ICOM logo

INTERCOM: International Committee on Management

Managing Museum Work in Austria

by Hadwig Kraeutler, Belvedere Gallery, Vienna, Austria

Paper presented at the INTERCOM Conference Leadership in Museums: Are our Core Values Shifting, Dublin, Ireland, October 16 - 19, 2002.

This paper is also available in PDF format

In the last twenty-five years, globally, museums have increased in numbers, greatly diversified their work forms related to communicating with their audiences, and exploded in popularity in the Western cultural hemisphere. But this trend was not only experienced by museums. Many competing enterprises are aggressively and successfully characterising themselves as institutions of public learning and entertainment. Diminishing resources and a political climate of instantaneous public accountability are requiring that museums effectively demonstrate their educational and scientific value to society and justify their very existence as societal tools. These are some of the reasons why museums, also in Austria, and still bound up in the modernist traditions, relations and practices of their nineteenth century academic, disciplinary and systematic role models, - now have to face the new challenges. Austria, situated in the heart of Europe is rich in museums. Tourism is the biggest income source for the nation.1 Will this continue? Museums in Austria, as everywhere else, are linked to economical, political, and professional developments locally and globally.

The question is: How will our museum institutions, many still struggling with the limitations of European 19th century traditions, cope with the changing situations of the market, with increasingly limited resources, in the absence of institutional flexibility, and a notorious lack of training opportunities for the different specialized tasks.2 This paper aims at delivering an introduction to the contemporary museum scene in Austria. It reflects medially-transmitted museum discourse, reports on the actual work of the Oesterreichische Galerie Belvedere as a practical counterpoint, and explores an historical example of museum and exhibition work.

The themes treated in the ICOM-INTERCOM Conference 2002, leadership and governance, defining core-values, who decides, scholarship vs. populism are definitely relevant in this context.

With approximately 8 million inhabitants and 1600 museums3, Austria is rich in museums. But Austria is poor in critical theoretical museum discussion, and equally poor in expressive museum use.4 From where can we learn? Not alone from our peers in other countries. Austrian museum history itself provides evidence of exceptional achievements in the past.

In a collage approach, using quotations and a recent newspaper article, I render an impression of the present state of museum work in Austria, and an introduction to Otto Neurath's work of the 1920s to 40s 5, which was geared at communication and usefulness for the visitors/users. This model of mission and cognition-driven museum management, first realized in the 'Red Vienna', was stopped when its protagonist had to emigrate in 1934. It can still serve as an example of extraordinary democratic and emancipatory leadership in applied cultural politics.

Only two years ago, Wilfried Seipel, the director of Kunsthistorisches Museum and long term chair of the Austrian Museums' Association6 wrote:

" An encompassing discussion of museums, led with factual knowledge and engagement (...) is hardly to be envisaged in Austria. 7 (...) The museums and their developments, their place and their cultural political meaning for society's self-understanding, their important roles as educational institutions, until recently, have not been a topic in public and political discourse.",8

On the theoretical level, things have not changed greatly in the last decades. The lack of critical reflection and continuous discussion leaves too much of Austria's museums' tasks to be decided by haphazard circumstances or, often worse, by so-called political decisions.

The biggest capital museum enterprise in Austria, the 'Museumsquartier', a multi-disciplinary cultural complex in the centre of Vienna and in immediate vicinity of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum, opened in 2001 and 2002. 9 A photograph showing the 'Museumsquartier'10 was used in an article 'Das froehliche Ende der Hofratskunst' (The merry end of the Court Councillors' art) recently published in the reliable Neue Zuericher Zeitung (Swiss daily paper). This article has not only a wonderfully baroque title, but also very sensible subheadings (Museum laws; Yet more exhibition space; Politicised museum issues; Shouting for attention). 11 However, the author shies away from (or does not know better?) concrete discussion. The title mocks the previous, very cumbersome civil service structures of the big museums. It also refers to the Austrian museum scene in the subtitle, 'Oesterreichs Museumslandschaft veraendert sich - ein Wandel mit Tuecken' (Austria's museums' landscape changes - a change with pitfalls). Still, the article does not refer to Austria's museums' landscape, nor enlarge on any of these concrete and practical museum issues. Instead, it portrays the heavily personalised museum politics in Vienna, and quotes the directors, the commanders of 'supertankers', 'battleships' and swift 'cruise racers' in their fight for collections, and, more poignantly, for filling the almost 100.000 square meters for showing fine art in Vienna with visitors.12

