Collection and Archive

Head: Sen. Sc. Mag. phil. Cosima Rainer
Archiv: Leitung OR Silvia Herkt, BA, MA
Kostüm- und Modesammlung: Leitung Mag.phil. Stefanie Kitzberger
Kunst- & Designsammlung: Leitung Sen.Sc. Mag.phil Cosima Rainer
Oskar Kokoschka-Zentrum: Leitung Sen.Sc. Mag.phil. Dr.phil. Bernadette Reinhold
Victor J. Papanek Foundation
: Leitung Univ. Prof. Alison J. Clarke, MA (RCA), PhD. dr.littD.h.c.

Among the crystallisation points of the Viennese Jugendstil was the Imperial School of Arts and Crafts. The roots of our collection reach back to this period and in 1963 the then Academy of Applied Arts decided upon the “creation of documentations and collections,” and in 1978, under Rector Johannes Spalt, the university archive was placed on a scientific footing. During the rectorship of Oswald Oberhuber, from 1979 onwards, an increasing number of artworks were purchased. The current linkage between the art collection and the historical documentation was established under Dr. Erika Patka. She administered the collections from 1980 to 2004 and expanded them to present form. In 2004, under Rector Gerald Bast, the historically significant “Costume and Fashion Collection” with its 5,500 objects was integrated into the main collection.

Florian Pfaffenberger, Schaukasten Kunstsammlung, 2018.



The stock of the collections have a number of focal points, which are of importance in both a national and international context. These include:
  • The art of the Viennese Werkstätte, Jugendstil, Viennese modern
  • Architectural models of significant buildings from the Austrian modern movement
  • Examples from every area of 20th century applied and fine arts
  • The Costume and Fashion with historical items dating back to the 18th century.
  • The Oskar Kokoschka Centre (study library, photo collection, archives and since 2005, the private library of Oskar and Olda Kokoschka)
  • The estate of Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky

Assignments and development perspectives

The collections serve access to the arts, research and teaching through:
  • Publications, exhibitions, symposia
  • Teaching events given by its employees, which are allocated to the various institutes of the university
  • Co-operation projects, to date, e.g. with students from the Institute of Conservation Sciences and Restoration/Technology, with students of the Institute of Design, in particular from the fashion area, and with all staff members with an interest in contemporary and historical collection items
  • Research projects related to the various areas of the collection, which have long been financed by research funding bodies (Scientific Research Support Fund, Austrian National Bank, City of Vienna ...)
  • Loans for external exhibitions and teamwork on the related catalogues
  • Daily public opening hours and the provision of materials and know-how to all students, authors of dissertations and theses, as well as post-doctoral and all other researchers.

All these assignments are to be maintained in years to come. This should involve the expansion of the collections with regard to contemporary developments in art, design and architecture with a focus on the creative work our current graduates and teachers. The future of the collections lies in their role as a research centre for the continuously expanding collection stocks. This will allow the historical questioning of the identity of our university and its respective redefinition with regard to current events.