The venerable old halls of the major museums aren't the only places to see art in Vienna. The art literally hangs on walls all over the city here ... Sorry ... on house walls to be precise – but unfortunately they don't get the attention they deserve.
At least, that's what Magdalena Hiller and Gabriel Roland think, which is why they founded the Museum of Looking Up (Museum des Hinaufschauens – MdH). The two of them collect, archive and research façade-related Viennese art of the 20th century and share their knowledge on Instagram with their fans and followers. In this way, mosaics and sgraffiti (a technique in which the motifs are worked directly into the render) will ultimately be protected from being destroyed.
Attention, look up!
A museum that gets by without admission fees or opening hours? Yes, there is such as thing – and what's more, you can also learn lots about Vienna's history there, too. Or perhaps you knew why the 7th district in particular has so many façade artworks that deal with the siege of Vienna? Hiller and Roland have researched and found out that during the time of the Second Siege of Vienna (1683), the tent of the Ottoman military commander Kara Mustafa Pascha stood on St. Ulrichsplatz. Jewel discovered, puzzle solved, knowledge gained. Nice.
#raufschauen (look up) and join in
It is truly amazing what you can discover by looking up when out on a walk.
"Instead of on palaces along the Ringstrasse boulevard, the jewels of façade art are to be found on municipal housing structures," says Gabriel Roland.
The self-declared goal of the MdH is to create a comprehensive database with background information covering almost every building-related artwork created between 1919 and 1989. To actually achieve this goal, the two founders are relying on the help of their community from all of the city's neighborhoods. So everyone can become part of the Look Up community.
And this is how easy it is: Upload a picture of a façade artwork to Instagram with the hashtag #raufschauen or the tag Museum of Looking Up (@raufschaumuseum). The museum's two founders are already looking forward to receiving a whole bunch of entries.
They will really put you in the mood to go on your own exploratory tour. So, out you go – and remember to look up!