- Europe & Africa
At the Threshold of the Orient
Oct 25, 2017 To Mar 31, 2018
Detail: “Asia begins to the south-east of Vienna.” This saying is attributed to Prince Metternich, statesman in the service of the Habsburgs. Vienna, a city on the border of Europe and Asia; to the east and as a counterpart to the civilised occident, the Orient - both menacing and alluring.
Encounters between these worlds, artificially divided into Occident and Orient, are characterised by fear and attraction. People transfer their own sensitivities and desires onto that which is new and unfamiliar. Sometimes they might even find it intoxicated by it, until one day unexpected sides of the opposing culture reveal themselves, and admiration turns into contempt.
Objects from daily life reflect the commercial and cultural attitudes of Vienna towards the immediately adjacent Orient. Souvenirs and the biographies of individual collectors provide a narrative of the multifaceted contacts between Vienna and the east, from the Biedermeier period until the beginning of the 20th century.
Daily except Wednesday
10 am to 6 pm
until 9 pm