Special exhibitions

Marko Zink
photograph: Marko Zink

Marko Zink
M 48° 15′ 24.13″ N, 14° 30′ 6.31″ E

Mauthausen – The Eradication of Memory, Special Exhibition | 16 December 2022 until 16 April 2023

The Vienna-based Vorarlberg artist Marko Zink (* 1975) uses the medium of analogue photography to come to terms with the horrors of the Holocaust. His subject is Mauthausen – the location and synonym of the annihilation of tens of thousands of people. He cuts, stamps, or boils the film used or treats it with chlorine and ink eraser before exposing it. Like this, the photographs look like historical finds and tell of both the annihilation of the human being and the eradication of memory. Zink reflects the transformation of the crime scene into a memorial, thereby embarking on a complex and contextualised search for evidence.

What Really Matters to Us.
Cultural Heritage – A Challenge

Special exhibition | 2 December until 16 April 2023

Whether it is works of art, architecture, tradition or craftsmanship – a society defines itself, if nothing else, by its cultural past. However, opinions diverge widely today as to what should be considered as cultural heritage and they can cause fierce arguments about, for example, monuments of politicians of the past. A society’s cultural heritage is no longer determined by tradition but needs continuous renegotiation if it wants to be as inclusive as possible and a source of identity. Numerous artists contribute to this discussion in the exhibition What Really Matters to Us.

In co-operation with “Relevanzen. Verein zur Förderung des Dialogs rund um das Kulturerbe”.

The Middle Ages at Lake Constance.
A Thriving Economic Area between the Alps and the Rhine Falls

Special Exhibition Fourth Floor | until 7 May

In the Middle Ages, Lake Constance and its influents were at the heart of an economic area from the Alpine passes in Graubünden to the Rhine Falls. Cities formed alliances, agreed upon a uniform currency system, the local people were active in farming, craftsmanship, mining and even developed trade relations with far-off cities such as Barcelona and Bruges. The travelling exhibition of archaeological specialist institutions and museums around Lake Constance with its 150 high-profile finds offers insights into medieval life (approximately 1000 until 1500 A.D.) in the area around Lake Constance.

Exhibitions in the Atrium (Free entry!)


Inclusive aspects in the vorarlberg museum collection | 21 January 2023 until 11 June 2023

Pure joy and pleasure in the creative process, an unbridled creative drive, no requirement to please everyone – that is what lends these works their power and poetry. In a word: art for art’s sake. DIRECT! is far removed from academic guidelines and discourse, with no consideration for trends in the art market. That is priceless. Call it what you want: art brut, outsider art, non-academic art, neurodiverse art, condition-related art, bespoke art, naive art …
Since 2015, the museum has focused on collecting works by outsiders and artists who need extra support and who live and work in Vorarlberg. 70 artworks have been acquired so far. This sends a clear signal that the vorarlberg museum is expanding its collection to be more diverse and inclusive. This is the first time the vorarlberg museum gives a DIRECT! insight into this field, inviting visitors to come face-to-face with its artistic potential.

Interventions and cooperations


Light Installation by Miriam Prantl in the Staircase

The Vorarlberg artist Miriam Prantl created the light installation Colours/Lights/Lake for the staircase featuring a gentle play of colours that reflects different light atmospheres at Lake Constance. The railing is equipped with LED strip lights whose upward light movement corresponds to the programming of seven light boxes in the stairwell. Slowing down, calming down, contemplation – the effect of the colours and the light attune visitors for the exhibition.  


Extra-mural Exhibitions Co-operation

Werkraumdepot Bregenzerwald, Andelsbuch | permanent
Werkraum Depot – A Study Collection of Contemporary Craftsmanship/Design

Core exhibitions

Photograph: Miro Kuzmanovic

Cosmopolitan City or?

Exhibition on the 3rd Floor

Brigantium in the 1st Century A.D. 

A forum the size of a football pitch, an ancient Roman spa, the craft and trade quarter at the Tschermakgarten in Bregenz – the public and private buildings of Brigantium dating from the first century A.D. all fire up your imagination. Was Bregenz a city during the time of the Romans? There is a lot to suggest that it was, but no clear evidence to confirm this. Following the much praised exhibition Romans or ...?, Cosmopolitan City or ...? is all about living together in Brigantium. Who used this place? Who lived here? Did they have an administration as well as a fiscal and social system? How was the economic and religious life organised? Based on the most recent scientific findings and archaeological finds, the exhibition invites museum visitors to speculate in a well-informed manner about Brigantium, its residents and visitors.