Also here, discussions remain limited to "tourism and economy, and political self-representation, (...) without relating to the museums' responsibilities towards education and cultural heritage."13

However, there have been important developments in museum management and changes in the museum scene in Austria recently. Most importantly there is new legislation for the federal museums (to which I will return in a moment). In addition, there have been great museum enterprises in the provincial capitals. New major museums were or are being built in Lower Austria (new Provicial museum), in Vorarlberg (new Kunsthaus Bregenz), in Upper Austria (Lentos, the new art museum in Linz), in Graz (Steiermark), Innsbruck (Tirol) and Salzburg. And, to mention just a few of the steps taken with an orientation towards tourism let me just mention a few: the 'Austrian Museum Seal' was introduced, an accreditation scheme relating to funding and tourism. It is to identify and make visible those institutions worthy of trust, public moneys and PR-support in official guides14; and an 'All Inclusive Card' which is being developed by a provincial government in a tourism-region, and which other than ski-lifts, drinks and the like, also covers museum-entrance-fees15.

On August 14, 1998, the Austrian Federal Government issued the 115th federal law, the so-called Bundesmuseen-Gesetz (BM-G). This law refers to the legal standing, the implementation, organisation and upkeep of the Austrian Federal Museums (BM).16 The new legislation decided that 9 museum institutions17, hitherto closely knit to the ministerial and civil service structures, changed status and became economically 'autonomous' not-for-profit scientific institutions of public liability. The assets (mobile and immobile) continue to belong to the Republic.

The new law defines the framework for the museums' functions as: 'in the framework of a permanent social discourse ... to collect, preserve, research, document and make available to a broad public the evidence entrusted to them ...' (BM-G, Para 2, article 1). Without further enlarging on the museums' roles in society, the law also sets fast that mission statements for the single institutions have to be prepared. The BMs were asked to implement business-oriented governance and management structures in all areas. As far as funding is concerned, together the 9 institutions are granted a yearly subvention of 920 Mill AT (ca. 60 Mill €). These moneys, not index-linked, are split up among the 9 BMs according to yearly ministerial review. Their expected revenues (acquired in financial and legal autonomy) are to be supplemented by these federal subventions.

The BMs are placed under the supervision of the Federal Minister of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs, and under the control of the Federal Court of Audit. There is yearly auditing by the Board of Trustees (see below) to ensure control for the financial decisions and running. The museums have to present 4-yearly development plans, financing and budget-plans to the Ministry. The leadership-organs of the 9 FMs were established with a scientific cum management-/ finance-oriented position (one or two posts). This leadership-organ has to act as 'ordentlicher Geschäftsmann' (ie. as in any lawfully run enterprise), in close co-operation, and under the economic guidance of the Trustees. Two of the 9 members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by the Minister of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs, 1 by the Federal Chancellery, 1 by the Minister of Economic Affairs, 1 comes from an external scientific research institution related to the museum's disciplinary orientation, 1 from the organisation of Friends of the Museum, 1 from the local Union (representative of the museum-personnel), 1 is representing the central organisation of the Trade Union 'Public Services'. Personnel affairs, salaries, pension rights are basically ruled by general Austrian law.18

The www-site of the Ministry boasts of the Federal Museums as 'providing a wide range of services, for example special exhibitions, scientific presentations, guided tours which allow to look 'behind the scene', ... by the fostering of young artists from Austria and of the formerly Eastern countries.'19

The 'Oesterreichische Galerie Belvedere'

One of the 9 museums affected by this 1998 federal law is the 'Oesterreichische Galerie Belvedere' (the Belvedere)20. This museum has excellent collections - art from medieval times to the contemporary, and a wonderful, if a bit complicated venue - basically two Baroque castles and the formal gardens between, as well as additional off site locations.

