remaining space will be used for offices and a store. The exhibitions will be realized exclusively with loans; there are no plans to build up an independent collection.

According to the City of Vienna, the planning and conversion cost amount to 2 million euros. The program, administration and operating costs have been budgeted at around 1.5 million euros annually from 2025.

From 2023 to 2024, the Foto Arsenal Wien will be located as a guest exhibition at the MuseumsQuartier. The corresponding planning and preparatory work are already taking place in close coordination with MQ-Errichtungs- und Betriebsges GmbH.

The plan is for the center to operate continuously throughout the year, with two to three exhibitions in the MQ Freiraum and an extensive supporting program, before moving permanently to the Arsenal in the fall of 2024.

Vienna is a member of the "European Month of Photography" through the City Department of Culture (MA7) together with Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon and Luxembourg.

Foto Wien, which takes place biennially within this framework, ended in April with great success.

About 12,000 visitors took advantage of the rich offer - besides the exhibitions also the manifold supporting program. After two successful editions of Foto Wien, it is now up to Stadt Wien Kunst GmbH to find the future management of Foto Arsenal Wien, to which the organization of the festival is linked.

The next festival is expected to take place at the MuseumsQuartier in 2023, before pitching its tents in the new 'Foto Arsenal Wien' in 2025.

Vienna City Government