An incredible morning at the Albertina.
The Albertina is Vienna’s pretentious museum. Sure, they house one of the largest print rooms in the world, and have squirreled away more than a million Old Masters drawings, but their general admission fee of €16 is on par with that of The Louvre (€17), yet the two spaces are not comparable.
However, when not one or two, but three exhibits of interest are happening at the same time, a visit is in order. Expecting crowds similar to KHM for the Bruegel exhibit I wisely purchased our tickets online. We waltzed in (figuratively), deposited our jackets in the Garderobe and set off to enjoy
some lots of art.
The queue for the Garderobe as we were leaving the museum was only matched by the queue waiting to enter the museum. As we were walking out we overheard one little Oma dressed in lovely Trachten cleverly bypass the queue by telling the staffer at the door, “I’m just going to the Gift Shop.” 😉
Now, to the exhibits. First, the largest Claude Monet retrospective ever assembled. The Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris was a generous contributor to this exhibit. And generous they were; I might be quite upset if I were in Paris for a Monet-fix, only to find that so many pieces were here in Vienna.
Monsieur and Madame Monet.
The requisite crowds.
Some of the lesser known works.
We learned that Monet was inspired to paint while on a trip to Norway.
A sampling of some of the better known paintings.
These three were among our personal favorites, though I would only hang the orchard in our home.
And this last painting reminded us of our beloved Cape Cod. This one would definitely have a place of honor in the house.
Far, far fewer people in the Helen Levitt exhibition, showcasing the American photographer noted for her street photos of NYC from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Captivating; and I would hang several in my office.
The final exhibit won us over; in fact, we have grown fond of Impressionists and Avant Garde artists of Central and Eastern Europe, whose art was never considered along with the likes of Monet and Picasso and the rest of the gang. Niko Pirosmani, a Georgian (then the Russian Empire) primitivist with the classic troubled life was self-taught, too.
His paintings were all done on either wax paper or cardboard, the only materials he could afford. If you study some of the paintings closely you can see the cardboard creases. How these works have survived is miraculous.
Everyday life influenced a number of his paintings; and rather interestingly, many of his animal paintings were done based only on descriptions that he had read. Our library room would be an incredible space for the deer paintings; and I thought perhaps I might find the prints in the Albertina gift shop. Alas, not even a Pirosmani postcard or two was to be found.
We found it charming that Pirosmani had a fan club.
Finally, a quick walkthrough of the Imperial staterooms to say hello to The Bunny and The Cow.
No queues at all.