The Kunsthistorisches Museum Celebrates 10 Years of the Kunstkammer Reopening

Lifestyle & TravelCulture ♦ Published: March 2, 2023; 23:37 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Kunstkammer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna celebrates its 10th anniversary. There will be several exhibitions with the time focus being in March and April.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna Celebrates its 10th Anniversary of the Reopening of the Kunstkammer. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / GNU Free Documentation License. [GFDL (,_version_1.2)]

Exactly ten years ago today, on March 1, 2013, the Kunsthistorisches Museum's Kunstkammer was ceremoniously reopened after several years of extensive renovation and repositioning. With several exhibitions as well as an extensive program for the anniversary year, the Kunsthistorisches Museum will celebrate ten years of the Kunstkammer in 2023.

The Kunstkammer Wien is the most important of its kind in the world and is considered the "cradle of the Kunsthistorisches Museum". Its twenty rooms arranged according to thematic focuses, today form a "museum within a museum" and open up a world of the beautiful and the spiritual, the curious and the marvelous. The highlights of the Kunstkammer include outstanding goldsmith's works such as the famous saliera by Benvenuto Cellini, top achievements in sculpture, including the Krumlov Madonna, as well as masterful bronze statuettes, filigree and bizarre ivory works, virtuoso stone vessels, but also complicated automata and much more.

"Curiosity, the desire to discover and grasp the world through collecting was a central impetus for the establishment of early modern Kunstkammern," says Director General Sabine Haag. "It is this pleasurable learning that continues to make the Kunstkammer Wien so attractive to today's audiences. I am delighted that this year we are celebrating ten successful years of the Kunstkammer with an extensive anniversary program!"

In terms of its historical development, the Vienna Kunstkammer is probably one of the most complex among the world-famous collections of ancient royal houses. Its roots go back to medieval times when Duke Rudolf IV (1339-1365) suggested the establishment of a Habsburg household treasury. Originally an accumulation of precious objects - in addition to implements made of gold and silver, coins, precious stones, and jewelry, it also included the documents, insignia, and relics relevant to the House of Habsburg - the Habsburg art collection grew continuously. After the beginnings, which were still rather obscure, several important holdings were added in the 15th, but especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, which form the present wealth of the Kunstkammer Wien: those of the emperors Frederick III, Maximilian I, Ferdinand I, Maximilian II and Rudolf II, and those of the archdukes Ferdinand II of Tyrol and Leopold Wilhelm.