Austrian Museum of Ethnology Vienna
   English   German   Thai

Museum of Ethnology


Ethnological museums are archives for tangible documents on the cultural diversity of humankind. They safeguard the evidence of cultural invariants just as of culture change. They are the stage for studies, which can reconstruct or reveal lost or obscured contexts. Ultimately they have the task to education, for instance by showing their research results and collections in exhibitions dedicated to a better understanding of individual cultures or regions of the world. In this way ethnological museums render an important contribution to the understanding of a world merged by improved possibilities of mobility and communication and increasingly multicultural through migration.

The Museum of Ethnology is a lively place of encounter and discussion with the cultural diversity of the globalized world. By this encounter with the abundace of cultural heritage of mankind, the key questions of human living together and social life can be revisited in a new light.

The collection is an ethnographic one, this means that it not comprises of simple works of art, but the kind of objects spans all areas of life. The objects relate how people organized their societies and about the place of the individual therein, they relate how humans transformed their lands into fruitful fields, used the products of their animals, how they clothed themselves, enjoyed their free time or waged wars. By comparing and analyzing the artefacts we can learn about regional and social distinctions, about how humans are dealing with their environment as well as with historical developments. Many objects are carriers of memory, not only for single persons but for whole communities, and they can be important expressions of their identity. Some have their roots in local communities indeed, but also tell us about interrelations on a global level or "human nature" at large.



Museum of Ethnology
Neue Hofburg
1010 Vienna, Austria


mvk@ethno-museum.ac.at