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About us

About us

The institute Collection and Archive functions as the cultural memory of the university. Through exhibitions, publications, conferences, cooperative projects and a digital database, the history of the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule) and the present of the University of Applied Arts Vienna are documented, explored and communicated. In addition to the collections of Art, Architecture and Design as well as Fashion and Textiles, the institute includes the University Archive, the Oskar Kokoschka Centre, as well as a foundation dedicated to the designer Victor Papanek.

Florian Pfaffenberger, Schaukasten Kunstsammlung und Archiv, 2018.
digitale Collage

Kunstsammlung und Archiv, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, © Florian Paffenberger


Although its contents extend back into the 17th century, the collection itself is surprisingly young. Former rector Oswald Oberhuber initiated its development from the existing documentation archive in 1979. Since then it has grown from 300 inventoried works to the current collection of over 65,000 works.

Right from the beginning in the 1980s, the art collection was dedicated to developments in modernism and the interweaving networks of prominent figures at the Imperial and Royal School of Arts and Crafts.

The former founding institution was in fact avant-garde on several counts. Their pioneering pedagogical concepts and design approaches were used later on in the preliminary courses of the Weimar Bauhaus, and their "modern interior design" that approached the entire exhibition space as a design issue was subsequently developed by artists of the Wiener Werkstätte. Enrollment was also open to female students at the Imperial and Royal School of Arts and Crafts since its foundation in 1867. Franz Čižek's course "ornamental morphology", serving as a think tank for young women artists, played an important role in this respect and evolved into what is known as "Viennese Kineticism". From its inception, the collection has sought to highlight these aspects via exhibitions, publications, presentations and discussions, a visitor oriented archive and a digital database.

IN 1549

Erika Giovanna Klien, Klessheimer Sendbote, 1927.
Bleistift, Buntstift, Kreide, Deckweiß auf Papier, 31,6 x 23,3 cm

Kunstsammlung und Archiv, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

IN 14.774/8

Elisabeth Karlinsky, Kostümentwurf, 1923 - 1924.
Tempera, Kohle, Goldfarbe auf Papier, 31,9 x 22,6 cm

Kunstsammlung und Archiv, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

Oswald Oberhuber, who founded the collection, was committed to a contemporary approach to history and encouraged alternative versions of aesthetic histories and a pluralisation of the art historical canon. He brought artists who were murdered or persecuted by the National Socialist regime in Austrian back into the spotlight. Through exhibitions and publications such as Die Vertreibung des Geistigen aus Österreich. Zur Kulturpolitik des Nationalsozialismus (The Ousting of the Intellectuals from Austria. On the Cultural Politics of National Socialism) (1986) and solo presentations of "forgotten" artists, he laid important cornerstones together with Erika Patka, who was head of the collection at the time.

The collection's great potential lies in its wealth of underrated or marginalised positions throughout art and design history. Critical examination of the artistic canon through counter-narratives and rediscoveries is therefore a key part of its program.


The dynamism and networks at an art school generate knowledge reservoirs that allow developments, stances, and groups from particular epochs to be mapped out and "preserved" in a different way than in museums.

As a result, artists who were ignored through certain historical contexts or by public discourse can be fully rediscovered here. Through the knowledge of important artistic networks and the dedicated support of bequests and donations, the Art Collection and Archive also offer a plural corrective to the canon.

The collection currently comprises around 65,000 objects. Key areas of focus include Fred Adlmüller, Friedrich Berzeviczy-Pallavicini, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Josef Hoffmann, Gertrud Höchsmann, Oskar Kokoschka, Anton Kolig, Adele List, Bertold Löffler, Elly Niebuhr, Otto Niedermoser, Oswald Oberhuber, Victor Papanek, Franz Schuster, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Peter Weibel, Emmy Zweybrück, Viennese Modernism and the Wiener Werkstätte, Viennese Kineticism, as well as applied and fine arts of the 20th century such as graphic art, posters and furniture design, textiles, photography, ceramics, painting, objects and Austrian modernist architectural models. The collections of the original School of Arts and Crafts and the artists Mileva Roller and Rosalia Rothansl also include rare garments.

The collection continues to grow. In 2004, Rector Gerald Bast integrated the Costume and Fashion Collection into the main collection and space issues were improved by Gerald Bast in 2015 through the addition of new storage rooms. Cataloguing of the Peter Weibel Archive began in 2020. Items from the collection are presented in various exhibitions, at the University Gallery at Heiligenkreuzerhof, as well as Austrian and international institutions through cooperation and on loan.

With the help of the archive and collection holdings, important publications on the history of the university could be compiled:
"Kunst und Lehre am Beginn der Moderne. Die Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule 1867-1918" edited by Gottfried Fliedl (1986) and "Kunst: Anspruch und Gegenstand. From the School of Applied Arts to the University of Applied Arts in Vienna 1918-1991." ed. by University of Applied Arts Vienna (1991) and "150 Years University of Applied Arts Vienna. Aesthetics of Change," ed. by Gerald Bast, Anja Seipenbusch-Hufschmied, and Patrick Werkner (2017).


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Cosima Rainer

+43 1 71133 3250

  • Leitung

Cosima Rainer has been Head of Collection and Archive at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2018. She studied theater, film and media studies in Vienna and completed the De Appel Curatorial Training Program in Amsterdam in 1996/97. As a curator and expert in contemporary art, she has curated numerous exhibitions in Austria and abroad. The focus is on an experimental approach in which added value is created for all participants and habitual points of view are questioned. The collection of the Angewandte, which was established in the 1980s with an emancipatory and cultural-political orientation, offers a particularly exciting starting point for this.

