Art: Albertina increases museum staff because of climate protests

Albertina increases museum staff because of climate protests

Klaus Albrecht Schröderposes in front of the Albertina in Vienna.  Photo: Tobias Steinmaurer/APA/dpa

Klaus Albrecht Schröderposes in front of the Albertina in Vienna. photo

© Tobias Steinmaurer/APA/dpa

The museum director in Vienna understands the “justified anger” of climate activists, but he wants to protect the works of art from paint or adhesive attacks.

The Viennese art museum Albertina has hired a dozen new employees to protect against climate protests. They check that activists do not smuggle glue or paint into this museum to damage works of art, as Director Klaus Albrecht Schröder told the German Press Agency. Although Schröder understands the “justified anger that politicians are doing too little to curb global warming”, this form of protest has “hit the museums hard financially”.

The Albertina was renovated 20 years ago and reopened as a museum of international stature. The institution, which was visited by around a million people last year, is celebrating its anniversary this year with 16 exhibitions.

This includes two major shows covering the 500-year history of printmaking from Albrecht Dürer to Damien Hirst, as well as an exhibition that focuses on diversity and identity. According to Albrecht, the Albertina’s portfolio – from da Vinci to Schiele and Richter – is white and male. “I have to correct 250 years of collection history here,” he said.

Diversity, Picasso, Baselitz

In addition to the “Diversity in Sex, Race & Gender” show, which presents the Senegalese artist Alexandre Diop, among others, the Albertina is also showing the menacingly hyper-realistic pictures by Gottfried Helnwein and the only superficially cute depictions of children by the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. Exhibitions on Picasso and Baselitz are also planned.

With globalization and the booming market for contemporary art, according to Schröder, new groups of visitors from outside the educated middle class have found their way into museums like the Albertina in recent years. “The old masters are dead,” he said. The new needs and viewing habits of the public should be reflected in the exhibitions.

Nevertheless, the Albertina also shows works from past centuries. Such as the show “Michelangelo and the Consequences”, which focuses on the male body, or the historical picture exhibition “Gods, Heroes and Traitors”, which, according to Schröder, should also be of interest to fans of superhero films.

Planned exhibitions


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