The Belvedere has changed greatly with the new 'freedom' since January 2000. I would like to offer some data to support this. In fact, two years ago the data would not have been available in this format, - now there are management structures, new interest and exciting projects. All this needs sound financial and managerial bases, and the kind of evidence which statistics can supply.

Previously, the Belvedere's staff structure and all decisions used to be bound to the ministerial and bureaucratic hierarchy and consent. Now, there is the Board of Trustees, to whom the CEO and scientific leader, and the Director of Finances of the institution report. Basically there is in-house financial, curatorial, and management autonomy.

The Belvedere, one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Vienna, gets approximately 400.000 visitors per year and a blockbuster may reach almost 500.000. These figures are subject to fluctuation connected to the tourist seasons and the Belvedere's exhibition activities. Approximately 38 % of the Belvedere's budget are 'home-made' moneys (entry-fees, sales, sponsoring). Of the 7,2 million Euro yearly budget, 4,4 million Euro come via the ministerial subvention. In the past two years, a slight revenue surplus enabled the Belvedere to buy in for the collections.21

Employment figures at the Belvedere are up. The now 110 employees represent an increase of 10 percent over the last 4 years. Clearly this staff expansion happened in the new areas, ICT-support, administration and visitor services, and within the general framework and tone: 'employment is crucial, just as cutting costs is crucial'.22 With November 2002 the Belvedere started a digitization-project partly sponsored by the Federal Ministry.23 Other than for inherent museum functions (directly collection related), this will enable the Belvedere to grant on line-access for specified user-groups (universities, schools) in a low profile digitization and within a predefined framework of an internet-platform.

In spite of (and because of) all these very encouraging developments, also at the Belvedere, there is a clear need for developing a culture of discussing policies, of evaluation, of reflection and of institutional self-assessment. Without such instruments, without communication, exchange of viewpoints, and clarification, the potential of the newly gained autonomy may easily slip away and fail to come to fruition. Results of new measures, - those negatively experienced by the public, such as the introduction of higher entry fees (on the average: + 50%) will outweigh others, such as more visitor-orientation in all activities, and a clearer and better product. Both are stimulated by the need for an overall commercial viability and service-orientation. In order to monitor the structural implications of this new positioning and of the new quality interface with society mechanisms for reflection and measurement are not integrated. Discussion, corporate trust management and reflection are important tools in all these processes. The longer-term effects will not surface in the near future if.24

Otto Neurath, the practically philosopher and museum worker

Now, we turn to the second part of this paper, to the historical theme: Otto Neurath, the practically concerned philosopher, who very successfully used museums and exhibitions for empowerment, enlightenment and enfranchisement. Typically enough, Neurath's philosophy has found widely renewed interest recently, and is considered to be topical and 'surprisingly modern' by contemporary philosophers.25 Comparable knowledge of his museum work by present day museologists, however, is lacking.

Otto Neurath's educational philosophy and approach were founded on the Vienna Circle's physicalist, neo-positivist and empiricist principles.26 It was concerned with sharing information and sharing the tools for the shaping and the bettering of life-circumstances (cf. Neurath's concept of the 'pleasure maximum'), and reflecting and reshaping the ways in which information and is transferred over time and space. In Neurath's philosophical attitude there is no "Tabula Rasa", no neutral, no absolute, all experience is embedded in and dependent on social context. There is the importance of language, of the 'meditative mood', of learning how to ponder and discuss issues, and how to cherish and foster democratic decision making procedures.

