Cultural History Collection

The collection contains about 35,000 objects belonging to all domains of artistically designed lifestyle from the Middle Ages up to the present: testimonies of Styrian history, examples of aristocratic and bourgeois home décor, handcrafts made of metal, wood, ivory, ceramic, glass and textiles as well as a collection of wrought iron items, a collection of costumes and a collection of musical instruments.

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The Cultural-Historical Collection’s mission is to document the ‘province’s cultural epochs from the Early Middle Ages to the present’. Opened in 1895 as the “Cultural-historical and Arts and Crafts Museum” in Graz’ Neutorgasse, the collection has been housed in the Palais Herberstein in Sackstraße since 2011.

It originates in an initiative of the sculptor Karl Lacher (1850-1908), who was fascinated by the movement arising from the first World Fair (held in London in 1851) that rebelled against the might of industrialisation and the accompanying symptoms of decline in craftsmanship. The collection’s identity has been developed over the last few decades mainly in the direction of arts and crafts and design; the appointment of Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen as head of the collection in 2014 signalled the beginning of a reprofiling in the form of a return to the original mission.