Collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’: a museological perspective on collections from the House of Habsburg to a ‘House of Austrian History’

Collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’: a museological perspective on collections from the House... Abstract Discussions concerning the establishment of a ‘House of History’ that would collect and exhibit ‘Austria’ can be traced back to the founding of the Republic of Austria in 1919 and are currently resurfacing in the country’s cultural community. Hitherto, these debates have always been concerned with those specific aspects of Austrian history that should be portrayed, the kind objects that could best exemplify them, the locations in which the project itself should be pursued, and the mediation techniques to be used for this purpose. No consideration has so far been given within this discourse to the theoretical and practical considerations pertaining to the collection and exhibition of objects from a museological standpoint. The present article approaches the history of collecting and exhibiting Austria from the perspective that the sum of all the museums, memorials, exhibitions, and cultural landscapes in Austria forms a dislocated ‘House of Austrian History’. Collecting and exhibiting of objects connected with Austrian history forms a long-standing tradition, reaching back to the establishment of the Habsburg collections. This can be seen especially in the capital city of Vienna, where the original imperial collections are preserved and presented as museums, for the benefit of society. Nevertheless, the creation of an institution that specifically collects and exhibits ‘Austria’1 has been the subject of discussion ever since the foundation of the Republic of Austria in 1919. Within this context, no agreement has yet emerged as to whether this institution should be realized as a museum, an exhibition centre, or a meeting place.2 In the classical form of a museum, the traditional responsibilities of acquisition, conservation, research, mediation and exhibition of objects pertaining to the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity, would be foregrounded; on the other hand, it would be possible to constitute an exhibition centre or a meeting place that had no obligation towards acquisition and conservation. As shown here, no institution has thus far been established in Austria which explicitly concerns itself with the collection and exhibition of Austrian history as such: all initiatives in this direction so far have ended in failure.3 In a sense, the entirety of Austrian museums, cultural landscapes and memorials may be considered as a form of dislocated ‘House of Austrian History’,4 an observation that applies with particular accuracy to Vienna. As the capital and thus the focal point of power and governance since 1156, the city has certainly inscribed itself into Austrian history. The Hofburg, first and foremost, has served as the very hub of the ruling dynasty’s power, so that every epoch has left its mark on its buildings; even since the declaration of the Second Republic in 1955, elements of the governmental departments have been accommodated there.5 In the growth of the city, the erection of new buildings, the expansion of the Hofburg and the parallel accumulation of significant artefacts, current historical and political events have been reflected.6 This raises the question of what an institution that collects and exhibits ‘Austria’ could – and indeed should – be able to offer in addition to the already existing Austrian provincial ‘memory institutions’ such as museums, exhibitions, memorials, cultural landscapes and other projects. Furthermore, it might be asked whether the establishment of an institution that collects and exhibits objects connected with Austrian history is indeed achieveable from a museological perspective: would the establishment of such an institution in Hofburg, with a mission to collect and exhibit Austria, constitute an additional societal benefit to the collection, preservation, research and mediation of musealized objects? Against this contested background, the following considerations focus on the museological prerequisites for the collection and exhibition of Austrian history. Such a discussion should, from a museological perspective, include the most significant (historical) developments which necessitate ‘public’ collecting and exhibiting of ‘Austria’.7 In this way, a critical discourse will be developed to examine whether the prerequisites for the establishment of such an institution would be justified within the context of the Hofburg, with all its related commitments. Which history? Which nation? The development of collections and museums in today’s Austria mirrors political and societal conditions in an exceptional way, though the relationship is one that reflects the long-standing position that museums have occupied in relation to history. If collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’ is to be achieved at one and the same institution, the question arises as to which aspects of a multifaceted Austrian history should be told. If Austria is to be understood within its historical and geographical borders through time, that history would have to be traced back at least to ‘ostarrîchî’ – today a region of Lower Austria – that was first mentioned in an official document in 996. This would mean that the history of the House of Babenberg, the margraves who ruled Austria from 976 to 1246, as well as the House of Habsburg, the princely family that ruled Austria from 1273/78 to 1918, would have to be included. If Austria were to be defined geographically by its current borders, however, the history of this territory would be that of the Republic of Austria since 1919. Depending on the historical approach chosen and the cognitive intention, specific historical developments would have to be traced back to different extents. But other historico-political events pose equal demands for presentation and claim equal importance in any consideration of the beginnings of ‘Austria’.8 Such a treatment might, for example, begin with the battle of Königgrätz (1866), as a result of which the balance of power was altered between the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation, leading in due course to the foundation of the German Empire of 1871. At the same time, the Austrian Empire was forced to compromise with Hungary, and in the constitution of December 1867 Austrian history was fundamentally changed. As a result, it was Austria-Hungary and the German Empire that now faced each other as sovereign states, instead of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation. Not only the history of ‘Austria’ but also the history of ‘collecting’ itself is determined by specific historico-political circumstances. In this way, original imperial collections continue to shape the image of Viennese museums up to the present day. In addition to the material from the Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer (the Treasury collection), which continues to be exhibited in the Hofburg, that from the Kunst- und Wunderkammer (the cabinets of art and curiosities, created by members and monarchs of the House of Habsburg) remain especially significant.9 Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol (1529–1595) founded such a cabinet of art and curiosities at Ambras castle near Innsbruck in 1571; as was customary for royal and academic collections of that period, these rooms also functioned as form of Theatrum Mundi – a kind of world theatre in microcosm, the purpose of which was to give an overview of the existing state of knowledge. The collection established by Emperor Rudolf II (1552–1612) in the castle at Prague, which had become his residential city in 1583, is of equal importance in this context. Room 27 of the Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, reopened in 2013 (Fig. 1), is dedicated to Rudolf II and his Prague collection.10 Considering its narrative structure and composition, this display represents part of the Austrian history of collections in the context of imperial sovereignty. In the style of the modern art museum, this permanent exhibit displays objects that formed part of Rudolf’s cabinet of art and curiosities, by presenting object biographies alongside the history of imperial collecting in Austria. This presentation uses original objects to characterize the personalities of their commissioners and collectors during the Baroque era, whose interests were directed towards representation rather than to the Theatrum Mundi concept.11 Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, room no. 27, is dedicated to Rudolf II and to his Prague collection. (khm-Museumsverband). Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, room no. 27, is dedicated to Rudolf II and to his Prague collection. (khm-Museumsverband). The imperial collections underwent another significant extension through the paintings acquired by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1614–1662), which form the basis of the collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The combined accommodation and exhibition of the Habsburg monarchy’s treasures is also inextricably linked with Austrian history: all of these were combined in Vienna under the centralizing efforts initiated by Maria Theresia (1717–1780); she also arranged for the contents of the cabinet in Graz, established by Maria of Bavaria (1551–1608), to be relocated to Vienna in 1764.12 Many other provincial collections could be considered, all of them serving to some degree to mirror political and social developments in Austrian history.13 When the buildings that would accommodate the imperial collections were first erected, they served to demonstrate the power and influence of the monarchs of the particular dynasty. This was discernable in the cycles of images painted within the buildings’ interiors as well as on their façades. The image cycle of the Kunsthistorisches Museum stands witness to this, as does the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Military History) in Vienna, with its reference to military achievements.14 These image cycles can be considered as exemplifying the importance of the dynasty rather than that of the nation – a feature that distinguishes the imperial collections in Vienna from the intentions behind the national museums in, for example, London and Paris.15 As a result of the specific socio-political circumstances of the Habsburg empire, no national museum was founded in Austria to correspond with those in England or France. National museums initiated a process of identification with a nation, a process that could not take place in like manner in Austria. In the multi-ethnic Austrian empire the purpose of the imperial collections was instead focused around the representation and legitimation of the monarchy itself, even though some of the collections were – albeit in a restricted way – open to the public.16 This especially applies to the Vienna Hofburg: almost every monarch left their trace amongst the physical manifestations of this nexus of imperial power, in the form of structural alterations and enlargements as well as in additions to existing collections. A special form of the manifestation of Austrian history can also be seen in the founding of provincial museums, which were established in almost all countries of the monarchy. Their founding is predominantly linked to the fact that every Austrian state (Bundesland) had formed its own (cultural) identity, whether based on the political system of the House of Babenberg or that of the House of Habsburg, and characterized by the enlargement of their territories. In this way so called Austrian Estastes ( österreichische Erbländer) were formed after the unification of the duchy of Austria (Herzogtum Österreich) with the duchy of Styria (Steiermark) and the territory of historical Styria in 1192 and since the unification of the Austrian Empire (Kaisertum Österreich) with Salzburg in 1816. These historical provinces do not correspond to the present-day territories of the Austrian states.17 In their entirety, however, provincial museums can be considered as forming a ‘dislocated national museum’.18 The foundation in 1811 of the Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz (Styria), for example, was heavily dependent on the private collections of Archduke Johann of Austria (1782–1859), who donated them to the provincial estates. Provincial museums combined the tasks of collecting and research, and additionally included educational functions within their scope. Their importance as educational institutions was reflected, among other aspects, in the initiation of libraries and readers’ associations, as well as in the foundation of schools and universities – all of which were intended to facilitate the formation of an identity within a specific region. Their focus was frequently on natural history and technology, providing for their utilization in education. The archduke himself spoke of a ‘National-Musäum’, which was expected to contribute to the culture of the homeland.19 As was common at the time, the public had only restricted access to the collections: for school children and university students the museum was open daily except Saturdays and public holidays; mid-mornings were dedicated to the ‘educated’,20 afternoons were for teachers and professors, and on Wednesdays everyone, irrespective of education or status, could visit the museum.21 Following the end of World War i, the First Republic was founded in 1919 and the previously imperial collections passed into the ownership of the republic. The collections were now placed at the service of society and as a public institution the ‘museum’ began at last to corresponded to its present-day definition.22 The need to reform its presentation relevant to its function as a national educational institution, however, was not pursued under the prevailing political circumstances.23 Since 1920 the original imperial collections have by law formed part of the inventory of Austria’s federal museums (Österreichische Bundesmuseen).24 These consist of the Albertina, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Naturhistorisches Museum, Museum Angewandter Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (mumok) (Museum of Contemporary Art), Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum), and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). A reform of the federal museums with respect to their administrative and organizational establishment took place only in the 1980s, in the context of adapting to contemporary history.25 In the course of their legal separation and establishment as the Vollrechtsfähige Bundesmuseen (federal museums with full legal capacity) they gained greater autonomy with regard to financial and staff-related decisions.26 This period coincides with the founding of the Kommission für Provenienzforschung (Commission for Provenance Research) which, since 1998, has conducted research on the sources of objects that had entered public collections under the National Socialist regime.27 With the founding of this commission, an important step was taken towards a (museological) coming to terms with the past.28 According to their respective collecting policies, Austrian museums to date have collected objects that – among other things – are connected to Austrian history and to the history of the republic.29 Such material is collected not only by federal museums but also at the level of provinces and cities.30 Yet no museum exists to date in which the collections and displays are dedicated primarily to the history of Austria, although several temporary exhibition projects on this topic have taken place. In 1996, on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of the first mention of Austria, a display in Neuhofen an der Ybbs (Lower Austria) was organized which focused on the history of Austria and of the republic until its entry to the European Union. This display was achieved, however, largely without original objects.31 In addition, presentations taking up contemporary topics have also tended to be furnished differently from classical museums. This can be seen, for instance, in various examples of holocaust memorials in the provinces (e.g. Mauthausen Memorial,32 the Museum of Contemporary History in the context of the Ebensee-Memorial33) as well as in the Dokumentationszentrum des Österreichischen Widerstands (Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance) in Vienna.34 If a focus were to be chosen for a new museum on the collection and exhibition of the history of the republic of Austria, a critical scrutiny of contemporary history would be of utmost importance. This would, for example, include the question of Austria’s official involvement and responsibility in the crimes of the Third Reich as well as the fact that Austria, from 1943 onwards, considered itself a victim of Hitler’s Germany. Which objects? The question of which objects should find their way into a museum for Austrian history eventually leads to another question: which objects would lend themselves ideally to the purposes of visualization? Museum objects are carriers of multiple meanings. They can express social relations, rule, power, and wealth by the very materials from which they are made. Objects can even acquire the status of symbols as a result of their involvement in historical events and can thus become veritable witnesses. ‘As authentic evidence they tell of man: of his joy and his suffering, his hopes and fears, his achievements and failures; and they tell about nature of which this man is part.’35 In this way, objects also express the special relationship between human beings and their environment. As unique and irreplaceable items they become, in this way, intellectual property – vehicles for ideas and meaning(s).36 Accordingly, it is clear that history museums should present not only symbols of the élite but also objects of individual and collective memory pertaining to every social class. The histories that objects could tell depend, of course, on the specific questions directed at them. The Schatzkammer, for example, displays imperial insignia – including the crown, imperial orb, and sceptre (Fig. 2). Along with other objects, they symbolize specific forms of governance and (in this case) reveal stories surrounding Rudolf II. As the official imperial crown dating from the tenth century was to be worn only during coronation ceremonies, Rudolf II had a ‘private’ crown made for himself as a personal sign of dignity, for everyday use. Boasting precious jewels and goldwork, it became the everyday crown of the Habsburgs and, in 1804, the official crown of the Austrian Empire.37 Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide The Schatzkammer hovses and displays the imperial insignia – including the crown, imperial orb, and sceptre. (khm-Museumsverband). Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide The Schatzkammer hovses and displays the imperial insignia – including the crown, imperial orb, and sceptre. (khm-Museumsverband). Another object whose biography was ‘enriched’ by contemporary events that captured Austrian media attention is Benvenuto Cellini’s world famous saliera. It had been crafted between 1540 and 1543 for François I of France who presented it to Ferdinand II of Tyrol. In 2003 this object, which carries special significance for the Habsburg collections, was stolen from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in the course of a soirée, a crime made possible due to compromised security arrangements during renovations to the building. Some three years later it was returned, largely undamaged.38 Events of major significance for the history of Austria are also documented by museum objects. In this way the vehicle that carried the successor to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and his wife Sophie, when they were assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, became a witness to the very incident that triggered the outbreak of the First World War. The car, as well as the uniform worn by Franz Ferdinand on that day, are kept in the Museum of Military History in Vienna, presented there in the context of a display on World War i.39 All of these objects, of course, could tell many more stories. Not only may objects symbolize forms of government and represent witnesses to specific events, but they also function as reminders of people and circumstances. In a manner similar to whole collections, specific objects can be considered to form the memory of unique stories.40 Therefore, exhibition-making necessitates the deciding of which narrative should be presented, while being aware that curatorial screening means including or excluding narratives. On the other hand, museum objects also have potential for provoking visitors to associate and create their own narratives.41 Regarding the creation of a collection dedicated to Austrian history, the question arises as to which contemporary objects would have to be gathered – doubtless in coordination with already existing museums. If objects pertaining to Austrian history were not already part of formal collections, they would (with due consideration to questions of conservation) have to be sought for on long-term loan. This would imply, however, that any museum exhibitions in which these objects were currently embedded would have to be presented without them. The consequences that would follow from the display of copies in their place could potentially be far-reaching. The question also arises of whether it would be possible to integrate material from other memory institutions, such as archives and libraries, whose object collections could serve in museological presentations as additional sources. Considering the fact that every museum collection has its own archive, documenting its collecting history, the prospect of establishing a ‘House of Austrian History’ already appears to become something of a bureaucratic challenge, due to its institutional nature. Collecting and exhibiting Austria: which location? Furnishing premises in Vienna that would be dedicated to exhibiting ‘Austria’ also means finding a location for the collection and its ancillary administrative and organizational elements. With this in mind, various existing historical buildings have attracted discussion and new building projects have been suggested.42 For many reasons, as already discussed, the historically-charged site of the Hofburg deserves further attention here. In the so-called Schweizerhof, a square castle with flanking turrets which today houses the Schatzkammer,43 a so-called Kastellburg had been established by the mid-thirteenth century.44 This range, named the Old Castle, was extended under Ferdinand I (1503–1564) in Renaissance style.45 The Hofburg was further enlarged and elaborated under Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830–1916). During the period 1889 to 1893, the so-called ‘Michael Wing’ (Michaeler-Trakt),46 originating from the enlargement of the Hofkirche St. Michael (St Michael’s church) in the first half of the thirteenth century. 47 Additionally, Franz Joseph I intended to integrate the Hofburg into a so-called Imperial Forum (kaiserforum), to consist of several new buildings and supposed to accommodate the imperial collections.48 After several proposals and official submissions, Gottfried Semper and Karl Hasenauer were commissioned in 1871 to plan two buildings, one of which was intended for the historical art collection, the other for natural history. These two buildings now face each other close to the Hofburg, in a square dedicated to Empress Maria Theresia and inaugurated in 1891.49 The grounds of the Hofburg were also included in the remodelling. It took until 1913 for the south-west wing of the Hofburg, the so-called Neue Burg, to be completed. The planned Imperial Forum, however, was never finished, and therefore the south-west wing never reached completion at the opposite end of Heldenplatz.50 During the further course of the history of the Republic of Austria, Heldenplatz repeatedly bore witness to events that would shape twentieth-century Austria. The most significant of these, without doubt, is the Anschluss speech made by Adolf Hitler from the balcony of the Neue Hofburg on 18 March 1938. Today the Neue Burg accommodates world-famed collections dating from the era of the Habsburg treasures – among them as the Ephesos-Museum, the Weltmuseum (housing the collection of ethnological objects, earlier and better known as the Völkerkundemuseum), the Hof-, Jagd- and Rüstkammer (Chamber of Military and Hunting Arms and Armour), the Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente (Collection of Historic Musical Instruments) as well as the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). The erection of buildings for the accommodation of museum collections not only demonstrates that collections require periodic extensions on account of their growth in size, but also that the museum as a distinct kind of building for the preservation and exhibition of objects had established itself. Even though the collections up to the founding of the Republic of Austria remained the property of the Habsburgs, they were no longer stored merely in representation of the power and wealth of the owners, or to give an overview over the state of knowledge at the time, for in time they were gradually opened to the public. In this way, the Hofburg and the museum objects accommodated there have come to represent Austrian history: they are museums which both collect and exhibit ‘Austria’; they contribute to the Zeitgeist and function as ‘Houses of Austrian history’. The establishment of a new institution in the context of the Hofburg, designed to collect centrally and to display Austrian history, would, however, also require a reduction of space available for already existing exhibitions. Considering the fact that the historically evolved Hofburg collections, from a museological point of view, are themselves musealia, the significance of which unfolds in exactly these buildings, great damage would be done by removing them from their historical setting. Furthermore, adequate space to store the objects would have to be found, so that a procedure like this could never be justified from a museological perspective. Renovations which might also be necessitated by a remodelling of the accommodation could also have an impact on the unesco world heritage status of the city of Vienna itself. Alternatively, a ‘House of Austrian History’ could be accommodated in a completely new building. With recourse to the never-completed Imperial Forum, this building could, for example, be realized in the form of a modern complex on the opposite side of Heldenplatz.51 In this way, already existing collections would be extended to include an exclusive location for the presentation of topics concerning the history of the Republic of Austria. The new collections would be integrated into the historical architectonic ensemble, but would, at the same time, constitute a central place for the history of the whole nation. Which forms of communication and presentation? Changing forms of communication are, like collection policies, dependent on historical aspects. In Austria, forms of narrative changed with the shift from an imperial to a democratic government. This can be noticed, for example, in the forms of presentation of the Museum of Military History in Vienna. After the founding of the First Republic of Austria, the representation of the monarchy was no longer foregrounded, but instead technological and medical developments, as well as the impact of the war on diet, health and the arts came into focus.52 Not only did the style of presentation and narrative forms change in the course of time and historical developments, the term ‘museum’ itself has undergone changes. For the German speaking countries, the term was defined in 1739 as a temple (of the muses),53 and as rooms containing art and coin collections, curiosities, and antiques. A museum was, moreover, also considered as a study room.54 Almost seventy years later the significance of the term had changed: now a museum was seen as a collection of art and natural objects as well as of books; it had also become a place in which people gathered to study arts and sciences.55 In this way, a museum had become an important location for larger parts of society.56 Around the time at which collections began to be opened to the general public, they were also, for the first time, arranged according to scientific criteria. Based on these processes, specialized museums were established e.g. art galleries, museums of natural history, and technical museums. The first Habsburg collection in the Hofburg based on science-oriented criteria was established by Franz Stephan I of Lothringen (1708–1765). It was at first located in the ‘Leopoldinischer Wing’ (Leopoldinischer Trakt) and later in the ‘Augustiner Wing’ (Augustiner Trakt). After Franz Stephan’s death, Maria Theresia opened the collection to the public on two days a week. It constitutes the basic stock of the Vienna Museum of Natural History. Around the same time paintings were, for the first time, categorized according to schools. At the Upper Belvedere gallery in Vienna this method has been applied since 178157 and at the palace of Sanssouci near Potsdam since 1764.58 Hence the imperial collections also differ greatly from public institutions in the respective audiences to which they were opened. In Austria museums were open to everyone, irrespective of status, education, and origin, as late as 1919. In regard to Austria’s museum history the year 1919 is therefore to be seen as a caesura. Regarding the mediation of contents in museums, the process of interpretation and construction of the meaning of objects takes on a central role.59 Recent museum studies are rather in favour of participatory approaches in that they try to include the audience as experts on everyday life.60 This tendency is also implemented by activist museums, where the social role of the institution is foregrounded.61 Approaches of this kind have only recently found their way into the world of Austrian museums.62 The museological presentation of a house that collects and exhibits Austrian history, as well as all activities that have to do with the mediation of contents, has to be mainly oriented towards its target group. An institution of this kind also has to consider a critical involvement with the construction of meaning as it is naturally pertinent with any museological presentation. A main reason for this is that an ‘exhibition’ as a medium always requires a value decision regarding the objects of display by the exhibition makers, which are then conveyed to the audience. Implemented projects Up until the foundation of the republic of Austria in 1919, collecting and exhibiting of objects was under the influence of the House of Habsburg. When, afterwards, the First Republic was founded, work began towards the establishment of a house that should deal with the exhibition and display of Austrian history. According to these attempts, various plans were implemented toward the establishment of a ‘House of Austrian History’. Among these attempts are to be counted museums as well as exhibition projects dealing with the history of Austria and that of the republic, by including as well as excluding original objects pertaining to specific topics. As early as in 1919, a debate was already taking place about the establishment of a ‘history chamber’, that would endow the audience with the basics needed to identify with Austrian culture.63 The idea of establishing a national museum by reorganization of the Militärhistorisches Museum was also debated, but never realized.64 The first plans towards the establishment of a Museum of the First and Second Republic, which was intended for the display of original objects, goes back to 1946 and was intended for the Leopoldinischer Trakt of the Hofburg.65 It is interesting from the standpoint of democratic politics that in this case significant contemporary events of the 1920s and 1930s were excluded from the concept.66 The July Revolt of 1927, the Civil War of 1934, and the establishment of the authoritarian corporation state between 1934 and 1938, were all missing. This fact, in turn, reflects Austria’s difficulties in dealing with the First Republic, the authoritarian corporation state, the National Socialist rule, and the involvement of many Austrians in the crimes of the Second World War. Nevertheless, the first of these ‘rooms’ of the museum was furnished in 1951. It included displays on the foundation of the First Republic in the form of a painting, as well as a section of the Austrian constitution. Since the outfitting of the second and third rooms was delayed, the first room remained the only exhibition room of the museum. After an administrative reorganization these objects were given to the Museum Österreichischer Kultur (Museum of Austrian Culture), which was reopened in Eisenstadt in the year 1987.67 The Museum Österreichischer Kultur, originally founded in 1946 and intended to facilitate an understanding of Austrian history and culture, was accommodated in the Neue Burg of the Hofburg.68 The presentation used the so-called Wiener Methode der Bildstatsitik,69 also known as ‘Isotype’ (International System of Typographic Picture Education). This refers to a form of visual language designed to improve orientation within exhibitions; to this end, models, plans, and diagrams, as well as original objects, were integrated into the display. At the same time the museum functioned as an ‘archive for objects and documents pertaining to Austrian cultural history’, where objects were to be collected, stored, and scientifically analyzed.70 However, the museum’s operation turned out to be difficult to maintain, and in the face of shortages of space, staff and budget, most of the objects collected were in due course reassigned to federal museums and the remaining exhibits were put into storage in 1975.71 The Museum Österreichischer Kultur as well as the Museum of the First and the Second Republic remained open until 1994, when their contents were given to the Heeresgeschichtes