Neurath's museum and exhibition work was developed in the 'Red Vienna', in the vein of the VC's Scientific world-conception and its democratic and emancipatory approaches to teaching and learning.

The key concepts in Neurath's and the Vienna Circle's thinking were: unfinishedness, pluralist, interdisciplinary, a-hierarchical, anti-foundationalist, self-reflective; teamwork, the transformer, collage, orchestration.27 On the practical level, Neurath worked with the Viennese Museum, with the 'International Unity of Science'-movement, and planned and edited the Encyclopedia of the Unified Sciences.28

At first, in the early 1920s, Neurath's 'Vienna Method' meant a system of charts with pictorial statistics in clear designs, structure and order (the rules for layout, arrangement and use). Its basic elements/units were pictograms, which should enable wide use and legibility: Consistently designed in black and white, with predefined designatory colouring, and combinable. These pictorial charts, in context for comparisons, were meant to foster judgemental capacities and discussion of very different topics and arguments.

Neurath developed this Vienna Method29 from the need for providing reliable information for decision making and to present many points of view. In Vienna, this was done in public places. Neurath reports of thousands coming to a (street corner) exhibition venue, to leisurely visit and spend time with friends at the museum which was part of the network of the city's educational network.

"The GWM (the museum) was a municipal institution, open in the evenings, free of charge and accessible to everyone. Groups of people gathered around the charts and argued over the issues. People learned about life of their city, about their place in the world. They learned to think and argue, to get on with each other. This was Neurath's ideal. It was a democratic and socialist ideal".30

Later, in a more advanced work situation, Neurath employed team-structures and provisions for ensuring that the processes of communication within as well as with the exhibition users were respected. These provisions were embodied in the Transformer, the Trustee of the Public, - in today's terms an 'audience advocate'. The work of the Transformer was to find a telling and compelling visualisation of the contents for the planned medium, be it a 2 or 3-dimensional arrangement, a talk or a film.

This more complex Vienna Method/Isotype stands for a refined system of teamwork, rules and strategies for orienting the product (the visualisations and the three-dimensional arrangements in museums and exhibitions) at the future users (visitors). As Neurath expressed it:
"To furnish a museum means to be a teacher!" (GBS: 257).
or:
"Isotype means respecting the interest of the user in a book, in an exhibition, in a museum in all museums together" (Neurath 1934)

The British museologist Roger Miles commented on this in 1996:
"Neurath generated a vision of his audience and what he wanted to say through the exhibits. ... His main innovation was the transformer - members of the team who served to bridge the gap between the expert and the general public." (Miles 1996: 187).

Thus, Neurath's museum work was based on concepts of team-work (transformer/audience advocate), the didactic design principles developed for communicative and interactive settings, the partnership approach, and the orchestration of the different tools, interchangeable, as in a collage.

Neurath explained his physicalist approach, "All statements which speak of seeing, ... appeal to the average man, because all sensual statements are possible in the common neutral and democratic language." The principal use was for 'humanizing' historical, sociological, economic and scientific facts of all kinds. 'Humanizing' was the expression, which Neurath preferred before popularising. 31

The exhibition 'Fighting Tuberculosis Successfully'32 for example, was to carry its message to all parts of the American population. Aware of the different situations and social settings to be found in the various exhibition venues, it also relied on the pictorial language, the visual dictionary, grammar and style. New measures were needed to prepare the visual language to be understood, as Marie Neurath expressed it, also 'by the Eskimos' (Marie Neurath, in Stadler 1982: 28). An accompanying booklet for an exhibition was designed as a step-by step guide into the materials.

Neurath, the trained economist, was aware that sound finances and stringent management and administrative measures were needed for the museum work. He consciously propagated the Isotype-network with identifiable branding, clear rules and procedures, constant monitoring of the use of the copyright and the logo.