Ausstellungsansicht buchstäblich vorarlberg, Foto: Markus Tretter
Photograph: Markus Tretter

buchstäblich vorarlberg

Permanent Exhibition Second Floor

Insights into the Collection

Our collection comprises close to 160,000 objects from the fields of archaeology, art, everyday culture and history. The exhibition showcases very important and, at first glance, also less important objects from the museum’s rich holdings in alphabetical order. It starts with the letter “A” for “angelica-mad,” showing engravings by the artist Angelika Kauffmann, and ends with the letter “Z” for “zahla” (to pay), which features the hoard of coins found at Sonderberg Castle. In between schnapps glasses, self-portraits by Edmund Kalb, pommels, the estates of Fritz Krcal and Kundeyt Surdum, priest’s vestments, herbariums …

Coming up

Veronika Schubert: Aufmacher, photograph: Veronika Schubert

Veronika Schubert. Lead Story

Installation on the Facade of the Vorarlberg Museum | 6 May until 29 October

Language is the material Veronika Schubert uses to create her art. The artist, born in Bregenz, collects sentences and headlines, tears them out of their context and gives them a new meaning. In her most recent project called Lead Story, she turns the vorarlberg museum into a title page: Its windows feature eye-catching headlines which focus on the importance of our cultural identity.

copyright: Bregenzerwald Archiv

Hiller. The Bregenzerwald’s Photographic Memory

Special Exhibition Fourth Floor | 27 May until April 2025

Whether the request was for wedding photos, souvenir photos from First Communion or pictures of deceased people – in Bregenzerwald, Foto Studio Hiller in Bezau, formed in 1923, was the top choice in terms of photography. Kaspar Hiller and his children documented seven decades of life and change in the valley. The curator and photo artist Arno Gisinger uses the comprehensive photo collection to tell the Bregenzerwald’s history during those years.

In co-operation with Vorarlberg State Library and Bregenzerwald Archiv (Regio Bregenzerwald)

Altar Schloss Glopper, copyright: Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum

We are Tyrol! Vorarlberg Objects in the Collection of the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum

Special Exhibition Fourth Floor | 1 July until 7 January 2024

To mark the museum’s 200th anniversary, the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum showcases a selection of around 100 objects from Vorarlberg – including paintings of Angelika Kauffmann and Gebhard Flatz. How did these works of art find their way into the collection of the Federal State of Tyrol? In Vorarlberg, a museum association was not formed until 1857. Until then, the Ferdinandeum felt it had the responsibility to also collect and document works of art on Vorarlberg’s behalf. By the way, not only works of art but plants, animals and graphic reproductions as well.

In co-operation with the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum

L’albero della cuccagna
The Artist and his Photographer
Paul Renner & Christian Schramm

Exhibition in the Atrium | 15 July until 15 October

In 18th century Naples, during carnival, piles of foodstuffs hung from a huge tree-like scaffolding. The crowds would loot these Cuccagnas in a collective excess leaving the place ravaged. The scenery comes to life, the audience turns into protagonists, frenzied and excited – all of this fascinates the Vorarlberg artist Paul Renner (* 1957). His 10 meter-high Cuccagna in the museums’s atrium is framed by large-size pictures of the Bregenz photographer Christian Schramm, who has documented the foodstuff sculptures created by Renner up until now.

Mohr Polster, photograph: Adolf Bereuter

“The Kanapee … is my Comfy Place”. About Biedermeier Sofas in Bregenzerwald

Exhibition in the Atrium | 11 November until Spring 2024

In some Bregenzerwald parlours, you will find Kanapees from the Biedermeier era, whose elegance is still impressive today. Their material, design and form are typical of the middle-class furniture design in the early 19th century. The exhibition illustrates the great variety of shapes by showcasing restored original sofas from Johannes Mohr’s workshop. But how did these exquisite pieces of furniture make their way from an urban environment to a rural region? This question has not yet been fully

Extra-mural Exhibitions Co-operation

Handcrafted spaces: Architectural models from Atelier Peter Zumthor
Werkraum Bregenzerwald, Andelsbuch| March 18 to September 16, 2023

Middle Ages at Lake Constance
Historical and Ethnological Museum St. Gallen – until January 23, 2023

The State Government’s Art Collection | vorarlberg museum #6 and #7
Landhaus Bregenz Foyer, until 4 May and 19 October until 30 November

Art Acquisitions Made by the State Government in 2022
Kunstraum Remise Bludenz, 28 April until 11 June

In the Spotlight. Angelika Kauffmann and the Display of Art
Angelika Kauffmann Museum Schwarzenberg, 7 May until 29 October
summer exhibition

Rätisches Museum, Chur and Liechtensteinisches LandesMuseum, Vaduz
Middle Ages at Lake Constance. Economic area between Aloes and Rhine Falls

Werkraum Bregenzerwald, Andelsbuch | permanent exhibition
The Werkraum Depot - study collection of contemporary craftsmanship and design

Metzler company close to nature, Egg | Fall 2023
Visit of the house spirits III. Works from the collection of the vorarlberg museum