The Long Night of Museums

Last night was one of my favorite nights in Vienna so far. The Langenachte der Museen gave Lexi, Sylvia, and I a chance to go to four of Vienna's many art museums for only 11 Euro! The museums stayed open until 1 am, giving the huge crowd that was out and about last night plenty of time to see several different museums all across the city.

In the Leopold Museum, in the Museums Quartier, we saw some incredible paintings by Klimt and Schiele. We didn't spend too much time there, so it's definitely on my list of museums to visit - or re-visit - this semester. One of the things I hate most is breezing through art museums. It feels like a crime, and actually is one for an art student.

At Kunsthalle, there was a curated exhibition on collections. It was really interesting, and much different than other's I'd seen before on the same topic. This exhibition seemed much more eclectic, visually, but more cohesive conceptually.

The Kunstforum Wien had an exhibition on an old Austrian classic comic strip about a fox. It was called Fix & Foxi, which is a clever play on words in German. 'Fix und fertig sein' means to be at the end of your ropes or completely exhausted. The room next to the gallery room had a bunch of art supplies in the middle of the floor. Anyone was invited to sit and create art, paint, collage, whatever you wanted to do.

Then the Albertina. It's a beautiful museum in the first district. There we saw Monet, Munch, more Klimt, Kubin, Ferringer, and so many more. Half I had not heard of before, or at least didn't know by name. The Albertina was the highlight of my night. We spent the most time here out of all of the museums we visited last night, probably because I took so long. It was 100% worth it. We also saw the Hapsburg rooms and all of the beautiful Renaissance art displayed in them.

I would have loved to see more, but by 11:30 our feet were killing us. On the way back from the Albertina, we stopped for Käsekrainer, a cheese stuffed Wurst, at a street food stand in the first district.

After I got back to the dorms, I made myself a cup of hot chocolate to warm myself up while I tried to soak in all of the pieces of artwork I had seen that night. It really was an incredible experience to see the artwork from artists that I'd had art history lectures on for the past two years. I never really thought I would be able to see those paintings in person, and I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to last night. It goes without saying that I'll be going back to those museums, as well as visiting the ones we didn't have the time or stamina to see.

Something not mentioned in this post was the amount of times we were confused and/or lost while trying to read the maps and navigate to different museums. I assume it goes without saying that anything I'm involved in will be a struggle.

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