Neurath engaged the best artists (he worked with the German 'Bauhaus', with Gert Arntz and Josef Frank, with El Lissitzky), used the newest techniques and approaches (audio-visuals, film and comic strips), built up resources and support. Working within the set up of the Social Democrats City Council, Neurath clearly accepted public responsibility for accountability, and actively cared for governance, transparency and the public face. The Viennese museum with the Mundaneum (its international network developed for distribution of the methodology as well as of concrete materials) were a not-for-profit organisation.

In a leaflet (and order form) of the early 1930s states:
"The Mundaneum is not a business organisation, and does not seek to make any profit from its activities. It is, on the contrary, an institute for the furtherance of scientific and sociological enlightenment, based on the application of the method, which it has itself perfected.

The Mundaneum's prices are not based on any margin or profit. They represent solely the cost of production of work of the highest quality, plus a ratio of the administrative expenses of their headquarters organisation, and the particular branch through which orders are transmitted."33

All of Otto Neurath's work reflected enlightenment traditions. Neurath's museum theory delivered a clear profile of the responsibilities and political tasks of the public educational institution.

His work is interesting in the current museological context because Neurath achieved to share the museum competencies, its inherent modalities and languages with the users (exhibitions with input of the visitors; exhibitions made by visitors). Neurath and the other VC educationalist were opposing the dichotomy of production and consumption of knowledge.34 Knowledge was seen as a social activity, where questions of distribution and acceptance of contingent and always 'relative' statements were decisive. Neurath remarked that this egalitarian and democratic attitude helped to feel less dependent on some isolated and idiosyncratic findings. He expressed it like this: "The feeling that one is acting within the collective scientific atmosphere and not in the sphere of individual philosophemes." (Neurath 1971: 18).

Today, this collective scientific atmosphere is indeed lacking in many museums. The question remains: Who is taking responsibility for sustainable museums' development, for keeping the level of knowledge and critical discourse up? Who can discuss seriously? Who can set the scene for the future? Those responsible for the household running of the still public (-ly financed) institutions are setting the scene, but often prefer not to discuss.

Three quarters of a century after Otto Neurath's achievements it seems important not to loose the wider context of museum history, and that also means the story, and with it the competences of museum thinking.

What indeed did survive of Neurath's practical work? There are the Isotype pictograms in many variations found all over the world in public areas, also in museums.

What is lacking, and not only in the Austrian museum context: The culture of a broad discussion of museums as social service institutions, the critical self-reflexive practices and traditions. The inter-disciplinary and inter institutional cooperation as exemplified in Otto Neurath's and the VC's work have not yet found their counterpart.

This presentation aimed at delivering a view of some contemporary developments in Austria, and to show that Neurath's, the VC philosopher's museum achievements, with practical management strategies based on clear theories, still stand out as exemplary work.

Neurath's work (not based on any disciplinary object-collection, but using objects as elements to stimulate interest and discussion) is proof, that the museum-institutions can successfully rethink their roles in society, and can act as providers of safe, stimulating and (scholarly) reliable spaces for cultural discourse. Otto Neurath's pragmatic, and at the same time relentlessly flexible, Utopian work can serve as a useful example for such processes.

Also INTERCOM within ICOM can contribute in this respect: In a spirit of international networking and scientific co-operation and exchange across borders and cultural barriers INTERCOM can make aware that leadership and management questions in museums are processual and tightly bound up with the societal roles of these institutions. INTERCOM in cooperation with other International Committees of ICOM, and using the structure of ICOM, can help to improve the level and quality of discussions in the international professional forums, at the same time eroding detrimental disciplinary boundaries.

Literature

Dittrich, R., Tades, H. (eds) (1994/16), Das Allgemeine bürgerliche Gesetzbuch, Manzsche Verlags- und Universitätsbuchhandlung, Vienna.

Burr, Vivien (1995) An introduction to social constructivism .Routledge, London and New York.

Hacking, I. (1999) The social construction of what? Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. and London.

Kinross, R. (1994), 'Blind Eyes, Innuendo and the Politics of Design', in: Visible Language, (28) 1, Rhodes Island School of Design, Providence: 68-78.

