Vienna’s Albertina Museum Puts 150,000 Digitized Artworks Into the Public Domain: Klimt, Munch, Dürer, and More

Though it may not fig­ure promi­nent­ly into the aver­age whirl­wind Eurail trip across the con­ti­nent, Vien­na’s role in the devel­op­ment of Euro­pean cul­ture as we know it can hard­ly be over­stat­ed. Grant­ed, the names of none of its cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions come mind as read­i­ly as those of the Pra­do, the Uffizi Gallery, or the Lou­vre. But as muse­ums go, Vien­na more than holds its own, both inside and out­side the neigh­bor­hood apt­ly named the Muse­um­squarti­er — and not just in the phys­i­cal world, but online as well. Recent­ly, the Alberti­na Muse­um in Vien­na put into the pub­lic domain 150,000 of its dig­i­tized works, all of which you can browse on its web site.

“Con­sid­ered to have one of the best col­lec­tions of draw­ings and prints in the world,” says, the Alberti­na boasts “a large col­lec­tion of works by Albrecht Dür­er (1471–1528), a Ger­man artist who was famous for his wood­cut prints and a vari­ety of oth­er works.” Here on Open Cul­ture we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured the genius of Dür­er as revealed by his famed self-por­traits. We’ve also fea­tured visu­al exege­ses of the art of Vien­na’s own Gus­tav Klimt as well as Edvard Munch, two more recent Euro­pean artists of great (and indeed still-grow­ing) repute, works from both of whom you’ll find avail­able to down­load in the Alberti­na’s online archive.

Those inter­est­ed in the devel­op­ment of Dür­er, Klimt, Munch, and oth­er Euro­pean mas­ters will espe­cial­ly appre­ci­ate the Alberti­na’s online offer­ings. As an insti­tu­tion renowned for its large print room and col­lec­tions of draw­ings, the muse­um has made avail­able a great many sketch­es and stud­ies, some of which clear­ly informed the icon­ic works we all rec­og­nize today. But there are also com­plete works as well, on which you can focus by click­ing the “High­lights” check­box above your search results. To under­stand Europe, you’d do well to begin in Vien­na; to under­stand Europe’s art — includ­ing its pho­tog­ra­phy, its posters, and its archi­tec­ture, each of which gets its own sec­tion of the archive — you’d do well to begin at the Alberti­na online.


Relat­ed con­tent:

The Genius of Albrecht Dür­er Revealed in Four Self-Por­traits

136 Paint­ings by Gus­tav Klimt Now Online (Includ­ing 63 Paint­ings in an Immer­sive Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty Gallery)

Explore 7,600 Works of Art by Edvard Munch: They’re Now Dig­i­tized and Free Online

30,000 Works of Art by Edvard Munch & Oth­er Artists Put Online by Norway’s Nation­al Muse­um of Art

Take Immer­sive Vir­tu­al Tours of the World’s Great Muse­ums: The Lou­vre, Her­mitage, Van Gogh Muse­um & Much More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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