Museum.72 During the first half of the twentieth century, several exhibition projects concerned themselves with Austrian history. They were implemented in celebration of various anniversaries, such as the 1,000th anniversary of the first mention of Austria in 1996,73 the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 2005,74 and the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Austria in 2008.75 Two initiatives were realized in 2005, similar to 1946. First of all, an exhibition titled Das neue Österreich (The New Austria) was opened at the Oberes Belvedere – in the very place where the State Treaty had been signed which had established Austria as an independent country once again. The second display was implemented at Schallaburg in Lower Austria, titled Österreich ist frei (Austria is free). Whereas the display at Schallaburg focused on the events and everyday history between 1945 and 1955 by exhibiting everyday objects, the exhibition at Oberes Belvedere presented via archival sources and artwork the political history between the First World War up to Austria’s joining the EU.76 In the context of both exhibitions, Austria’s official dealing with its contemporary history was again subject to discussion. Other exhibition projects which approached the topic from a critical perspective, garnered very little attention.77 Nevertheless the two exhibitions in the Belvedere and at Schallaburg initiated public debates about the establishment of a ‘House of Austrian History’ and about the history of the Republic, respectively. In these debates the term ‘museum’ was largely avoided.78 In the context of the foundation of the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn79 and the Europa-Museum in Brussels, additional plans were made, such as the establishment of a ‘House of Tolerance’ (Haus der Toleranz) in the form of an education and research facility located in a historic palace close to the parliament,80 a ‘House of Contemporary History’ (Haus der Zeitgeschichte)81 or a ‘House of the History of the Republic of Austria’ (Haus der Geschichte der Republik Österreich).82 Ideas existed concerning the creation of such a house in connection with the Museum of Military History, but also to establish it in the form of a virtual museum.83 The government commissioned feasibility studies84 as well as strategies for the realization,85 but did not resume activity in this regard before 2014.86 Status quo Since 2014, plans for the establishment of a ‘House of Austrian History’ (Haus der Geschichte Österreich) have again been pursued by the government.87 An advisory committee, mainly consisting of historians, has been created, a concept has been developed,88 and even a law has been passed supplementing the already existing federal museum law (Bundesmuseengesetz).89 According to this, the ‘House of Austrian History’ is going to present Austria’s history starting with the mid-nineteenth century. The year 1918 will be at the centre of attention and special topics will be displayed with the help of a transfer analysis (Transferanalyse) – whatever this may turn out to be.90 This institution will be housed in the Neue Burg of the Hofburg and already existing collections will lose some of their spatial resources. Concerning organizational matters, the ‘House of Austrian History’ will form part of the Austrian National Library. At the same time, the establishment of a second house of history is currently in its planning phase. It will be opened in mid-2017 as the ‘House of the History of Lower Austria’ (Haus der Geschichte Niederösterreich) at the Provincial Museum of Lower Austria (Landesmuseum Niederösterreich)91 in St. Pölten. Austria’s history is going to be presented there in a linear manner on the basis of the history of the House of Habsburg. The House of the History of Lower Austria will be integrated into the building complex of the Provincial Museums of Lower Austria. Its policy addresses three tasks – exhibition, research and visitor service.92 The fact that this ‘house’ sees itself as endowed with certain tasks and duties can also be seen by its incorporation into the association of Provincial Museums of Lower Austria. It should, therefore, be possible for the new institution to include appropriate objects from within this association into its exhibitions. Conclusion Collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’, first of all, means defining which aspects of Austrian history – based on the specificities of Austrian history and that of the Republic of Austria, respectively – should be presented. As is shown in this essay, the total of already existing Austrian museums and institutions of memory can be considered as a ‘House of Austrian History’ which focuses on various aspects of Austrian history or the history of the Republic, respectively. These narratives of history are told in different locations, using diverse forms of mediation. Examples of these institutions are public collections and temporary exhibitions in museums, presentations dedicated to institutions of memory such as archives and libraries, exhibitions organized for the purpose of various events or special memory locations, displaying Austria’s contemporary history. Additionally, the city of Vienna represents a focal point of Austrian history in itself, and in this way also epitomizes Austria’s history of collecting and exhibiting museum objects – that of the monarchy as well as of the Republic. The city narrates a dislocated history of Austria in the form of its buildings, collections, objects, and institutions. A complete representation of history in a museological context does take place, but this happens not in a centralized way in one institution in a single location but, as already mentioned, in a dislocated manner in various places spread all over Austria. For this reason the establishment of a new collection or exhibition dealing with the topic of history means to gather objects that narrate specific aspects of Austrian history. Collecting and loaning of objects in the context of Austrian history may prove difficult for a ‘House of History’ due to the institutional location of existing collections. The already planned creation of a collection with special reference to the history of the republic will be no less challenging, as it is always difficult to collect ‘the present’. The same applies to the choice of the location, since the ‘House of History’ will be established in the context of the Hofburg – a historically charged building complex, the significance of which cannot be disregarded. Furthermore, the exhibition space of the existing world-famous collections is inevitably going to be reduced, having a further impact on objects that will have to be removed. These circumstances too would have justified the accommodation of the collection in a suitable new building. Hence the formation of a house of Austrian history as a museum located in the building of the Austrian library cannot be recommended from a museological point of view, due to the restrictions caused by these parameters. In establishing a museum it might be more appropriate to revive the idea of finalizing the Imperial Forum with a new building opposite Heldenplatz. The creation of the ‘House of the History of Lower Austria’ in St. Pölten – at least on an institutional level – matches the area of collections of the association of Provincial Museums of Lower Austria. However, as shown by the history of collecting and exhibiting Austrian history in the example of the two museums founded in 1946 in the context of the Hofburg, the pursuit of two similar concepts – even if they complement each other in matters of content – can, as a result of specific ideological interests, lead to a competitive situation. In a similar way the two projects introduced here will also be in competition with each other – not only as to who has a larger audience, but also when it comes to securing the reputation of those who established the institution. It would, however, need another museological analysis to establish whether a memorial, meeting point or exhibition site presenting ‘Austrian’ history would indeed represent a benefit to society. In the end, curiosity remains as to how either or both projects will be implemented – if as classical museums with interactive, participatory, or even activist elements for the public, as a meeting place in which the public can engage in discourse, as archive, or as a ‘memory house’ for the documentation of Austrian history. Perhaps even a combination of all the approaches mentioned will complete this process? What we do know is that there will be two ‘Houses of History’ and that each will tell its own Austrian history – and this in itself will be insightful for the audience. Acknowledgements Special thanks are due to Professor Nikolaus Reisinger (head of the Institut of History and head of the cross-faculty platform University Museums, University of Graz) for discussing with me particular aspects of ‘Austrian’ history and contradictory arguments concerning the ‘House of Austrian History’. Notes and references 1 For a particular description of the term ‘Österreich’, see E. Zöllner, Der Österreichbegriff. Formen und Wandlungen in der Geschichte (Munich, 1988). 2 For an overview of the discussion see Th. Winkelbauer (ed.), Haus? Geschichte? Österreich? Ergebnisse einer Enquete über das neue historische Museum in Wien (Vienna, 2016); on the topic of exhibiting ‘contemporary history’ in Austria see also D. Rupnow and H. Uhl (eds), Zeitgeschichte ausstellen in Österreich. Museen – Gedenkstätten – Ausstellungen (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 2011); M. Wassermair and K. Wegan (eds), Rebranding images. Ein streitbares Lesebuch zur Geschichtspolitik und Erinnerungskultur in Österreich (Innsbruck, Vienna and Bozen, 2006). 3 For realized and unrealized projects see D. Rupnow, ‘Braucht Österreich ein historisches Museum? Gescheiterte Projekte und heutige Antworten’, in: Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 27–42; M. Rauchensteiner, ‘Anforderungen, Überforderungen, Herausforderungen. Anmerkungen zu einem Leidensweg’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 43–59; R. Hufschmied, ‘“Ohne Rücksicht auf Parteizugehörigkeit und sonstige Bestrittenheit oder Unbestrittenheit”. Die (un)endliche Geschichte von Karl Renners Museum der Ersten und zweiten Republik (1946–1998)’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 45–86; D. Rupnow, ‘Nation ohne Museum? Diskussionen, Konzepte und Projekte’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 417–63; M. Rauchensteiner, Phönix aus der Asche. Zerstörungen und Wiederaufbau des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums, exh. cat., Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Vienna, 2005); G. Mraz, ‘Das Museum Österreichischer Kultur’, in Museumsraum – Museumszeit. Zur Geschichte des österreichischen Museums- und Ausstellungswesens, ed. G. Fliedl, R. Muttenthaler and H. Posch (Vienna, 1992), pp. 195–200. 4 On the theory of ‘dislocated’ types of museums in the Habsburg monarchy, see M. Raffler, Museum. Spiegel der Nation? Zugänge zur Historischen Museologie am Beispiel der Genese von Landes- und Nationalmuseen in der Habsburgermonarchie (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 2007). 5 On the history of the Hofburg see M. Schwarz (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg im Mittelalter. Von der Kastellburg zu den Anfängen als Kaiserresidenz (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. i) (Vienna, 2015); H. Karner (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1521–1705. Baugeschichte, Funktion und Etablierung als Kaiserresidenz (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. ii) (Vienna, 2014); H. Lorenz (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1705–1835. Die kaiserliche Residenz vom Barock zum Klassizismus (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. iii) (Vienna, in press); W. Telesko (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1835–1918. Der Ausbau der Residenz vom Vormärz bis zum Ende des „Kaiserforums’ (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. iv) (Vienna, 2012); M. Welzig (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg seit 1918. Von der Residenz zum Museumsquartier (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg) (in press). 6 For theoretical debates see B. Biedermann and N. Reisinger, ‘Die Stadt als Lebensraum und museale Inszenierung zwischen Erinnerung, Wahrnehmung und Inszenierung am Beispiel der Grazer Altstadt’, Curiositas. Jahrbuch für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 12–13 (2013), pp. 129–48; N. Reisinger, ‘Musealisierung als Theorem der Museologie. Zur Musealisierung von Großobjekten und Landschaften am Beispiel der Eisenbahn’, Curiositas. Jahrbuch für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 12–13 (2013), pp. 55–68. 7 For an overview see M. Raffler, ‘Historische Museologie’, in Museologie – knapp gefasst, ed. F. Waidacher (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar 2005), pp. 272–315; F. Waidacher, Handbuch der Allgemeinen Museologie (3rd edn, Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 1999), pp. 75–121. 8 Th. Winkelbauer (ed.), Geschichte Österreichs (Stuttgart, 2015); K. Vocelka, Geschichte Österreichs. Kultur – Gesellschaft – Politik (7th edn, Graz, Vienna and Cologne, 2002); O. Rathkolb, Die Paradoxe Republik. Österreich 1945 bis 2005 (Vienna, 2005). 9 S. Haag (ed.), Ein Rundgang durch die Kaiserliche Schatzkammer (Vienna, 2015); S. Haag, F. Kirchweger and P. Rainer (eds), Das Haus Habsburg und die Welt der fürstlichen Kunstkammern im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert (Schriften des Kunsthistorischen Museums, ed. Sabine Haag, vol. xiv (Vienna, 2015); S. Haag and F. Kirchweger, Treasures of the Habsburgs. The Kunstkammer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (London, 2013); S. Haag, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Die Kunstkammer Wien (London, 2013); Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer. Bildführer (4th edn, Vienna, 2000); M. Leithe-Jasper and R. Distelberger, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Die Schatzkammer (London, 1998); H. Filitz, Die Schatzkammer in Wien. Symbole abendländischen Kaisertums (Salzburg and Vienna, 1986). 10 For the concept see online: http://tourism.khm.at/fileadmin/content/TOURISMUS/downloads/KHM_KK_Fremdenfuehrer_de.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 11 See online: http://tourism.khm.at/fileadmin/content/ TOURISMUS/downloads/KHM_KK_Fremdenfuehrer_de.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 12 J. Wastler, ‘Zur Geschichte der Schatz-, Kunst- und Rüstkammer in der k. k. Burg zu Grätz, Teil i’, Mittheilungen der k. k. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Kunst und historischen Denkmale, new ser. 5 (1879), cxxxviii-cxlvi, at cxxix-cxl; see S. König-Lein, ‘“mit vielen Seltenheiten gefüllet”. Die Kunstkammer in Graz unter Erzherzog Karl II. von Innerösterreich und Maria von Bayern’, in Haag, Kirchweger and Rainer, op. cit. (note 9), pp. 195–227. 13 From a philosophical point of view, collecting and exhibiting are expressions of a special relationship of man to reality which has been termed museality: see Z. Z. Stránský, ‘Die theoretischen Grundlagen der Museologie als Wissenschaft’, in Museologie. Neue Wege – Neue Ziele, ed. H. Auer (Munich etc. 1989), pp. 38–47; Z. Z. Stránský, ‘Musealisierung und neue wissenschaftliche und kulturelle Paradigma’, Curiositas. Zeitschrift für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 1 (2001), pp. 11–20; for international debates see: A. Desvallées und and F. Mairesse (eds), Key Concepts of Museology (Paris, 2009), pp. 53–6. 14 H. Leidinger and V. Moritz, ‘Die Last der Historie. Das Heeresgeschichtliche Museum in Wien und die Darstellung der Geschichte bis 1945’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 15–44, at p. 21. 15 See: J. Thackray and B. Ross, Nature’s Treasurehouse. A History of the Natural History Museum (5th edn, London, 2013), p. 21. 16 M. Raffler, ‘Kein Nationalmuseum für das Kaisertum Österreich?’, in Die Musealisierung der Nation. Ein kulturpolitisches Gestaltungsmodell des 19. Jahrhunderts, ed. C. Breuer, B. Holtz and P. Kahl (Berlin and Boston, 2015), pp. 77–92. 17 On the development of the Austrian Estates see: Vocelka, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 54, 67. Austrian provincial museums were founded to act as places for the formation of identity by presenting the history of a region. They are, in fact, owned by the Austrian States (Bundesländer), such as the Landesmuseum Kärnten, Oberösterreichische Landesmuseen, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum and Landesmuseum Burgenland. Some of the former provincial museums have in the meantime changed their names: Universalmuseum Joanneum, Museum Niederösterreich, Salzburg Museum and Vorarlberg Museum. Some are additionally supported by a municipal administration, especially Wien Museum. Step by step, provincial museums were also founded in Germany and Switzerland. In Switzerland the provincial museum in Zurich forms part of the complex of the Swiss national museum and presents the history of Switzerland. The presentation of Swiss history is completed by cantonal museums. In Germany they are today mostly owned by German Federal States through various collection complexes; often they are located in multiple sites and represent parts of the history of a German region (see for example the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Hessisches Landesmuseum, etc.). 