Neurath, M. (1974), 'Isotype', in, Instructional Science, 3, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Amsterdam: 127-150.

Neurath, O. (1996), 'Visual Education - Humanisation versus Popularisation', edited by Juha Manninen, in: Nemeth, E. and Stadler, F. (eds), Encyclopedia and Utopia, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht: 245-335.

Neurath, O. (1991), Otto Neurath. Band 3, Gesammelte bildpädagogische Schriften, Haller, R. and Kinross, R. (eds), Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Vienna.

Neurath, O. (1973), Empiricism and Sociology. With a Selection of Biographical and Autobiographical Sketches, Neurath, M. and Cohen, R.S. (eds), Vienna Circle Collection - Vol. 1, Kluwer/Reidel, Dordrecht/NL and Boston/USA.

Neurath, O. (1971/3), 'Unified Science as Encyclopedic Integration', in: Neurath, O., Carnap, R., Morris, Ch. (eds), Foundations of the Unity of Science, Toward an International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, Third impression of cloth edition, first published in 1938, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London: 1-27.
Österreichische Staatsdruckerei, Bundesgesetzblatt für die Republik Österreich, 115. Bundesgesetz: Bundesmuseen-Gesetz, vol. 1998, Part I, August 14, 1998, Vienna: 1447-1452.

Stadler, F. (1997 a), Studien zum Wiener Kreis. Ursprung, Entwicklung und Wirkung des Logischen Empirismus im Kontext, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt / Main.

Stadler, F. (ed.) (1982), Arbeiterbildung in der Zwischenkriegszeit: Otto Neurath - Gerd Arntz, Löcker Verlag, Vienna.

Uebel, Th. E. et al. (eds) (2000), Vernunftkritik und Wissenschaft: Otto Neurath und der erste Wiener Kreis, Springer, Vienna and New York.

Uebel, Th. E. (1998), Enlightenment and the Vienna Circle's scientific world-conception, in, Oksenberg Rorty, A. (ed.), Philosophers on education. Historical perspectives, Routledge, London and New York: 418-438.

Uebel, Th. E. (1996), 'On Neurath's Boat', in, Cartwright, N., Cat, J., Fleck, L. and Uebel, T.E. (eds), Otto Neurath: Philosophy between science and politics, University Press, Cambridge: 89-166.

Uebel, Thomas E. (ed.), (1991), Rediscovering the forgotten Vienna Circle, Boston Studies in the Philiosophy of Science, Vol. 133, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London: 159 - 168.

Internet addresses:

www.belvedere.at
www.bmbwk.gv.at/start.asp
www.statistik.at
www.icom-oesterreich.at/guetesiegel.html
museumsprogramm.bmbwk.gv.at
www.mqw.at

