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Alfred Schmeller

The Museum as a Flashpoint


Friday, September 27, 2019 to Sunday, February 16, 2020

When Alfred Schmeller became the second director of the 20er Haus (today’s mumok) in 1969, he had already enjoyed a long and varied career. He had been influential in the Art Club, and had worked for many years as a critic. Alongside his extensive collecting and exhibition activities, Schmeller was one of the first directors to realize the significance of presenting museums to different groups of potential visitors. An important aspect of his work was, as he himself called it, “total cultural work.” He saw the museum as a “flashpoint” in which many different issues could be articulated. Schmeller opened the museum up in many ways. He invited the Vienna Festwochen to hold the avant-garde festival Arena there, and he was particularly concerned to attract young people via painting actions and other events.
In 1970, the sensational work Giant Billiard by Haus-Rucker-Co was shown in the exhibition Live, which Schmeller had advertised with the slogan “The Prater is closed. Come to the museum!”
This work is reconstructed for this exhibition at mumok today.  Visitors are expressly invited to use it! Alongside Schmellers most important acquisitions, documentation of his exhibitions, events and art education projects will be shown.


Curated by Susanne Neuburger with Nora Linser
Exhibition architecture: Eva Chytilek & Jakob Neulinger

Tickets: € 13 / € 9,50