18 In Pest (1802), in Prague (1818), in Brno (1818), in Innsbruck (1823), in Salzburg (1833); see Raffler, op. cit. (note 4). 19 Erzherzog Johann, Joanneum, Graz 1811, loose document, p. 6. 20 Erzherzog Johann, Joanneum, Graz 1811, loose document, p. 8. 21 See also Das Steiermärkische Landesmuseum Joanneum und seine Sammlungen 1811–1911. Zur 100jährigen Gründungsfeier des Joanneums, herausgegeben vom Kuratorium des Landesmuseums, ed. Anton Mell (Graz, 1911); Festschrift 150 Jahre Joanneum 1811–1961, ed. Berthold Sutter (Graz, 1969); B. Biedermann, Präsentationsformen – museologische Zugänge. Am Beispiel des ‘Kulturhistorischen und Kunstgewerbemuseums’ am Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz (Saarbrücken, 2009); see also published annual reports of the museum from 1811 to 1930 and 1970 until today. 22 See online: http://icom.museum/the-vision/museum-definition/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 23 H. Posch, ‘Umbruch und Kontinuität – Wiener Museen am Übergang von der Monarchie zur Ersten Republik und das Scheitern einer Aneignung’, in Fiedl, Muttenthaler and Posch, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 139–54. 24 See online: https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20001728 (accessed 22 July 2016). 25 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 8), p. 245; O. Rathkolb, ‘Erste Republik, Austrofaschismus, Nationalsozialismus (1918–1945)’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 477–524; on the thesis of Austria defining itself as victim see H. Uhl, ‘Das “erste Opfer”. Der österreichische Opfermythos und seine Transformationen in der Zweiten Republik’, in Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 1 (2001), pp. 19–34. 26 H. Konrad, Museumsmanagement und Kulturpolitik am Beispiel der ausgegliederten Bundesmuseen (Vienna, 2008). 27 See official homepage online: http://www.provenienzforschung.gv.at/?lang=en (accessed 22 July 2016). 28 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 25), pp. 477–524. 29 See online: http://www.technischesmuseum.at/sammlungs strategie (accessed 22 July 2016). 30 See, for example, the broad archive of temporary exhibitions organized by the Wien Museum, the historical museum of Vienna City online: http://www.wienmuseum.at/en/exhibitions/archive/show-all.html (accessed 22 July 2016); in 1998 in the Museum of Military History was displayed a new part of the permanent exhibition with the title ‘Republic and Dictatorship’ (Republik und Diktatur); see see online: http://www.hgm.at/en/exhibitions/exhibitions/republic-and-dictatorship.html (accessed 22 July 2016); on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of World War i in 2014, the permanent exhibition was reorganized focusing on the question of whether war rightly belongs in the museum, see online: http://www.hgm.at/de/ausstellungen/permanente-ausstellungen.html (accessed 22 July 2016); see also: W. Muchitsch (ed.), Does War belong in Museums? The representation of violence in exhibitions (Bielefeld, 2013). 31 See official website online: http://www.museum-ostarrichi.at/museum (accessed 22 July 2016). 32 See official website online: https://www.mauthausen-memorial.org/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 33 See official website online: http://www.memorial-ebensee.at/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 34 See official website online: http://www.doew.at/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 35 ‘Musealien sind Träger von Ideen, von geistigen Inhalten, von Bedeutung. Sie sind Nouophoren und als solche je einmalig und grundsätzlich auch in materiell bescheidensten Vertretern – unersetzbar.’ For objects representing sense and meaning, F. Waidacher coined the term ‘Nouophor’; see F. Waidacher, ‘Sachen und Wörter. Oder: Von der Mühe, Erinnerung zu bewahren’, in G. Geldner, Der Milde Knabe. Oder: Die Natur eines Berufenen. Ein wissenschaftlicher Ausblick, Oskar Pausch zum Eintritt in den Ruhestand gewidmet (Wissenschaftliche Reihe des Österreichischen Theater Museums, Mimundus 9) (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar 1997), pp. 19–29, at p. 20; additionally he distinguished it from Pomian’s term ‘Semiophor’, applied to objects which act as signs for something or somebody; see: K. Pomian, Der Ursprung des Museums. Vom Sammeln (4th edn, Berlin, 2013). 36 Waidacher, op. cit. (note 7), pp. 14–17. 37 Haag, op. cit. (note 9), pp. 14–17; Kunsthistorisches Museum, op. cit. (note 9), pp. 51–9. 38 See for example online: http://wien.orf.at/news/stories/2583725/ (accessed 22 July 2016); see also: http://www.khm.at/en/visit/collections/kunstkammer-wien/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 39 Direktion Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Das Heeresgeschichtliche Museum in Wien, (Graz and Cologne, 1960), p. 23; Leidinger and Moritz, op. cit. (note 14), p. 22. 40 A. Assmann, Geschichte im Gedächtnis. Von der individuellen Erfahrung zur öffentlichen Inszenierung (Munich, 2007). 41 From a postmodern point of view, museum studies are also concerned with identifying so-called ‘master narratives’, mostly concerning nationalism and gender perspectives; see for example S. J. Knell, P. Aronsson and A. B. Amundsen (eds), National Museums. Studies From Around the World (London and New York, 2011). For the term ‘master narrative’, see J.-F. Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition. A Report on Knowledge (Manchester, 1984). 42 See Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2). 43 Haag, op. cit. (note 9); Haag and Kirchweger, op. cit. (note 9); Kunsthistorisches Museum, op. cit. (note 9); Leithe-Jasper and Distelberger, op. cit. (note 9); Filitz, op. cit. (note 9). 44 P. Mitchell and G. Buchinger, ‘Der Gründungsbau der Wiener Burg’, in Schwarz, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 45–82, at p. 59. 45 R. Holzschuh-Hofer and H. Karner, ‘Die Alte Burg (Schweizerhof)’, in Karner, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 80–175. 46 Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 242–56. 47 G. Buchinger, D. Schön and M. Schwarz, ‘Der Bau St. Michaels bis zur Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts’, in Schwarz, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 85–107. 48 A. Nierhaus, ‘Das Kaiserforum als Entwurf einer idealen Residenz’, in Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 185–95. 49 R. Kurdiovsky, ‘Die Hofmuseen’, in Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 196–203. 50 Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 286–397. 51 Referring to a historical reproduction, see online: http://oktogon.at/HDG/meldungen/lord1.htm (accessed 22 July 2016). 52 Direktion Heeresgeschichtliche Museum, op. cit. (note 39), p. 21; Leidinger and Moritz, op. cit. (note 14), pp. 21, 23. 53 H. Aigner discounted the thesis that the term museum is deduced from the ancient world’s temples for the muses. He points out that the muses were not venerated in temples but in shrines, Temenoi, or in the context of Apollo as Musagetes. The Museion in Alexandria was a meeting point for scholars rather than a place for storing and presenting objects of special meaning. None the less, the term museum is presumably derived from the term Museion. See H. Aigner, ‘Museale Vorläufer vom Alten Orient bis in die griechisch-römische Welt’, Curiositas, Zeitschrift für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 1 (2001), pp. 81–7, at p. 84. 54 J. H. Zedler, Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste (Halle and Leipzig, 1739), vol. 22, p. 705, ‘Museum’. 55 J.G. Krünitz, Oekonomische Enzyklopädie oder allgemeines System der Staats-, Stadt-, Haus- und Landwirtschaft in alphabetischer Ordnung (Berlin, 1805), vol 98, article ‘Museum’. 56 Ibid. 57 B. Savoy (ed.), Tempel der Kunst. Die Entstehung des öffentlichen Museums in Deutschland 1701–1815 (Mainz am Rhein, 2006), pp. 279–308. 58 T. Locker, ‘Die Bildergalerie von Sanssouci bei Potsdam’, in Savoy, op. cit. (note 57), pp. 217–42, at p. 230. 59 M. Simpson, Making Representations. Museums in the Post-colonial Era (London, 2001); E. Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge (London, 1999); R. Sandell, Museums, Prejudice and the Reframing of Differences (London, 2006); R. J. Abrams, ‘History is as History does: the evolution of the mission-driven Museum, in Looking Reality in the Eye. Museums and Social Responsibility, ed. R. R. Janes and G. T. Conaty (Calgary, 2006), pp. 19–43; H. Zettelbauer, ‘Das Identitätsbegehren nach musealer Repräsentation’, in Wassermair and Wegan, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 147–59. 60 N. Simon, The Participatory Museum (Santa Cruz, 2010). 61 R. Sandell, ‘Museums as agents of social inclusion’, Museum Management and Curatorship 17 no. 4 (1998), pp. 401–18; H. Coxall, ‘Open minds. Inclusive practice’, in Museums Philosophy for the 21st century, ed. H. H. Genoways (Oxford, 2006), pp. 139–49; R. Sandell, ‘Constructing and communicating equality. The social agency of the museum space’, in Reshaping Museum Space. Architecture, Design, Exhibitions, ed. A. MacLeod (London 2005), pp. 185–200; see also Jennie Carvill-Schellenbacher, ‘Activist Museums’, lecture in a course with the title ‘Interdisziplinäre Ringvorlesung. Museum erleben – Von klassischen über partizipatorische zu aktivistischen Museumskonzepten’, Graz, 26 April 2016. 62 See online: http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/presse/pressemitteilungen/das_partizipative_museum_-_drei_ausgewahlte_vermittlungsinitativen_im_naturhistorischen_museum (accessed 22 July 2016). 63 O. Rathkolb, ‘Das Haus der Geschichte Österreich als Katalysator für ein zweites Museumsquartier’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 63–82, at p. 64. 64 See: D. Rupnow, ‘Braucht Österreich ein historisches Museum? Gescheiterte Projekte und heutige Antworten’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 27–42, at p. 31; M. Rauchensteiner, ‘Anforderungen, Überforderungen, Herausforderungen. Anmerkungen zu einem Leidensweg’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 43–59, att pp. 45–6; Rauchensteiner, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 39–41; D. Rupnow, ‘Nation ohne Museum? Diskussionen, Konzepte und Projekte’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 417–63, at pp. 421–2. 65 It was undertaken by Karl Renner (1870–1950), first president of the Second Republic of Austria; for a broad overview and further references see R. Hufschmied, ‘“Ohne Rücksicht auf Parteizugehörigkeit und sonstige Bestrittenheit oder Unbestrittenheit”. Die (un)endliche Geschichte von Karl Renners Museum der Ersten und zweiten Republik (1946–1998)’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 45–86. 66 Hufschmied, op. cit. (note 65), pp. 47–8. 67 Ibid., pp. 60–84; Mraz, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 195–200. 68 In 1946 August Ritter von Loehr (1882–1965) gave a lecture on the installation of a museum of Austrian culture; see Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64) pp. 417–63. 69 Established by Otto Neurath; see R. Haller and R. Kinross (eds), Otto Neurath. Gesammelte bildpädagogische Schriften (Vienna, 1991). 70 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 426. 71 Ibid., p. 431. 72 Hufschmied, op. cit. (note 65), pp. 80–84. 73 An exhibition, titled ‘996–1996. ostarrîchi-östereich. Menschen – Mythen – Meilensteine’, took place in 1996 in Neuhofen an der Ybbs – the territory which was first named ostarrîchi – and in St. Pölten; see: S. Spevak, Das Jubiläum ‘950 Jahre Österreich’. Eine Aktion zur Stärkung eines österreichischen Staats- und Kulturbewusstseins im Jahr 1946 (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung) (Vienna and Munich, 2003); several initiatives were discontinued or were never implemented; for example an ‘office 95/96’ (Büro 95/96), a research project ‘Grenzenloses Österreich’, an exhibition project ‘25 peaces’ and the expo 95 (an exhibition project in which Vienna and Budapest were to have participated; for further references see: K. Liebhart, ‘Menschen – Mythen – Meilensteine. Die österreichische Millenniums-Länderausstellung 1996’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 255–74. 74 U. Felber, ‘Jubiläumsbilder. Drei Ausstellungen zum Staatsvertragsgedenken 2005’, in Österreichische zeitschrift für geschichtswissenschaft 17 no. 1 (2006), pp. 65–90. 75 An exhibition was organized in the house of parliament, see U. Felber, ‘Republikgeschichte im Parlament. Die Jubiläumsausstellung 2008’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 275–312. 76 Felber, op. cit. (note 75), p. 279; M. Nußbaumer, ‘“Haus der Geschichte”, Version 05-06’, in Wassermair and Wegan, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 197–210. 77 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 452; Zettelbauer, op. cit. (note 57), pp. 147–59; D. Rabinovici, ‘Das Recht der Erinnerung. Geschichtsrevisionismus und Vergangenheitsverleugnung im Jubeljahr’, in Wassermair and Wegan, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 101–7. 78 Nußbaumer, op. cit. (note 76), pp. 197–210; A. Brait, ‘Ein neues historisches Museum für Österreich. Bisherige Debatten und aktuelle Positionen der österreichischen Bevölkerung’, Wiener Geschichtsblätter 64 (2009), pp. 24–37; S. Neuhäuser, ‘Das Haus der Geschichte Österreichs im Spannungsfeld zwischen Geschichte, Politik, Architektur und Stadtplanung – Eine Chance für die Stadt Wien’. Policy Paper für momentum 13 – Fortschritt #3: Kunst, Geschichte und Politik Version: 19. Oktober 2013, online: http://peter-diem.at/Neuhaeuser.pdf (22accessed 22 July 2016). 79 The Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn concentrates on the history of the German Federal Republic whereas the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin focuses on the history of Germany since the Middle Ages. Relevant debates in the late 1980s can be compared to the current situation in Austria. But whereas in Germany discussion tended to focus on redefining Germany in the context of German reunification in 1989, in Austria the discussion remains centred on historical events from the Middle Ages until the present-day Republic of Austria. Cf. Ch. Stölzl (ed.), Deutsches Historisches Museum. Ideen – Kontroversen – Perspektiven (Frankfurt am Main, etc., 1988). 80 Leon Zelman (1928–2007), head of the Jewish Welcome Service in Vienna, proposed the Palais Epstein; see: Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 441. 81 By Stefan Karner, 1998, see: Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 443. 82 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), 444–7. 83 K. Vocelka, ‘Sind Projekte für ein Haus der Geschichte schon im 21. Jahrhundert angekommen?’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 205–10, at p. 207. 84 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), 444–7. 85 See online: https://www.bka.gv.at/site/3431/default.aspx (accessed 22 July 2016). 86 An extensive study undertaken by Andrea Brait is rarely referred to; see: A. Brait, ‘Gedächtnisort historisches Nationalmuseum. Eine Analyse unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Debatten um Museumsneugründungen in Deutschland und Österreich’ (Diss., Vienna, 2011), 2 vols. 87 See online: http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_2016 0623_OTS0038/die-oesterreichische-forschungsgemeinschaft-laedt-zur-tagung-haus-der-geschichte-oesterreichs-konzepte-inhalte-erzaehlung (accessed 22 July 2016). 88 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 63), pp. 63–82. For the implementation plan see online: https://www.bka.gv.at/DocView.axd?CobId=60404 (accessed 22 July 2016). 89 https://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXV/ME/ME_00177/fname_495330.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016); https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokument.wxe?Abfrage=BgblAuth&Dokumentnummer=BGBLA_2016_I_20 (accessed 22 July 2016). 90 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 63), p. 77–8. 91 H. Lackner, ‘Doppelt gemoppelt’, Profil 2 (11 January 2016), pp. 20–22; see online: http://www.hausdergeschichtenoe.at/de (accessed 22 July 2016); for the detailed concept see online: http://www.hausdergeschichtenoe.at/de/aktuelles/Booklett_HGNOeneu.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 92 See online: http://www.hausdergeschichtenoe.at/de/aktuelles/Booklett_HGNOeneu.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016) © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Collections Oxford University Press

Collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’: a museological perspective on collections from the House of Habsburg to a ‘House of Austrian History’