_________________________________
FOOTNOTES

1      For relevant and actual figures, use information provided by the Central Austrian Statistics (www.statistik.at).
2 In Austria, we are just beginning with recognised advanced, specialised, museum training programmes (Cf Newsletter ICOM-Austria, 2 (3) 2002, Vienna). So far, a research degree in an academic discipline with a module on museology, is still the normal entry qualification to a museum job. This has been deplored many times in the Austrian museum context (cf. Friedrich Waidacher's, one of the eminent Austrian museologist's homepage: www.WebMuseen.da/Waidacher).
3 Figures vary between 2500 and 1400, depending on who counts / what as a museum. For recent figures see for example: Pichler Verlag (ed, 1999), Museumsführer Österreich, Vienna.
4 Most visits to museums and exhibitions occur in a tourist visit context - groups of foreigners or weekend excursions. These visits are often characterized as consumerist, passive, commercialized and ritualized events.
5 Otto Neurath (1882, Vienna/AUT - 1945, Oxford/UK) Political economist, sociologist, philosopher. Founder/director of the Social and Economic Museum in Vienna (1925-34). Belonged to the neo-positivist Vienna Circle. Neurath is well known for the work with pictorial statistics, referred to in the USA and in Great Britain as "Isotype". Neurath emigrated to Holland (1934), from there to England (1940).
6 Seipel has been chairing the Österreichischer Museumsbund since October 1990.
7 All texts which are in German in the original, were translated by the author. They are given in the original wording in the corresponding footnotes, and marked by the following notice: (transl. HK).
8 Cf. Wilfried Seipel, 'Eine grossangelegte, mit Engagement und vor allem mit Sachverstand gefuehrte Diskussion, ... ist in Oesterreich fast undenkbar' (...) Die Museen und ihre Entwicklungen, ihr Stellenwert und ihre kulturpolitische Bedeutung fuer ein gesellschaftliches Selbstverstaendnis und ihre Rolle als notwendige Bildungsinstitution, dies alles war bis vor wenigen Jahren kein Thema des oeffentlichen und politischen Diskurses in Oesterreich (transl. HK)., in, Editorial, in, Oesterreichischer Museumsbund (eds), Neues Museum, 2/2000, Vienna: 1).
9 Cf. the Museumsquartier's internet-address: www.mqw.at
10 Cf. View of the 'MuseumsQuartier' Wien vom 7. Bezirk/Foto: photo: Rupert Steiner, 213.129.227.138/rd-images-var/mqw-7bez-w306.jpg
11 Cf. Paul Jandl, 'Das froehliche Ende der Hofratskunst. Oesterreichs Museumslandschaft veraendert sich - ein Wandel mit Tuecken' (The merry end of the Court Councillors' art. Austria's museums' landscape changes - a change with pitfalls), Neue Zuericher Zeitung, Monday, August 19, 2002: 19.
12 Cf. Paul Jandl, 'Ein Schlachtschiff ist das Kunsthistorische Museum ...', and, 'Von seinem Schnellboot Kunsthalle aus verbirgt Matt allerdings seine Abneigung gegenueber den grossen Museumstankern nicht .... ' (transl. HK). (in: 'Das froehliche Ende der Hofratskunst. Oesterreichs Museumslandschaft veraendert sich - ein Wandel mit Tuecken' (The merry end of the Court Councillors' art. Austria's museums' landscape changes - a change with pitfalls), Neue Zuericher Zeitung, Monday, August 19, 2002: 19.
13 Cf. Wilfried Seipel, 'wurde stets vom Gesichtspunkt des Tourismus, der politischen Selbstdarstellung, aber auch der Rentabilitaet, viel seltener durch ihren kulturellen Bildungsauftrag oder die Verantwortung fuer das Kulturerbe des Landes bestimmt', in, Neues Museum 2002: 1.
14 www.icom-oesterreich.at/guetesiegel.html, ICOM-Oesterreich and Oesterreichischer Museumsbund together have introduced this scheme in 2002 (cf. ICOM-Oesterreich (ed.), Newsletter ICOM- Oesterreich, 1/3, 2002).
15 This was launched by the provincial government of Carinthia in October 2002, so far no written documentation was available (cf. Hartmut Prasch, ICR-Annual meeting, September 23-28, 2002, Croatia. Prasch is one the of the initiators, and partially in charge of developing the pilot study).
16 Bundesgesetzblatt für die Republik Österreich, 115. Bundesgesetz: Bundesmuseen-Gesetz, vol. 1998, Part I, August 14, 1998, Österreichische Staatsdruckerei, Vienna: 1447-1452 (the excerpts and the précis used here are translated by Hadwig Kraeutler, Vienna, September 2002).
