The Leopold Museum is the most-frequented building in Museumsquartier, the city’s great cultural hub. Positioned as a unique treasure trove of Viennese Jugendstil, the Wiener Werkstätte, and Expressionism, masterpieces by Gustav Klimt, one-of-a-kind pieces by Josef Hofmann to Koloman Moser, and the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world can be found on display here.
A modern building – Leopold Museum
The tilted white cuboid that is the Leopold Art Museum forms a bold contrast to the historical buildings of the former stables in Museumsquartier. The building measures 40 by 46 metres and is 24 metres high. Visitors can reach the entrance of the Leopold Museum by way of a 10-metre-wide exterior staircase. The building itself is decorated with white shell limestone on the outside. The floors of the exhibition rooms are covered in oak parquet, while all visible metal parts consist of patinated brass.
History of the Leopold collection
In the 1950s, Rudolf Leopold began collecting art. He focussed his interest on artists who, at the time, were of little significance. Today, their works sell for very high prices on the art market. In 1994, he reached an agreement with the Ministry of Education, who are responsible for art, to receive 2.2 billion Schillings (€160m) to house his collection in a foundation built by him and the state.
During his lifetime, Leopold was the Art Director of the museum. He brought 5266 art works, valued at the time at €7.9 billion, into the foundation and used the money he had received to collect more pieces. Leopold died in June 2010. Since then, the Leopold Museum has been under the direction of various art historians and cultural managers. Because the works on paper are very sensitive to light, not all of them are displayed in the Leopold Museum at the same time, but rather, they are constantly interchanged.
The collection at the Leopold Museum is one of the most significant collections of modern Austrian art in the world. The Egon Schiele collection comprises 40 paintings and around 140 works on paper. The magnificent artist was only 28 years old, yet here, his works are displayed in chronological order over a whole floor. Biographical information and quotes are positioned next to the images.
The works by Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann, and Koloman Moser are the main attractions in the Leopold Museum’s Wien 1900 collection. Here, more than 300 works of Viennese Jugendstil are presented, including not only paintings, but furniture, glass, and jewellery from this artistic era. The objects have partly been incorporated into the architecture of the Leopold Museum.
How to reach the Leopold Museum in Vienna
Address: MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna
Public transport: Underground line U2, stop: Museumsquartier
Further information on exhibits and guided tours