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Oxford University Press
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© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0954-6650
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1477-8564
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10.1093/jhc/fhx006
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Abstract

Abstract Discussions concerning the establishment of a ‘House of History’ that would collect and exhibit ‘Austria’ can be traced back to the founding of the Republic of Austria in 1919 and are currently resurfacing in the country’s cultural community. Hitherto, these debates have always been concerned with those specific aspects of Austrian history that should be portrayed, the kind objects that could best exemplify them, the locations in which the project itself should be pursued, and the mediation techniques to be used for this purpose. No consideration has so far been given within this discourse to the theoretical and practical considerations pertaining to the collection and exhibition of objects from a museological standpoint. The present article approaches the history of collecting and exhibiting Austria from the perspective that the sum of all the museums, memorials, exhibitions, and cultural landscapes in Austria forms a dislocated ‘House of Austrian History’. Collecting and exhibiting of objects connected with Austrian history forms a long-standing tradition, reaching back to the establishment of the Habsburg collections. This can be seen especially in the capital city of Vienna, where the original imperial collections are preserved and presented as museums, for the benefit of society. Nevertheless, the creation of an institution that specifically collects and exhibits ‘Austria’1 has been the subject of discussion ever since the foundation of the Republic of Austria in 1919. Within this context, no agreement has yet emerged as to whether this institution should be realized as a museum, an exhibition centre, or a meeting place.2 In the classical form of a museum, the traditional responsibilities of acquisition, conservation, research, mediation and exhibition of objects pertaining to the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity, would be foregrounded; on the other hand, it would be possible to constitute an exhibition centre or a meeting place that had no obligation towards acquisition and conservation. As shown here, no institution has thus far been established in Austria which explicitly concerns itself with the collection and exhibition of Austrian history as such: all initiatives in this direction so far have ended in failure.3 In a sense, the entirety of Austrian museums, cultural landscapes and memorials may be considered as a form of dislocated ‘House of Austrian History’,4 an observation that applies with particular accuracy to Vienna. As the capital and thus the focal point of power and governance since 1156, the city has certainly inscribed itself into Austrian history. The Hofburg, first and foremost, has served as the very hub of the ruling dynasty’s power, so that every epoch has left its mark on its buildings; even since the declaration of the Second Republic in 1955, elements of the governmental departments have been accommodated there.5 In the growth of the city, the erection of new buildings, the expansion of the Hofburg and the parallel accumulation of significant artefacts, current historical and political events have been reflected.6 This raises the question of what an institution that collects and exhibits ‘Austria’ could – and indeed should – be able to offer in addition to the already existing Austrian provincial ‘memory institutions’ such as museums, exhibitions, memorials, cultural landscapes and other projects. Furthermore, it might be asked whether the establishment of an institution that collects and exhibits objects connected with Austrian history is indeed achieveable from a museological perspective: would the establishment of such an institution in Hofburg, with a mission to collect and exhibit Austria, constitute an additional societal benefit to the collection, preservation, research and mediation of musealized objects? Against this contested background, the following considerations focus on the museological prerequisites for the collection and exhibition of Austrian history. Such a discussion should, from a museological perspective, include the most significant (historical) developments which necessitate ‘public’ collecting and exhibiting of ‘Austria’.7 In this way, a critical discourse will be developed to examine whether the prerequisites for the establishment of such an institution would be justified within the context of the Hofburg, with all its related commitments. Which history? Which nation? The development of collections and museums in today’s Austria mirrors political and societal conditions in an exceptional way, though the relationship is one that reflects the long-standing position that museums have occupied in relation to history. If collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’ is to be achieved at one and the same institution, the question arises as to which aspects of a multifaceted Austrian history should be told. If Austria is to be understood within its historical and geographical borders through time, that history would have to be traced back at least to ‘ostarrîchî’ – today a region of Lower Austria – that was first mentioned in an official document in 996. This would mean that the history of the House of Babenberg, the margraves who ruled Austria from 976 to 1246, as well as the House of Habsburg, the princely family that ruled Austria from 1273/78 to 1918, would have to be included. If Austria were to be defined geographically by its current borders, however, the history of this territory would be that of the Republic of Austria since 1919. Depending on the historical approach chosen and the cognitive intention, specific historical developments would have to be traced back to different extents. But other historico-political events pose equal demands for presentation and claim equal importance in any consideration of the beginnings of ‘Austria’.8 Such a treatment might, for example, begin with the battle of Königgrätz (1866), as a result of which the balance of power was altered between the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation, leading in due course to the foundation of the German Empire of 1871. At the same time, the Austrian Empire was forced to compromise with Hungary, and in the constitution of December 1867 Austrian history was fundamentally changed. As a result, it was Austria-Hungary and the German Empire that now faced each other as sovereign states, instead of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation. Not only the history of ‘Austria’ but also the history of ‘collecting’ itself is determined by specific historico-political circumstances. In this way, original imperial collections continue to shape the image of Viennese museums up to the present day. In addition to the material from the Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer (the Treasury collection), which continues to be exhibited in the Hofburg, that from the Kunst- und Wunderkammer (the cabinets of art and curiosities, created by members and monarchs of the House of Habsburg) remain especially significant.9 Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol (1529–1595) founded such a cabinet of art and curiosities at Ambras castle near Innsbruck in 1571; as was customary for royal and academic collections of that period, these rooms also functioned as form of Theatrum Mundi – a kind of world theatre in microcosm, the purpose of which was to give an overview of the existing state of knowledge. The collection established by Emperor Rudolf II (1552–1612) in the castle at Prague, which had become his residential city in 1583, is of equal importance in this context. Room 27 of the Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, reopened in 2013 (Fig. 1), is dedicated to Rudolf II and his Prague collection.10 Considering its narrative structure and composition, this display represents part of the Austrian history of collections in the context of imperial sovereignty. In the style of the modern art museum, this permanent exhibit displays objects that formed part of Rudolf’s cabinet of art and curiosities, by presenting object biographies alongside the history of imperial collecting in Austria. This presentation uses original objects to characterize the personalities of their commissioners and collectors during the Baroque era, whose interests were directed towards representation rather than to the Theatrum Mundi concept.11 Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, room no. 27, is dedicated to Rudolf II and to his Prague collection. (khm-Museumsverband). Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, room no. 27, is dedicated to Rudolf II and to his Prague collection. (khm-Museumsverband). The imperial collections underwent another significant extension through the paintings acquired by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1614–1662), which form the basis of the collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The combined accommodation and exhibition of the Habsburg monarchy’s treasures is also inextricably linked with Austrian history: all of these were combined in Vienna under the centralizing efforts initiated by Maria Theresia (1717–1780); she also arranged for the contents of the cabinet in Graz, established by Maria of Bavaria (1551–1608), to be relocated to Vienna in 1764.12 Many other provincial collections could be considered, all of them serving to some degree to mirror political and social developments in Austrian history.13 When the buildings that would accommodate the imperial collections were first erected, they served to demonstrate the power and influence of the monarchs of the particular dynasty. This was discernable in the cycles of images painted within the buildings’ interiors as well as on their façades. The image cycle of the Kunsthistorisches Museum stands witness to this, as does the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Military History) in Vienna, with its reference to military achievements.14 These image cycles can be considered as exemplifying the importance of the dynasty rather than that of the nation – a feature that distinguishes the imperial collections in Vienna from the intentions behind the national museums in, for example, London and Paris.15 As a result of the specific socio-political circumstances of the Habsburg empire, no national museum was founded in Austria to correspond with those in England or France. National museums initiated a process of identification with a nation, a process that could not take place in like manner in Austria. In the multi-ethnic Austrian empire the purpose of the imperial collections was instead focused around the representation and legitimation of the monarchy itself, even though some of the collections were – albeit in a restricted way – open to the public.16 This especially applies to the Vienna Hofburg: almost every monarch left their trace amongst the physical manifestations of this nexus of imperial power, in the form of structural alterations and enlargements as well as in additions to existing collections. A special form of the manifestation of Austrian history can also be seen in the founding of provincial museums, which were established in almost all countries of the monarchy. Their founding is predominantly linked to the fact that every Austrian state (Bundesland) had formed its own (cultural) identity, whether based on the political system of the House of Babenberg or that of the House of Habsburg, and characterized by the enlargement of their territories. In this way so called Austrian Estastes ( österreichische Erbländer) were formed after the unification of the duchy of Austria (Herzogtum Österreich) with the duchy of Styria (Steiermark) and the territory of historical Styria in 1192 and since the unification of the Austrian Empire (Kaisertum Österreich) with Salzburg in 1816. These historical provinces do not correspond to the present-day territories of the Austrian states.17 In their entirety, however, provincial museums can be considered as forming a ‘dislocated national museum’.18 The foundation in 1811 of the Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz (Styria), for example, was heavily dependent on the private collections of Archduke Johann of Austria (1782–1859), who donated them to the provincial estates. Provincial museums combined the tasks of collecting and research, and additionally included educational functions within their scope. Their importance as educational institutions was reflected, among other aspects, in the initiation of libraries and readers’ associations, as well as in the foundation of schools and universities – all of which were intended to facilitate the formation of an identity within a specific region. Their focus was frequently on natural history and technology, providing for their utilization in education. The archduke himself spoke of a ‘National-Musäum’, which was expected to contribute to the culture of the homeland.19 As was common at the time, the public had only restricted access to the collections: for school children and university students the museum was open daily except Saturdays and public holidays; mid-mornings were dedicated to the ‘educated’,20 afternoons were for teachers and professors, and on Wednesdays everyone, irrespective of education or status, could visit the museum.21 Following the end of World War i, the First Republic was founded in 1919 and the previously imperial collections passed into the ownership of the republic. The collections were now placed at the service of society and as a public institution the ‘museum’ began at last to corresponded to its present-day definition.22 The need to reform its presentation relevant to its function as a national educational institution, however, was not pursued under the prevailing political circumstances.23 Since 1920 the original imperial collections have by law formed part of the inventory of Austria’s federal museums (Österreichische Bundesmuseen).24 These consist of the Albertina, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Naturhistorisches Museum, Museum Angewandter Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (mumok) (Museum of Contemporary Art), Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum), and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). A reform of the federal museums with respect to their administrative and organizational establishment took place only in the 1980s, in the context of adapting to contemporary history.25 In the course of their legal separation and establishment as the Vollrechtsfähige Bundesmuseen (federal museums with full legal capacity) they gained greater autonomy with regard to financial and staff-related decisions.26 This period coincides with the founding of the Kommission für Provenienzforschung (Commission for Provenance Research) which, since 1998, has conducted research on the sources of objects that had entered public collections under the National Socialist regime.27 With the founding of this commission, an important step was taken towards a (museological) coming to terms with the past.28 According to their respective collecting policies, Austrian museums to date have collected objects that – among other things – are connected to Austrian history and to the history of the republic.29 Such material is collected not only by federal museums but also at the level of provinces and cities.30 Yet no museum exists to date in which the collections and displays are dedicated primarily to the history of Austria, although several temporary exhibition projects on this topic have taken place. In 1996, on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of the first mention of Austria, a display in Neuhofen an der Ybbs (Lower Austria) was organized which focused on the history of Austria and of the republic until its entry to the European Union. This display was achieved, however, largely without original objects.31 In addition, presentations taking up contemporary topics have also tended to be furnished differently from classical museums. This can be seen, for instance, in various examples of holocaust memorials in the provinces (e.g. Mauthausen Memorial,32 the Museum of Contemporary History in the context of the Ebensee-Memorial33) as well as in the Dokumentationszentrum des Österreichischen Widerstands (Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance) in Vienna.34 If a focus were to be chosen for a new museum on the collection and exhibition of the history of the republic of Austria, a critical scrutiny of contemporary history would be of utmost importance. This would, for example, include the question of Austria’s official involvement and responsibility in the crimes of the Third Reich as well as the fact that Austria, from 1943 onwards, considered itself a victim of Hitler’s Germany. Which objects? The question of which objects should find their way into a museum for Austrian history eventually leads to another question: which objects would lend themselves ideally to the purposes of visualization? Museum objects are carriers of multiple meanings. They can express social relations, rule, power, and wealth by the very materials from which they are made. Objects can even acquire the status of symbols as a result of their involvement in historical events and can thus become veritable witnesses. ‘As authentic evidence they tell of man: of his joy and his suffering, his hopes and fears, his achievements and failures; and they tell about nature of which this man is part.’35 In this way, objects also express the special relationship between human beings and their environment. As unique and irreplaceable items they become, in this way, intellectual property – vehicles for ideas and meaning(s).36 Accordingly, it is clear that history museums should present not only symbols of the élite but also objects of individual and collective memory pertaining to every social class. The histories that objects could tell depend, of course, on the specific questions directed at them. The Schatzkammer, for example, displays imperial insignia – including the crown, imperial orb, and sceptre (Fig. 2). Along with other objects, they symbolize specific forms of governance and (in this case) reveal stories surrounding Rudolf II. As the official imperial crown dating from the tenth century was to be worn only during coronation ceremonies, Rudolf II had a ‘private’ crown made for himself as a personal sign of dignity, for everyday use. Boasting precious jewels and goldwork, it became the everyday crown of the Habsburgs and, in 1804, the official crown of the Austrian Empire.37 Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide The Schatzkammer hovses and displays the imperial insignia – including the crown, imperial orb, and sceptre. (khm-Museumsverband). Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide The Schatzkammer hovses and displays the imperial insignia – including the crown, imperial orb, and sceptre. (khm-Museumsverband). Another object whose biography was ‘enriched’ by contemporary events that captured Austrian media attention is Benvenuto Cellini’s world famous saliera. It had been crafted between 1540 and 1543 for François I of France who presented it to Ferdinand II of Tyrol. In 2003 this object, which carries special significance for the Habsburg collections, was stolen from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in the course of a soirée, a crime made possible due to compromised security arrangements during renovations to the building. Some three years later it was returned, largely undamaged.38 Events of major significance for the history of Austria are also documented by museum objects. In this way the vehicle that carried the successor to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and his wife Sophie, when they were assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, became a witness to the very incident that triggered the outbreak of the First World War. The car, as well as the uniform worn by Franz Ferdinand on that day, are kept in the Museum of Military History in Vienna, presented there in the context of a display on World War i.39 All of these objects, of course, could tell many more stories. Not only may objects symbolize forms of government and represent witnesses to specific events, but they also function as reminders of people and circumstances. In a manner similar to whole collections, specific objects can be considered to form the memory of unique stories.40 Therefore, exhibition-making necessitates the deciding of which narrative should be presented, while being aware that curatorial screening means including or excluding narratives. On the other hand, museum objects also have potential for provoking visitors to associate and create their own narratives.41 Regarding the creation of a collection dedicated to Austrian history, the question arises as to which contemporary objects would have to be gathered – doubtless in coordination with already existing museums. If objects pertaining to Austrian history were not already part of formal collections, they would (with due consideration to questions of conservation) have to be sought for on long-term loan. This would imply, however, that any museum exhibitions in which these objects were currently embedded would have to be presented without them. The consequences that would follow from the display of copies in their place could potentially be far-reaching. The question also arises of whether it would be possible to integrate material from other memory institutions, such as archives and libraries, whose object collections could serve in museological presentations as additional sources. Considering the fact that every museum collection has its own archive, documenting its collecting history, the prospect of establishing a ‘House of Austrian History’ already appears to become something of a bureaucratic challenge, due to its institutional nature. Collecting and exhibiting Austria: which location? Furnishing premises in Vienna that would be dedicated to exhibiting ‘Austria’ also means finding a location for the collection and its ancillary administrative and organizational elements. With this in mind, various existing historical buildings have attracted discussion and new building projects have been suggested.42 For many reasons, as already discussed, the historically-charged site of the Hofburg deserves further attention here. In the so-called Schweizerhof, a square castle with flanking turrets which today houses the Schatzkammer,43 a so-called Kastellburg had been established by the mid-thirteenth century.44 This range, named the Old Castle, was extended under Ferdinand I (1503–1564) in Renaissance style.45 The Hofburg was further enlarged and elaborated under Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830–1916). During the period 1889 to 1893, the so-called ‘Michael Wing’ (Michaeler-Trakt),46 originating from the enlargement of the Hofkirche St. Michael (St Michael’s church) in the first half of the thirteenth century. 47 Additionally, Franz Joseph I intended to integrate the Hofburg into a so-called Imperial Forum (kaiserforum), to consist of several new buildings and supposed to accommodate the imperial collections.48 After several proposals and official submissions, Gottfried Semper and Karl Hasenauer were commissioned in 1871 to plan two buildings, one of which was intended for the historical art collection, the other for natural history. These two buildings now face each other close to the Hofburg, in a square dedicated to Empress Maria Theresia and inaugurated in 1891.49 The grounds of the Hofburg were also included in the remodelling. It took until 1913 for the south-west wing of the Hofburg, the so-called Neue Burg, to be completed. The planned Imperial Forum, however, was never finished, and therefore the south-west wing never reached completion at the opposite end of Heldenplatz.50 During the further course of the history of the Republic of Austria, Heldenplatz repeatedly bore witness to events that would shape twentieth-century Austria. The most significant of these, without doubt, is the Anschluss speech made by Adolf Hitler from the balcony of the Neue Hofburg on 18 March 1938. Today the Neue Burg accommodates world-famed collections dating from the era of the Habsburg treasures – among them as the Ephesos-Museum, the Weltmuseum (housing the collection of ethnological objects, earlier and better known as the Völkerkundemuseum), the Hof-, Jagd- and Rüstkammer (Chamber of Military and Hunting Arms and Armour), the Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente (Collection of Historic Musical Instruments) as well as the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). The erection of buildings for the accommodation of museum collections not only demonstrates that collections require periodic extensions on account of their growth in size, but also that the museum as a distinct kind of building for the preservation and exhibition of objects had established itself. Even though the collections up to the founding of the Republic of Austria remained the property of the Habsburgs, they were no longer stored merely in representation of the power and wealth of the owners, or to give an overview over the state of knowledge at the time, for in time they were gradually opened to the public. In this way, the Hofburg and the museum objects accommodated there have come to represent Austrian history: they are museums which both collect and exhibit ‘Austria’; they contribute to the Zeitgeist and function as ‘Houses of Austrian history’. The establishment of a new institution in the context of the Hofburg, designed to collect centrally and to display Austrian history, would, however, also require a reduction of space available for already existing exhibitions. Considering the fact that the historically evolved Hofburg collections, from a museological point of view, are themselves musealia, the significance of which unfolds in exactly these buildings, great damage would be done by removing them from their historical setting. Furthermore, adequate space to store the objects would have to be found, so that a procedure like this could never be justified from a museological perspective. Renovations which might also be necessitated by a remodelling of the accommodation could also have an impact on the unesco world heritage status of the city of Vienna itself. Alternatively, a ‘House of Austrian History’ could be accommodated in a completely new building. With recourse to the never-completed Imperial Forum, this building could, for example, be realized in the form of a modern complex on the opposite side of Heldenplatz.51 In this way, already existing collections would be extended to include an exclusive location for the presentation of topics concerning the history of the Republic of Austria. The new collections would be integrated into the historical architectonic ensemble, but would, at the same time, constitute a central place for the history of the whole nation. Which forms of communication and presentation? Changing forms of communication are, like collection policies, dependent on historical aspects. In Austria, forms of narrative changed with the shift from an imperial to a democratic government. This can be noticed, for example, in the forms of presentation of the Museum of Military History in Vienna. After the founding of the First Republic of Austria, the representation of the monarchy was no longer foregrounded, but instead technological and medical developments, as well as the impact of the war on diet, health and the arts came into focus.52 Not only did the style of presentation and narrative forms change in the course of time and historical developments, the term ‘museum’ itself has undergone changes. For the German speaking countries, the term was defined in 1739 as a temple (of the muses),53 and as rooms containing art and coin collections, curiosities, and antiques. A museum was, moreover, also considered as a study room.54 Almost seventy years later the significance of the term had changed: now a museum was seen as a collection of art and natural objects as well as of books; it had also become a place in which people gathered to study arts and sciences.55 In this way, a museum had become an important location for larger parts of society.56 Around the time at which collections began to be opened to the general public, they were also, for the first time, arranged according to scientific criteria. Based on these processes, specialized museums were established e.g. art galleries, museums of natural history, and technical museums. The first Habsburg collection in the Hofburg based on science-oriented criteria was established by Franz Stephan I of Lothringen (1708–1765). It was at first located in the ‘Leopoldinischer Wing’ (Leopoldinischer Trakt) and later in the ‘Augustiner Wing’ (Augustiner Trakt). After Franz Stephan’s death, Maria Theresia opened the collection to the public on two days a week. It constitutes the basic stock of the Vienna Museum of Natural History. Around the same time paintings were, for the first time, categorized according to schools. At the Upper Belvedere gallery in Vienna this method has been applied since 178157 and at the palace of Sanssouci near Potsdam since 1764.58 Hence the imperial collections also differ greatly from public institutions in the respective audiences to which they were opened. In Austria museums were open to everyone, irrespective of status, education, and origin, as late as 1919. In regard to Austria’s museum history the year 1919 is therefore to be seen as a caesura. Regarding the mediation of contents in museums, the process of interpretation and construction of the meaning of objects takes on a central role.59 Recent museum studies are rather in favour of participatory approaches in that they try to include the audience as experts on everyday life.60 This tendency is also implemented by activist museums, where the social role of the institution is foregrounded.61 Approaches of this kind have only recently found their way into the world of Austrian museums.62 The museological presentation of a house that collects and exhibits Austrian history, as well as all activities that have to do with the mediation of contents, has to be mainly oriented towards its target group. An institution of this kind also has to consider a critical involvement with the construction of meaning as it is naturally pertinent with any museological presentation. A main reason for this is that an ‘exhibition’ as a medium always requires a value decision regarding the objects of display by the exhibition makers, which are then conveyed to the audience. Implemented projects Up until the foundation of the republic of Austria in 1919, collecting and exhibiting of objects was under the influence of the House of Habsburg. When, afterwards, the First Republic was founded, work began towards the establishment of a house that should deal with the exhibition and display of Austrian history. According to these attempts, various plans were implemented toward the establishment of a ‘House of Austrian History’. Among these attempts are to be counted museums as well as exhibition projects dealing with the history of Austria and that of the republic, by including as well as excluding original objects pertaining to specific topics. As early as in 1919, a debate was already taking place about the establishment of a ‘history chamber’, that would endow the audience with the basics needed to identify with Austrian culture.63 The idea of establishing a national museum by reorganization of the Militärhistorisches Museum was also debated, but never realized.64 The first plans towards the establishment of a Museum of the First and Second Republic, which was intended for the display of original objects, goes back to 1946 and was intended for the Leopoldinischer Trakt of the Hofburg.65 It is interesting from the standpoint of democratic politics that in this case significant contemporary events of the 1920s and 1930s were excluded from the concept.66 The July Revolt of 1927, the Civil War of 1934, and the establishment of the authoritarian corporation state between 1934 and 1938, were all missing. This fact, in turn, reflects Austria’s difficulties in dealing with the First Republic, the authoritarian corporation state, the National Socialist rule, and the involvement of many Austrians in the crimes of the Second World War. Nevertheless, the first of these ‘rooms’ of the museum was furnished in 1951. It included displays on the foundation of the First Republic in the form of a painting, as well as a section of the Austrian constitution. Since the outfitting of the second and third rooms was delayed, the first room remained the only exhibition room of the museum. After an administrative reorganization these objects were given to the Museum Österreichischer Kultur (Museum of Austrian Culture), which was reopened in Eisenstadt in the year 1987.67 The Museum Österreichischer Kultur, originally founded in 1946 and intended to facilitate an understanding of Austrian history and culture, was accommodated in the Neue Burg of the Hofburg.68 The presentation used the so-called Wiener Methode der Bildstatsitik,69 also known as ‘Isotype’ (International System of Typographic Picture Education). This refers to a form of visual language designed to improve orientation within exhibitions; to this end, models, plans, and diagrams, as well as original objects, were integrated into the display. At the same time the museum functioned as an ‘archive for objects and documents pertaining to Austrian cultural history’, where objects were to be collected, stored, and scientifically analyzed.70 However, the museum’s operation turned out to be difficult to maintain, and in the face of shortages of space, staff and budget, most of the objects collected were in due course reassigned to federal museums and the remaining exhibits were put into storage in 1975.71 The Museum