17 www.nhm-wien.ac.at/bundesmuseen
18 With a number of detailed specifications as to different employment regulations and status-possibilities, this is regulated in, Das Allgemeine bürgerliche Gesetzbuch (ABGB) Cf.: Dittrich and Tades (eds) (1994).
19 Cf., www.bmbwk.gv.at/start.asp?bereich=4&OID=3542&l2=&l3=119: 'Bundesmuseen: Über die althergebrachte Aufgabenstellung des Sammeln, Bewahrens und Erschließens hinaus erfasst der von den Bundesmuseen verstandene ganzheitliche Museumsbegriff sämtliche Bereiche der Gegenwartsgesellschaft. Er macht verstärkt bewusst, dass Museen bedeutende Stätten der außeruniversitären Forschung und der Begegnung mit dem Schul- und Bildungsbereich darstellen. Die Bundesmuseen werden durch ihr umfangreiches Angebot , wie zum Beispiel Sonderausstellungen, wissenschaftliche Kleinausstellungen, Führungen, die auch Einblicke in den Museumsbetrieb gewähren, Förderung junger Österreichischer Künstler/innen und Künstler/innen aus den ehemaligen Oststaaten, in besonderer Weise diesem neuen Museumsbegriff gerecht. (transl. HK) This text is not to be found in the English version of the Ministerial web-site; read September 2002. www.bmbwk.gv.at/start.asp; museumsprogramm.bmbwk.gv.at
20 Cf., www.belvedere.at
21 Cf., Interview with Wolfgang Findl, the Director of Finances of Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, in, Die Presse, October 10, 2002, Vienna: VII.
22 Cf., Interview with Wolfgang Findl, the Financial Manager of Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, in, Die Presse, October 10, 2002, Vienna: VII.
23 All art works in the collections of the museum will be photographed (traditional analogue procedures), scanned, and implemented in the new data-system TMS (The Museum System). This will be carried out in both TIFF- and JPEG digitization-formats, and is to serve administration, documentation, research and presentation of the collections in all aspects.
24 Dr. Gerbert Frodl, the present CEO and scientific leader of the Belvedere expects that some of the more lasting results might be surfacing in 5 to 10 years time (personal communication, October 11, 2002).
25 This has been discussed elsewhere, cf. for example Uebel, Th.E. 2000, 1998, and 1997; Stadler F. 1997.
26 The Vienna Circle (VC), a group of scientists from the areas of philosophy, logic, mathematics, natural science and social sciences (about three dozen persons, among them Moritz Schlick, Rudolf Carnap, Otto Neurath, Kurt Goedel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper) is known for its goal to apply modern logics to philosophy, integrating everyday concrete, empirical experiences. The VC's work and ideas found reception abroad (esp. in the USA). W. v. O. Quine was profoundly influenced by the VC's logical empiricism and analytical philosophy. Today with constructionist analyses of phenomena, these ideas of the early twentieth century are gaining influence again.
27 These ideas have found new appreciation, and reappeared more recently in constructionists' theories (Cf. Burr 1995, Hacking 1999).
28 This enterprise was planned together with the American pragmatist Charles Morris, and with a contribution by Morris' teacher John Dewey (cf. Neurath 1971).
29 Soon after the emigration to Holland it was called 'Isotype' (Neurath 1973: 232).
30 Cf. Kinross 1994: 76.
31 Cf. Neurath, "We must begin our explanations in accordance with the knowledg and vocabulary already familiar to the people. ... one should try to build up more comprehensive knowledge by simply looking at the environment, and by using the language of daily life and ist derivatives. This procedure, from the simples to the most complicated, I shall call humanisation." (italics in the original, Neurath 1973: 231).
32 An example for this was the travelling exhibition 'Fighting Tuberculosis Successfully'32. This exhibition was produced in 5000 copies, with an accompanying booklet of which 200.000 copies were sold (Otto Neurath 1996: 258; Marie Neurath 1982).
33 Cf. A loose 6 pages leaflet, na, nd, np, most probably London, c. 1933 (Isotype-Collection, The University of Reading).
34 The VC aimed at overcoming these traditional dichotomies, and the members were encouraged not only to argue with each other, but also to substitute for each other.

Back to conference details | Back to the top