The mumok collection contains around 9,000 works: paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, graphic works, photos, videos, films but also architectural models and furniture from the first half of the 20th century as well as documentary material specially related to the art of the 60’s of the last century.
The collection also mirrors the relatively short but eventful history of the museum. First opened in 1962 as the Museum of the 20th Century in Schweizergarten, today it already has its third address and third name. In 1979, because the collection had grown significantly due to long-term loans from the German collectors and spouses Peter and Irene Ludwig as well as the purchase of the collection belonging to Wolfgang Hahn of Cologne, the museum was provisionally extended by one building - the baroque Palais Liechtenstein. The old and new buildings now went under the joint name: Museum of Modern Art. In 1991, after the Ludwigs had transferred almost all their loans to the Austrian Ludwig Trust and thus permanently secured the works (including works by Picasso, Johns, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Warhol, Richter and Baselitz to name but a few) for Austria, the name of the museum was extended to museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien [museum of modern art ludwig trust vienna]. Since 2001—after the move to the new building in the Museumsquartier—the short form, mumok, has become the established designation.
Thus, while the collection of Classical Modernism includes a number of significant works it is nevertheless not very extensive because of the museum’s late inception and it stands vis-Ã -vis a qualitatively and quantitatively impressive concentration of art of the 60’s represented by the acquisition of the Hahn collection with its concentration of Nouveau Réalisme and Fluxus, the permanent loans of the Ludwig Stiftung with major works of Pop Art as well as the extensive collection of Viennese Actionism which has been acquired, above all, in the last few years.
The last few years have also seen successes in building up a further focal point collection: photos, videos and films which have, in the main, been created in the last decade.