Special exhibition: WE, FREDERICK III & MAXIMILIAN I – Their World and Their Times

Special exhibition: WE, FREDERICK III & MAXIMILIAN I – Their World and Their Times

Noch bis 01.11.2021 zu sehen...

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In the extended Gothic Museum in 2021, Admont Abbey is staging a multifaceted special exhibition featuring two prominent figures of the Royal House of Habsburg:WE, FREDERICK III & MAXIMILIAN I - Their World and Their Times. 

In the extended Gothic Museum, Admont Abbey is staging a multifaceted special exhibition placing two of the leading figures of the Royal House of Habsburg, Frederick III and his son, Maximilian I, under the spotlight, with a focus on their dynastic networks and their contemporary setting. This was a period that saw the transition from the Late Middle Ages to the Late Gothic and the Renaissance. The more than 200 exhibits provided by 46 lenders guarantee visitors an impressive and evocative experience. This epoch in which Europe underwent a deep-reaching metamorphosis is represented in all its complexity. Apart from a few exceptions, all the exhibits are originals and unique items that reflect the world and the times in which these two Habsburg emperors lived.

Art and culture. Faith, history and mentality. Frederick III and Maximilian I are brought back to life as father and son. The exhibition opens by placing the two within their wider historical context. The spectrum ranges from the time of the acquisition of Tyrol to the rise of the Habsburgs to become one of the greatest dynasties in Europe. There are also exhibits that introduce, alongside Frederick III and Maximilian I, other notables of the period – Meinhard II, Duke of Carinthia, Margarethe Maultasch, Rudolph IV, Friedrich IV 'of the Empty Pockets', Albrecht VI and Sigismund 'Rich in Coin'. Counts and aristocrats, such as the Schaunberg, Polheim families and the Pranker dynasty of Styria are represented as are the links with the Fugger banker family, Florian Waldauf Knight of Waldenstein and other major notables. Detailed insights into mining activities of the time and the world of castles are also provided. The art of the era is typified by panel paintings and portraits by eminent masters, including Albrecht Dürer, Max Reichlich, the Meister der Habsburger, Bernhard Strigel, Bernard van Orley and Bernhard v. Seyboldtsdorf. The way that the House of Habsburg venerated the saints is exemplified by the images, in the form of detailed sculptures and icon-like pictures, of St. Florian, St. Sebastian, St. Christopher, St. George, St. Andrew and others. Remarkable unique pieces epitomise the Catholic Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of St. George and the temperance movements of the time. The symbolic device 'A.E.I.O.U.' as employed by Frederick III and examples of Maximilian's 'Gedechtnus' projects are also present. There is stonework that proclaims aristocratic entitlements, coats of arms, armour, weapons, extraordinarily elegant funerary helmets and hatchments, not to mention an artwork with a total length of 2.6 metres showing a funeral procession. Included are documents with highly decorative seals, works with impressive typography and signatures, coins and medals. There are many examples of the flourishing craftsmanship of the period, alongside much more. This multidimensional special exhibition is on display in a specially adapted area on the ground floor of the Gothic Museum; it extends into the manuscript room on the first floor (opposite the library entrance).

A catalogue of the exhibition is to be published.

The Mayer Collection and 46 lenders

 This exhibition based on a subject that is so unusual for Admont was the brainchild of Kuno Mayer, art collector and patron. With his wide-ranging expertise, Mayer will be acting as guest curator, designer and moderator of the exhibition. This range of activities are attributable to the mutually fostered partnership between Admont Abbey and Kuno Mayer, who will be profiling the two emperors using items that mainly come from the secular portion of his collection of art. Among these are not only masterworks but also unusual objects that provide a new perspective on the treasures in Mayer's possession. Among these is a particularly outstanding work, the internationally celebrated sculpture of Emperor Frederick III by the so-called 'Inntaler Meister' (c. 1460). This combination of selected works from the Mayer Collection, the holdings of Admont Abbey and loans provided by 46 institutions bring back to life this remarkable period of European history in all its aspects.

Lenders in Austria, South Tyrol, Liechtenstein and Germany

Over a period of two years, our exhibition team was on the search for suitable objects throughout Austria and beyond. The origin of exhibits in many cases epitomises the extent of the relevance and influence of Frederick III and Maximilian I. It was of particular importance to us to involve other monasteries, such as Kremsmünster, Vorau, St. Florian, St. Lambrecht, St. Paul, Seckau, Stams, Wilten, Klosterneuburg and Heiligenkreuz/Neukloster. The following museums have kindly loaned exhibits: Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz (Museum Geschichte, Zeughaus, Alte Galerie), the Tyrolean State Museum, the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum,the State Museum of Carinthia, the Wien Museum, the Belvedere Vienna, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, The Nordico City Museum Linz, the Lauriacum Museum in Enns, Wels City Museum, the Heimatmuseum Schärding, Innviertler Volkskundehaus Ried, the City Museum Hall in Tirol, Schattenburg Feldkirch, Familienstiftung Schloss Tratzberg, Diözesanmuseum Brixen, Landesfürstliche Burg Merano, Museum of Mining and Gothic Art Leogang and the Schlossmuseum Peuerbach. Exhibits have also been obtained from archives, including the Provincial Archive of Styria, the Austrian Österreichisches Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, the Order of the Golden Fleece, Grein local authority, the Tiroler Landesarchiv, the Stadtarchiv Hall in Tirol and the Diocesan Archive Brixen. Other contributors are the Wildpoldsried/Bishopric Augsburg parish church, die Agrargemeinschaft Bürgerschaft Obdach Spitalkirche, Liechtenstein – The Princely Collections Vaduz-Vienna, the library of Montanuniversität Leoben, the Dr. Rützler Collection and private collectors.

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