Since its founding, the mumok has set out to preserve, expand and exhibit its collection of 20th and 21st century art while at the same time supporting current and innovative research and museological methods. One of the most important objectives has been and continues to be to convey the historical and theoretical framework of art to the public through fostering discourse in the form of publications and academic events.
With its emphasis on Pop Art and Photorealism from the Austrian Ludwig Foundation and Fluxus and Nouveau Réalisme from the Hahn Collection, with Viennese Actionism, performance art, conceptual art and minimal art along with numerous other movements following in the wake of these traditions ranging from the 1980s to the present, the museum relates directly to the contemporary situation with a unique mixture of critical, analytical and realist artistic perspectives on society and the art institution with special emphasis on works since the 1960s. The acquisition strategy aims at deepening and broadening the focus of the collection both using the institution’s own budget while also involving private sponsors, collectors and patrons. The integration of recent positions into the exhibition program serves the strategic expansion and renewal of the collection.
The presentation of the collection, the publications and events draw a trajectory from the historical avant-garde and the movements that directly followed to the present. Central artistic positions from the collection will be presented in retrospectives concentrating on one artist, while large-scale survey exhibitions will address broader questions about the changing significance of art in society.
The museum sees one of its primary goals in the thematic coordination of exhibitions from the collection and special exhibitions, which together will allow for a deeper understanding of the collection while helping to fulfill the task of the museum understood as a platform for dialogue between art history and current art production.
As Austria's largest museum covering the period since the advent of modernism, the mumok promotes the integration of important Austrian positions within the international context, while at the same time inviting international perspectives into the local situation.
The mumok considers itself to be a public institution that is committed to meeting the needs of various different groups of visitors, the media, artists, art criticism, cooperating partners and its own employees. As a public institution, the museum is committed to engaging with social and political issues and their importance for the freedom and advancement of art and culture.