Österreichischer Kultur as well as the Museum of the First and the Second Republic remained open until 1994, when their contents were given to the Heeresgeschichtes Museum.72 During the first half of the twentieth century, several exhibition projects concerned themselves with Austrian history. They were implemented in celebration of various anniversaries, such as the 1,000th anniversary of the first mention of Austria in 1996,73 the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 2005,74 and the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Austria in 2008.75 Two initiatives were realized in 2005, similar to 1946. First of all, an exhibition titled Das neue Österreich (The New Austria) was opened at the Oberes Belvedere – in the very place where the State Treaty had been signed which had established Austria as an independent country once again. The second display was implemented at Schallaburg in Lower Austria, titled Österreich ist frei (Austria is free). Whereas the display at Schallaburg focused on the events and everyday history between 1945 and 1955 by exhibiting everyday objects, the exhibition at Oberes Belvedere presented via archival sources and artwork the political history between the First World War up to Austria’s joining the EU.76 In the context of both exhibitions, Austria’s official dealing with its contemporary history was again subject to discussion. Other exhibition projects which approached the topic from a critical perspective, garnered very little attention.77 Nevertheless the two exhibitions in the Belvedere and at Schallaburg initiated public debates about the establishment of a ‘House of Austrian History’ and about the history of the Republic, respectively. In these debates the term ‘museum’ was largely avoided.78 In the context of the foundation of the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn79 and the Europa-Museum in Brussels, additional plans were made, such as the establishment of a ‘House of Tolerance’ (Haus der Toleranz) in the form of an education and research facility located in a historic palace close to the parliament,80 a ‘House of Contemporary History’ (Haus der Zeitgeschichte)81 or a ‘House of the History of the Republic of Austria’ (Haus der Geschichte der Republik Österreich).82 Ideas existed concerning the creation of such a house in connection with the Museum of Military History, but also to establish it in the form of a virtual museum.83 The government commissioned feasibility studies84 as well as strategies for the realization,85 but did not resume activity in this regard before 2014.86 Status quo Since 2014, plans for the establishment of a ‘House of Austrian History’ (Haus der Geschichte Österreich) have again been pursued by the government.87 An advisory committee, mainly consisting of historians, has been created, a concept has been developed,88 and even a law has been passed supplementing the already existing federal museum law (Bundesmuseengesetz).89 According to this, the ‘House of Austrian History’ is going to present Austria’s history starting with the mid-nineteenth century. The year 1918 will be at the centre of attention and special topics will be displayed with the help of a transfer analysis (Transferanalyse) – whatever this may turn out to be.90 This institution will be housed in the Neue Burg of the Hofburg and already existing collections will lose some of their spatial resources. Concerning organizational matters, the ‘House of Austrian History’ will form part of the Austrian National Library. At the same time, the establishment of a second house of history is currently in its planning phase. It will be opened in mid-2017 as the ‘House of the History of Lower Austria’ (Haus der Geschichte Niederösterreich) at the Provincial Museum of Lower Austria (Landesmuseum Niederösterreich)91 in St. Pölten. Austria’s history is going to be presented there in a linear manner on the basis of the history of the House of Habsburg. The House of the History of Lower Austria will be integrated into the building complex of the Provincial Museums of Lower Austria. Its policy addresses three tasks – exhibition, research and visitor service.92 The fact that this ‘house’ sees itself as endowed with certain tasks and duties can also be seen by its incorporation into the association of Provincial Museums of Lower Austria. It should, therefore, be possible for the new institution to include appropriate objects from within this association into its exhibitions. Conclusion Collecting and exhibiting ‘Austria’, first of all, means defining which aspects of Austrian history – based on the specificities of Austrian history and that of the Republic of Austria, respectively – should be presented. As is shown in this essay, the total of already existing Austrian museums and institutions of memory can be considered as a ‘House of Austrian History’ which focuses on various aspects of Austrian history or the history of the Republic, respectively. These narratives of history are told in different locations, using diverse forms of mediation. Examples of these institutions are public collections and temporary exhibitions in museums, presentations dedicated to institutions of memory such as archives and libraries, exhibitions organized for the purpose of various events or special memory locations, displaying Austria’s contemporary history. Additionally, the city of Vienna represents a focal point of Austrian history in itself, and in this way also epitomizes Austria’s history of collecting and exhibiting museum objects – that of the monarchy as well as of the Republic. The city narrates a dislocated history of Austria in the form of its buildings, collections, objects, and institutions. A complete representation of history in a museological context does take place, but this happens not in a centralized way in one institution in a single location but, as already mentioned, in a dislocated manner in various places spread all over Austria. For this reason the establishment of a new collection or exhibition dealing with the topic of history means to gather objects that narrate specific aspects of Austrian history. Collecting and loaning of objects in the context of Austrian history may prove difficult for a ‘House of History’ due to the institutional location of existing collections. The already planned creation of a collection with special reference to the history of the republic will be no less challenging, as it is always difficult to collect ‘the present’. The same applies to the choice of the location, since the ‘House of History’ will be established in the context of the Hofburg – a historically charged building complex, the significance of which cannot be disregarded. Furthermore, the exhibition space of the existing world-famous collections is inevitably going to be reduced, having a further impact on objects that will have to be removed. These circumstances too would have justified the accommodation of the collection in a suitable new building. Hence the formation of a house of Austrian history as a museum located in the building of the Austrian library cannot be recommended from a museological point of view, due to the restrictions caused by these parameters. In establishing a museum it might be more appropriate to revive the idea of finalizing the Imperial Forum with a new building opposite Heldenplatz. The creation of the ‘House of the History of Lower Austria’ in St. Pölten – at least on an institutional level – matches the area of collections of the association of Provincial Museums of Lower Austria. However, as shown by the history of collecting and exhibiting Austrian history in the example of the two museums founded in 1946 in the context of the Hofburg, the pursuit of two similar concepts – even if they complement each other in matters of content – can, as a result of specific ideological interests, lead to a competitive situation. In a similar way the two projects introduced here will also be in competition with each other – not only as to who has a larger audience, but also when it comes to securing the reputation of those who established the institution. It would, however, need another museological analysis to establish whether a memorial, meeting point or exhibition site presenting ‘Austrian’ history would indeed represent a benefit to society. In the end, curiosity remains as to how either or both projects will be implemented – if as classical museums with interactive, participatory, or even activist elements for the public, as a meeting place in which the public can engage in discourse, as archive, or as a ‘memory house’ for the documentation of Austrian history. Perhaps even a combination of all the approaches mentioned will complete this process? What we do know is that there will be two ‘Houses of History’ and that each will tell its own Austrian history – and this in itself will be insightful for the audience. Acknowledgements Special thanks are due to Professor Nikolaus Reisinger (head of the Institut of History and head of the cross-faculty platform University Museums, University of Graz) for discussing with me particular aspects of ‘Austrian’ history and contradictory arguments concerning the ‘House of Austrian History’. Notes and references 1 For a particular description of the term ‘Österreich’, see E. Zöllner, Der Österreichbegriff. Formen und Wandlungen in der Geschichte (Munich, 1988). 2 For an overview of the discussion see Th. Winkelbauer (ed.), Haus? Geschichte? Österreich? Ergebnisse einer Enquete über das neue historische Museum in Wien (Vienna, 2016); on the topic of exhibiting ‘contemporary history’ in Austria see also D. Rupnow and H. Uhl (eds), Zeitgeschichte ausstellen in Österreich. Museen – Gedenkstätten – Ausstellungen (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 2011); M. Wassermair and K. Wegan (eds), Rebranding images. Ein streitbares Lesebuch zur Geschichtspolitik und Erinnerungskultur in Österreich (Innsbruck, Vienna and Bozen, 2006). 3 For realized and unrealized projects see D. Rupnow, ‘Braucht Österreich ein historisches Museum? Gescheiterte Projekte und heutige Antworten’, in: Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 27–42; M. Rauchensteiner, ‘Anforderungen, Überforderungen, Herausforderungen. Anmerkungen zu einem Leidensweg’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 43–59; R. Hufschmied, ‘“Ohne Rücksicht auf Parteizugehörigkeit und sonstige Bestrittenheit oder Unbestrittenheit”. Die (un)endliche Geschichte von Karl Renners Museum der Ersten und zweiten Republik (1946–1998)’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 45–86; D. Rupnow, ‘Nation ohne Museum? Diskussionen, Konzepte und Projekte’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 417–63; M. Rauchensteiner, Phönix aus der Asche. Zerstörungen und Wiederaufbau des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums, exh. cat., Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Vienna, 2005); G. Mraz, ‘Das Museum Österreichischer Kultur’, in Museumsraum – Museumszeit. Zur Geschichte des österreichischen Museums- und Ausstellungswesens, ed. G. Fliedl, R. Muttenthaler and H. Posch (Vienna, 1992), pp. 195–200. 4 On the theory of ‘dislocated’ types of museums in the Habsburg monarchy, see M. Raffler, Museum. Spiegel der Nation? Zugänge zur Historischen Museologie am Beispiel der Genese von Landes- und Nationalmuseen in der Habsburgermonarchie (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 2007). 5 On the history of the Hofburg see M. Schwarz (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg im Mittelalter. Von der Kastellburg zu den Anfängen als Kaiserresidenz (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. i) (Vienna, 2015); H. Karner (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1521–1705. Baugeschichte, Funktion und Etablierung als Kaiserresidenz (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. ii) (Vienna, 2014); H. Lorenz (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1705–1835. Die kaiserliche Residenz vom Barock zum Klassizismus (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. iii) (Vienna, in press); W. Telesko (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1835–1918. Der Ausbau der Residenz vom Vormärz bis zum Ende des „Kaiserforums’ (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg, vol. iv) (Vienna, 2012); M. Welzig (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg seit 1918. Von der Residenz zum Museumsquartier (Veröffentlichungen zur Bau- und Funktionsgeschichte der Wiener Hofburg) (in press). 6 For theoretical debates see B. Biedermann and N. Reisinger, ‘Die Stadt als Lebensraum und museale Inszenierung zwischen Erinnerung, Wahrnehmung und Inszenierung am Beispiel der Grazer Altstadt’, Curiositas. Jahrbuch für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 12–13 (2013), pp. 129–48; N. Reisinger, ‘Musealisierung als Theorem der Museologie. Zur Musealisierung von Großobjekten und Landschaften am Beispiel der Eisenbahn’, Curiositas. Jahrbuch für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 12–13 (2013), pp. 55–68. 7 For an overview see M. Raffler, ‘Historische Museologie’, in Museologie – knapp gefasst, ed. F. Waidacher (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar 2005), pp. 272–315; F. Waidacher, Handbuch der Allgemeinen Museologie (3rd edn, Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 1999), pp. 75–121. 8 Th. Winkelbauer (ed.), Geschichte Österreichs (Stuttgart, 2015); K. Vocelka, Geschichte Österreichs. Kultur – Gesellschaft – Politik (7th edn, Graz, Vienna and Cologne, 2002); O. Rathkolb, Die Paradoxe Republik. Österreich 1945 bis 2005 (Vienna, 2005). 9 S. Haag (ed.), Ein Rundgang durch die Kaiserliche Schatzkammer (Vienna, 2015); S. Haag, F. Kirchweger and P. Rainer (eds), Das Haus Habsburg und die Welt der fürstlichen Kunstkammern im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert (Schriften des Kunsthistorischen Museums, ed. Sabine Haag, vol. xiv (Vienna, 2015); S. Haag and F. Kirchweger, Treasures of the Habsburgs. The Kunstkammer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (London, 2013); S. Haag, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Die Kunstkammer Wien (London, 2013); Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer. Bildführer (4th edn, Vienna, 2000); M. Leithe-Jasper and R. Distelberger, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Die Schatzkammer (London, 1998); H. Filitz, Die Schatzkammer in Wien. Symbole abendländischen Kaisertums (Salzburg and Vienna, 1986). 10 For the concept see online: http://tourism.khm.at/fileadmin/content/TOURISMUS/downloads/KHM_KK_Fremdenfuehrer_de.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 11 See online: http://tourism.khm.at/fileadmin/content/ TOURISMUS/downloads/KHM_KK_Fremdenfuehrer_de.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 12 J. Wastler, ‘Zur Geschichte der Schatz-, Kunst- und Rüstkammer in der k. k. Burg zu Grätz, Teil i’, Mittheilungen der k. k. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Kunst und historischen Denkmale, new ser. 5 (1879), cxxxviii-cxlvi, at cxxix-cxl; see S. König-Lein, ‘“mit vielen Seltenheiten gefüllet”. Die Kunstkammer in Graz unter Erzherzog Karl II. von Innerösterreich und Maria von Bayern’, in Haag, Kirchweger and Rainer, op. cit. (note 9), pp. 195–227. 13 From a philosophical point of view, collecting and exhibiting are expressions of a special relationship of man to reality which has been termed museality: see Z. Z. Stránský, ‘Die theoretischen Grundlagen der Museologie als Wissenschaft’, in Museologie. Neue Wege – Neue Ziele, ed. H. Auer (Munich etc. 1989), pp. 38–47; Z. Z. Stránský, ‘Musealisierung und neue wissenschaftliche und kulturelle Paradigma’, Curiositas. Zeitschrift für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 1 (2001), pp. 11–20; for international debates see: A. Desvallées und and F. Mairesse (eds), Key Concepts of Museology (Paris, 2009), pp. 53–6. 14 H. Leidinger and V. Moritz, ‘Die Last der Historie. Das Heeresgeschichtliche Museum in Wien und die Darstellung der Geschichte bis 1945’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 15–44, at p. 21. 15 See: J. Thackray and B. Ross, Nature’s Treasurehouse. A History of the Natural History Museum (5th edn, London, 2013), p. 21. 16 M. Raffler, ‘Kein Nationalmuseum für das Kaisertum Österreich?’, in Die Musealisierung der Nation. Ein kulturpolitisches Gestaltungsmodell des 19. Jahrhunderts, ed. C. Breuer, B. Holtz and P. Kahl (Berlin and Boston, 2015), pp. 77–92. 17 On the development of the Austrian Estates see: Vocelka, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 54, 67. Austrian provincial museums were founded to act as places for the formation of identity by presenting the history of a region. They are, in fact, owned by the Austrian States (Bundesländer), such as the Landesmuseum Kärnten, Oberösterreichische Landesmuseen, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum and Landesmuseum Burgenland. Some of the former provincial museums have in the meantime changed their names: Universalmuseum Joanneum, Museum Niederösterreich, Salzburg Museum and Vorarlberg Museum. Some are additionally supported by a municipal administration, especially Wien Museum. Step by step, provincial museums were also founded in Germany and Switzerland. In Switzerland the provincial museum in Zurich forms part of the complex of the Swiss national museum and presents the history of Switzerland. The presentation of Swiss history is completed by cantonal museums. In Germany they are today mostly owned by German Federal States through various collection complexes; often they are located in multiple sites and represent parts of the history of a German region (see for example the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Hessisches Landesmuseum, etc.). 