The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art is one of Europe’s major international ethnographic museums with extensive collections of folk art as well as historical and contemporary everyday cultures. A permanent exhibition as well as changing special exhibitions deal with various topics of coexistence in a constantly changing world.Use your museum
We are an open place for research and communication. We enjoy experimenting and trying out new things. In our work we focus on lively and challenging approaches. We provide space for social interaction and discourse.
We question Europe's past and present in our exhibited collection, in our special exhibitions and in our educational programmes. For an active, critical and participatory debate, we also use regular events, interventions, performative art, theatre projects, cooperation with NGOs, research and public science projects, online collections, online publications and social media channels.
We are working on the museum as a multimedia platform: as a public place of visualization, of debate, of information, of sojourn, of networking, of action.
What interests us
We understand museums as being both archives of society and political sites. Remaining free from any commercial interests, we work to generate perspectives and positions that are moving and challenging. As cultural scholars, we query historical and present-day realms of experience. What can objects show us? Who speaks – and appears – in stories? And what stories are needed by our future?
Where we come from
The museum was founded in 1895 by Michael Haberlandt and Wilhelm Hein as an association-run scholarly museum in order to document the Habsburg Monarchy. Today, the museum is still run by the Association for Austrian Folk Life (Verein für Volkskunde), which has around 600 members.
Where we work
The Schönborn Garden Palace was built as a baroque pleasure palace after designs by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt between 1706 and 1715. Its original owner and occupant was Count Friedrich Karl von Schönborn-Buchheim, Imperial Vice-Chancellor in Vienna. In 1862, the City of Vienna assumed ownership of the building and opened the Schönbornpark to the public. The period that ensued witnessed a colourful sequence of occupants ranging from a theatre and a gymnastics association to coffin-makers and master bookbinders. From 1872 to 1896, it provided a home for what is now the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, which was thereafter followed by various public offices. The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art finally arrived here in 1917.
Further Details in German:
Team and Contacts
History of the Museum
Schönborn Garden Palace
Work with us
Brochure available for download