In the 7th district of Vienna, the Museumsquartier is a collection of majestic 17th and 18th century buildings interspersed with modern architecture, all home to some of Austria’s most famous museums, performance spaces, and cultural hubs. And while the museums and performances are the main draw, the area is also adorned with contemporary art in Baroque-period passageways that are destinations in their own right.
There are currently six of these passageways that serve as free outdoor exhibitions, and each has a theme corresponding to a cultural area represented in the Museumsquartier. Several feature not only the changing artwork, but also have vending machines that provide corresponding publications which support the art and the artists.
The whole of the Museumsquartier also encompasses public courtyards that host dance, art, film, literary performances, and readings – and each space is connected by one of the six passageways. With their barrel-vaulted ceilings, they have been commandeered for the free public art, and are continually curated by local and international artists and designers.
Each of the six tunnels also highlights a different discipline of contemporary art: the LITERATURpassage focuses on young Austrian writers; the TONSPUR_passage, expanding the art of sound architecture; the KABINETT comic passage, taking the work of comic book and graphic novel artists and providing a trading ground to support the medium; the STREET ART PASSAGE VIENNA, both inspired by and inspiring street artists from Vienna and other urban centers; the Typopassage Wien, exploring the crossroads of textual content and how its design effects the reader; and Meteoritenpassage, providing an artistic link to the Natural History Museum.
Call it up-to-the-minute art in uniquely historic spaces.
Know Before You Go
Take the U2 Underground to either the Museumsquartier or Volktheather station; accessible also by bus or car - or use your feet. Walking west through the Street Passage leads you to the interesting Stiftgasse district.Or walk up the Mariahilfer Strasse, the main shopping street.