18 In Pest (1802), in Prague (1818), in Brno (1818), in Innsbruck (1823), in Salzburg (1833); see Raffler, op. cit. (note 4). 19 Erzherzog Johann, Joanneum, Graz 1811, loose document, p. 6. 20 Erzherzog Johann, Joanneum, Graz 1811, loose document, p. 8. 21 See also Das Steiermärkische Landesmuseum Joanneum und seine Sammlungen 1811–1911. Zur 100jährigen Gründungsfeier des Joanneums, herausgegeben vom Kuratorium des Landesmuseums, ed. Anton Mell (Graz, 1911); Festschrift 150 Jahre Joanneum 1811–1961, ed. Berthold Sutter (Graz, 1969); B. Biedermann, Präsentationsformen – museologische Zugänge. Am Beispiel des ‘Kulturhistorischen und Kunstgewerbemuseums’ am Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz (Saarbrücken, 2009); see also published annual reports of the museum from 1811 to 1930 and 1970 until today. 22 See online: http://icom.museum/the-vision/museum-definition/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 23 H. Posch, ‘Umbruch und Kontinuität – Wiener Museen am Übergang von der Monarchie zur Ersten Republik und das Scheitern einer Aneignung’, in Fiedl, Muttenthaler and Posch, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 139–54. 24 See online: https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20001728 (accessed 22 July 2016). 25 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 8), p. 245; O. Rathkolb, ‘Erste Republik, Austrofaschismus, Nationalsozialismus (1918–1945)’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 477–524; on the thesis of Austria defining itself as victim see H. Uhl, ‘Das “erste Opfer”. Der österreichische Opfermythos und seine Transformationen in der Zweiten Republik’, in Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 1 (2001), pp. 19–34. 26 H. Konrad, Museumsmanagement und Kulturpolitik am Beispiel der ausgegliederten Bundesmuseen (Vienna, 2008). 27 See official homepage online: http://www.provenienzforschung.gv.at/?lang=en (accessed 22 July 2016). 28 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 25), pp. 477–524. 29 See online: http://www.technischesmuseum.at/sammlungs strategie (accessed 22 July 2016). 30 See, for example, the broad archive of temporary exhibitions organized by the Wien Museum, the historical museum of Vienna City online: http://www.wienmuseum.at/en/exhibitions/archive/show-all.html (accessed 22 July 2016); in 1998 in the Museum of Military History was displayed a new part of the permanent exhibition with the title ‘Republic and Dictatorship’ (Republik und Diktatur); see see online: http://www.hgm.at/en/exhibitions/exhibitions/republic-and-dictatorship.html (accessed 22 July 2016); on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of World War i in 2014, the permanent exhibition was reorganized focusing on the question of whether war rightly belongs in the museum, see online: http://www.hgm.at/de/ausstellungen/permanente-ausstellungen.html (accessed 22 July 2016); see also: W. Muchitsch (ed.), Does War belong in Museums? The representation of violence in exhibitions (Bielefeld, 2013). 31 See official website online: http://www.museum-ostarrichi.at/museum (accessed 22 July 2016). 32 See official website online: https://www.mauthausen-memorial.org/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 33 See official website online: http://www.memorial-ebensee.at/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 34 See official website online: http://www.doew.at/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 35 ‘Musealien sind Träger von Ideen, von geistigen Inhalten, von Bedeutung. Sie sind Nouophoren und als solche je einmalig und grundsätzlich auch in materiell bescheidensten Vertretern – unersetzbar.’ For objects representing sense and meaning, F. Waidacher coined the term ‘Nouophor’; see F. Waidacher, ‘Sachen und Wörter. Oder: Von der Mühe, Erinnerung zu bewahren’, in G. Geldner, Der Milde Knabe. Oder: Die Natur eines Berufenen. Ein wissenschaftlicher Ausblick, Oskar Pausch zum Eintritt in den Ruhestand gewidmet (Wissenschaftliche Reihe des Österreichischen Theater Museums, Mimundus 9) (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar 1997), pp. 19–29, at p. 20; additionally he distinguished it from Pomian’s term ‘Semiophor’, applied to objects which act as signs for something or somebody; see: K. Pomian, Der Ursprung des Museums. Vom Sammeln (4th edn, Berlin, 2013). 36 Waidacher, op. cit. (note 7), pp. 14–17. 37 Haag, op. cit. (note 9), pp. 14–17; Kunsthistorisches Museum, op. cit. (note 9), pp. 51–9. 38 See for example online: http://wien.orf.at/news/stories/2583725/ (accessed 22 July 2016); see also: http://www.khm.at/en/visit/collections/kunstkammer-wien/ (accessed 22 July 2016). 39 Direktion Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Das Heeresgeschichtliche Museum in Wien, (Graz and Cologne, 1960), p. 23; Leidinger and Moritz, op. cit. (note 14), p. 22. 40 A. Assmann, Geschichte im Gedächtnis. Von der individuellen Erfahrung zur öffentlichen Inszenierung (Munich, 2007). 41 From a postmodern point of view, museum studies are also concerned with identifying so-called ‘master narratives’, mostly concerning nationalism and gender perspectives; see for example S. J. Knell, P. Aronsson and A. B. Amundsen (eds), National Museums. Studies From Around the World (London and New York, 2011). For the term ‘master narrative’, see J.-F. Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition. A Report on Knowledge (Manchester, 1984). 42 See Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2). 43 Haag, op. cit. (note 9); Haag and Kirchweger, op. cit. (note 9); Kunsthistorisches Museum, op. cit. (note 9); Leithe-Jasper and Distelberger, op. cit. (note 9); Filitz, op. cit. (note 9). 44 P. Mitchell and G. Buchinger, ‘Der Gründungsbau der Wiener Burg’, in Schwarz, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 45–82, at p. 59. 45 R. Holzschuh-Hofer and H. Karner, ‘Die Alte Burg (Schweizerhof)’, in Karner, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 80–175. 46 Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 242–56. 47 G. Buchinger, D. Schön and M. Schwarz, ‘Der Bau St. Michaels bis zur Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts’, in Schwarz, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 85–107. 48 A. Nierhaus, ‘Das Kaiserforum als Entwurf einer idealen Residenz’, in Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 185–95. 49 R. Kurdiovsky, ‘Die Hofmuseen’, in Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 196–203. 50 Telesko, op. cit. (note 5), pp. 286–397. 51 Referring to a historical reproduction, see online: http://oktogon.at/HDG/meldungen/lord1.htm (accessed 22 July 2016). 52 Direktion Heeresgeschichtliche Museum, op. cit. (note 39), p. 21; Leidinger and Moritz, op. cit. (note 14), pp. 21, 23. 53 H. Aigner discounted the thesis that the term museum is deduced from the ancient world’s temples for the muses. He points out that the muses were not venerated in temples but in shrines, Temenoi, or in the context of Apollo as Musagetes. The Museion in Alexandria was a meeting point for scholars rather than a place for storing and presenting objects of special meaning. None the less, the term museum is presumably derived from the term Museion. See H. Aigner, ‘Museale Vorläufer vom Alten Orient bis in die griechisch-römische Welt’, Curiositas, Zeitschrift für Museologie und museale Quellenkunde 1 (2001), pp. 81–7, at p. 84. 54 J. H. Zedler, Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste (Halle and Leipzig, 1739), vol. 22, p. 705, ‘Museum’. 55 J.G. Krünitz, Oekonomische Enzyklopädie oder allgemeines System der Staats-, Stadt-, Haus- und Landwirtschaft in alphabetischer Ordnung (Berlin, 1805), vol 98, article ‘Museum’. 56 Ibid. 57 B. Savoy (ed.), Tempel der Kunst. Die Entstehung des öffentlichen Museums in Deutschland 1701–1815 (Mainz am Rhein, 2006), pp. 279–308. 58 T. Locker, ‘Die Bildergalerie von Sanssouci bei Potsdam’, in Savoy, op. cit. (note 57), pp. 217–42, at p. 230. 59 M. Simpson, Making Representations. Museums in the Post-colonial Era (London, 2001); E. Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge (London, 1999); R. Sandell, Museums, Prejudice and the Reframing of Differences (London, 2006); R. J. Abrams, ‘History is as History does: the evolution of the mission-driven Museum, in Looking Reality in the Eye. Museums and Social Responsibility, ed. R. R. Janes and G. T. Conaty (Calgary, 2006), pp. 19–43; H. Zettelbauer, ‘Das Identitätsbegehren nach musealer Repräsentation’, in Wassermair and Wegan, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 147–59. 60 N. Simon, The Participatory Museum (Santa Cruz, 2010). 61 R. Sandell, ‘Museums as agents of social inclusion’, Museum Management and Curatorship 17 no. 4 (1998), pp. 401–18; H. Coxall, ‘Open minds. Inclusive practice’, in Museums Philosophy for the 21st century, ed. H. H. Genoways (Oxford, 2006), pp. 139–49; R. Sandell, ‘Constructing and communicating equality. The social agency of the museum space’, in Reshaping Museum Space. Architecture, Design, Exhibitions, ed. A. MacLeod (London 2005), pp. 185–200; see also Jennie Carvill-Schellenbacher, ‘Activist Museums’, lecture in a course with the title ‘Interdisziplinäre Ringvorlesung. Museum erleben – Von klassischen über partizipatorische zu aktivistischen Museumskonzepten’, Graz, 26 April 2016. 62 See online: http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/presse/pressemitteilungen/das_partizipative_museum_-_drei_ausgewahlte_vermittlungsinitativen_im_naturhistorischen_museum (accessed 22 July 2016). 63 O. Rathkolb, ‘Das Haus der Geschichte Österreich als Katalysator für ein zweites Museumsquartier’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 63–82, at p. 64. 64 See: D. Rupnow, ‘Braucht Österreich ein historisches Museum? Gescheiterte Projekte und heutige Antworten’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 27–42, at p. 31; M. Rauchensteiner, ‘Anforderungen, Überforderungen, Herausforderungen. Anmerkungen zu einem Leidensweg’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 43–59, att pp. 45–6; Rauchensteiner, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 39–41; D. Rupnow, ‘Nation ohne Museum? Diskussionen, Konzepte und Projekte’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 417–63, at pp. 421–2. 65 It was undertaken by Karl Renner (1870–1950), first president of the Second Republic of Austria; for a broad overview and further references see R. Hufschmied, ‘“Ohne Rücksicht auf Parteizugehörigkeit und sonstige Bestrittenheit oder Unbestrittenheit”. Die (un)endliche Geschichte von Karl Renners Museum der Ersten und zweiten Republik (1946–1998)’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 45–86. 66 Hufschmied, op. cit. (note 65), pp. 47–8. 67 Ibid., pp. 60–84; Mraz, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 195–200. 68 In 1946 August Ritter von Loehr (1882–1965) gave a lecture on the installation of a museum of Austrian culture; see Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64) pp. 417–63. 69 Established by Otto Neurath; see R. Haller and R. Kinross (eds), Otto Neurath. Gesammelte bildpädagogische Schriften (Vienna, 1991). 70 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 426. 71 Ibid., p. 431. 72 Hufschmied, op. cit. (note 65), pp. 80–84. 73 An exhibition, titled ‘996–1996. ostarrîchi-östereich. Menschen – Mythen – Meilensteine’, took place in 1996 in Neuhofen an der Ybbs – the territory which was first named ostarrîchi – and in St. Pölten; see: S. Spevak, Das Jubiläum ‘950 Jahre Österreich’. Eine Aktion zur Stärkung eines österreichischen Staats- und Kulturbewusstseins im Jahr 1946 (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung) (Vienna and Munich, 2003); several initiatives were discontinued or were never implemented; for example an ‘office 95/96’ (Büro 95/96), a research project ‘Grenzenloses Österreich’, an exhibition project ‘25 peaces’ and the expo 95 (an exhibition project in which Vienna and Budapest were to have participated; for further references see: K. Liebhart, ‘Menschen – Mythen – Meilensteine. Die österreichische Millenniums-Länderausstellung 1996’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 255–74. 74 U. Felber, ‘Jubiläumsbilder. Drei Ausstellungen zum Staatsvertragsgedenken 2005’, in Österreichische zeitschrift für geschichtswissenschaft 17 no. 1 (2006), pp. 65–90. 75 An exhibition was organized in the house of parliament, see U. Felber, ‘Republikgeschichte im Parlament. Die Jubiläumsausstellung 2008’, in Rupnow and Uhl, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 275–312. 76 Felber, op. cit. (note 75), p. 279; M. Nußbaumer, ‘“Haus der Geschichte”, Version 05-06’, in Wassermair and Wegan, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 197–210. 77 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 452; Zettelbauer, op. cit. (note 57), pp. 147–59; D. Rabinovici, ‘Das Recht der Erinnerung. Geschichtsrevisionismus und Vergangenheitsverleugnung im Jubeljahr’, in Wassermair and Wegan, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 101–7. 78 Nußbaumer, op. cit. (note 76), pp. 197–210; A. Brait, ‘Ein neues historisches Museum für Österreich. Bisherige Debatten und aktuelle Positionen der österreichischen Bevölkerung’, Wiener Geschichtsblätter 64 (2009), pp. 24–37; S. Neuhäuser, ‘Das Haus der Geschichte Österreichs im Spannungsfeld zwischen Geschichte, Politik, Architektur und Stadtplanung – Eine Chance für die Stadt Wien’. Policy Paper für momentum 13 – Fortschritt #3: Kunst, Geschichte und Politik Version: 19. Oktober 2013, online: http://peter-diem.at/Neuhaeuser.pdf (22accessed 22 July 2016). 79 The Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn concentrates on the history of the German Federal Republic whereas the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin focuses on the history of Germany since the Middle Ages. Relevant debates in the late 1980s can be compared to the current situation in Austria. But whereas in Germany discussion tended to focus on redefining Germany in the context of German reunification in 1989, in Austria the discussion remains centred on historical events from the Middle Ages until the present-day Republic of Austria. Cf. Ch. Stölzl (ed.), Deutsches Historisches Museum. Ideen – Kontroversen – Perspektiven (Frankfurt am Main, etc., 1988). 80 Leon Zelman (1928–2007), head of the Jewish Welcome Service in Vienna, proposed the Palais Epstein; see: Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 441. 81 By Stefan Karner, 1998, see: Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), p. 443. 82 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), 444–7. 83 K. Vocelka, ‘Sind Projekte für ein Haus der Geschichte schon im 21. Jahrhundert angekommen?’, in Winkelbauer, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 205–10, at p. 207. 84 Rupnow, op. cit. Nation ohne Museum (note 64), 444–7. 85 See online: https://www.bka.gv.at/site/3431/default.aspx (accessed 22 July 2016). 86 An extensive study undertaken by Andrea Brait is rarely referred to; see: A. Brait, ‘Gedächtnisort historisches Nationalmuseum. Eine Analyse unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Debatten um Museumsneugründungen in Deutschland und Österreich’ (Diss., Vienna, 2011), 2 vols. 87 See online: http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_2016 0623_OTS0038/die-oesterreichische-forschungsgemeinschaft-laedt-zur-tagung-haus-der-geschichte-oesterreichs-konzepte-inhalte-erzaehlung (accessed 22 July 2016). 88 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 63), pp. 63–82. For the implementation plan see online: https://www.bka.gv.at/DocView.axd?CobId=60404 (accessed 22 July 2016). 89 https://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXV/ME/ME_00177/fname_495330.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016); https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokument.wxe?Abfrage=BgblAuth&Dokumentnummer=BGBLA_2016_I_20 (accessed 22 July 2016). 90 Rathkolb, op. cit. (note 63), p. 77–8. 91 H. Lackner, ‘Doppelt gemoppelt’, Profil 2 (11 January 2016), pp. 20–22; see online: http://www.hausdergeschichtenoe.at/de (accessed 22 July 2016); for the detailed concept see online: http://www.hausdergeschichtenoe.at/de/aktuelles/Booklett_HGNOeneu.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 92 See online: http://www.hausdergeschichtenoe.at/de/aktuelles/Booklett_HGNOeneu.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016) © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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