Editor of:

  • See this Sound, Versprechungen von Bild und Ton with Stella Rollig, Dieter Daniels and Manuela Ammer, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 2009
  • 21erHaus. Zurück in die Zukunft. Ein retroperspektiver Blick auf ein Museum, with Agnes Husslein and Bettina Steinbrügge, Revolver Verlag, Berlin, 2011
  • Vogelsbergeriana, 20 Jahre Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Project Proposal Johannes Porsch, Westphalie Verlag Vienna, 2014
  • Galerie der Stadt Schwaz Jahresprogramm 2015- 2017, published by Cosima Rainer, self-publishing by Galerie der Stadt Schwaz 2015-2018
  • Der Hausfreund. A Rediscovery of the Eccentric Work of Friedrich von Berzeviczy-Pallavicini, with Robert Müller, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 2020
  • Kabarett Fledermaus@Bar du Bois, Update of an Experiment of Viennese Modernism. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2021

Exhibitions (Selection):

  • …und so hat Konzept noch nie Pferd bedeutet, Generali Foundation Vienna, 2006
  • See This Sound. Versprechungen von Bild und Ton, Kulturhauptstadt-Projekt Lentos Museum Linz, 2009
  • Běla Kolářová und Lucy Stahl, Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, 2010
  • Schöne Aussichten, Eröffnung des 21er Haus, Belvedere 2011
  • GOODBYEHELLO, Jahresausstellung der Sammlung Lenikus, 2013
  • Vienna Complex, group exhibiton at austrian cultural forum New York 2014
  • Fürchten und Hoffen, group exhibition at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, 2018
  • Der Hausfreund. A Rediscovery of the Eccentric Work of Friedrich von Berzeviczy-Pallavicini, curated by Cosima Rainer and Robert Müller, Universitätsgalerie der Angewandten im Heiligenkreuzerhof May- June 2019 and at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin, September- December 2019

  • unter flaschen - die Fledermaus in der Bar du Bois, An exhibition by Bar du Bois invited by Collection and Archive/Cosima Rainer in collaboration with the class Sculpture and Space/Hans Schabus, University of Applied Arts Vienna, May – September 2021
    Schule Oberhuber. Eine Sammlung als Programm, curated by Cosima Rainer and Robert Müller, Universitätsgalerie der Angewandten im Heiligenkreuzerhof Wien, May – July 2022

  • Werkstätten bildender Kunst. Works of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis in Collection and Archive, curated by Cosima Rainer, Robert Müller and Stefanie Kitzberger, September –  November 2022.

Silvia Herkt

+43 1 71133 3252

  • stv. Leitung Kunstsammlung und Archiv
  • Leitung Universitätsarchiv

Silvia Herkt ist Leiterin des Universitätsarchivs, Co-Leitung der Sammlung Kunst, Architektur und Design sowie stellvertretende Leiterin der Forschungseinrichtung Kunstsammlung und Archiv.

Masterabschluss in Public Management/Bereich Wissensmanagement. Seit 1981 Mitarbeiterin im Archiv der heutigen Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. Beteiligung an zahlreichen Ausstellungen und Publikationen von Kunstsammlung und Archiv.

Das Archiv der Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien ist als Teil von Kunstsammlung und Archiv dem Bereich Lehre, Kunstentwicklung und Forschung zugeordnet. Die zentralen Aufgaben des Archivs sind die Sicherung, Bereitstellung und Auswertung der administrativen, künstlerischen und wissenschaftlichen Leistungen der Universität. Es agiert interdisziplinär und nimmt seine Aufgabe als Teil des kulturellen Gedächtnisses wahr. Die Symbiose mit der Sammlung Kunst, Architektur und Design, die etwa 65.000 Objekte umfasst und kontinuierlich ausgebaut wird, ist eine Besonderheit, die von den Mitarbeiter*innen und den Besucher*innen geschätzt wird.

Stefanie Kitzberger

+43 1 71133 2840

  • Leitung Sammlung Mode und Textil

Stefanie Kitzberger is researcher and lecturer (Senior Scientist) and head of the department of Fashion and Textiles at Collection and Archive of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She teaches and publishes on twentieth century and contemporary art, with a strong interest in the intersections of Marxist, Feminist and Critical race theory. In her PhD-thesis The Constructivist Imaginary. Models of the Transgression of Art in Early Russian Constructivism 1920-1923 she is specializing on Russian/Soviet Art of the 1920s and its historiographies within art history (completion expected in 2022). Together with Cosima Rainer she is currently preparing a publication on the modernist artist and activist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944). From 2015-2017 Stefanie has held an IFK_Junior Fellowship from the International Research Center of Cultural Studies Vienna/Linz and in 2020 a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant from the Literar Mechana Wahrnehmungsgesellschaft für Urheberrechte GesmbH. From 2016-2017 she has been a Predoctoral Visiting Fellow at Northwestern University and the University of Kent, and from 2018-2020 University Assistant at the Institute of Art History, University of Vienna. 

Bernadette Reinhold

+43 1 71133 3253

  • Leitung Oskar Kokoschka Zentrum

Bernadette Reinhold is director of the Oskar Kokoschka Centre and Senior Scientist at the Institute Collection and Archive at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2008. She studied art history, history and philosophy at the University Vienna, dissertation on Kokoschka and the Austrian cultural policy (promotion 2017). Freelance researcher at the Federal Monuments Authority Austria (BDA) in Vienna (1991-1998), member of the Commission for Provenance Research at the BDA (1997-2008), 2005-2008 researcher on the FWF Austrian Science Fund project about the Hofburg in Vienna at the Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW). Board member of the Austrian Society for Architecture/ÖGfA (2000-2005) and the Oskar Kokoschka Dokumentation Pöchlarn (since 2009). Research projects, publications, exhibitions, and teaching on architectural and urban history, modern art, Austrian cultural policy, gender studies and biography research.

Linda Kral

  • Studienassistentin