Being relevant locally

Rural museums as social spaces

27.02. - 28.02.2023

Image Credits


27.02. - 28.02.2023


Museumsakademie Joanneum

Meeting point

Bregenz (AT) with excursions to Lech am Arlberg (AT) and Hittisau (AT), hybrid


190 €, reduced fee 140 €*, 80 € online fee (The reduced fee is available to students, trainees, unemployed people, and employees of this year’s cooperation partners.)

External registration

Please register via e-mail.


Contact us


Show all

About the

Rural areas have been ascribed various attributes. From an urban perspective, the “countryside” is the object of projections: from a bucolic place of longing on the one hand to images of backwardness or structural weakness on the other. However, the once clearly perceived line between “urban” and “rural” lifestyles seems to be steadily disappearing in light of an increasingly more mobile and connected world. Traditional attributions—as well as traditionalising self-conceptions in terms of culturally homogeneous communities—no longer represent the realities of rural life. These developments raise the question of what role museums can in fact play today in rural areas. How is it possible to reach people locally in their concrete reality and be relevant to them? How can museums—building on collections inherited mostly from the 19th century—become social spaces in which new forms of interaction are possible and new self-conceptions can be negotiated? What forms of engagement and going beyond the traditional boundaries of the museum are possible? The workshop gathers innovative examples from different regions and discusses how rural museum work—in the light of limited resources and staff—can realise its potential with regards to content and its social role.

In co-operation with vorarlberg museum, Lechmuseum and Frauenmuseum Hittisau

Monika Gärtner Director of the Lech Museum, Lech am Arlberg (AT)
Doreen Götzky Director of the Peine District Museum (DE)
Edith Hessenberger Cultural Scientist, Director of the Ötztal Museums (AT)
Barbara Neyer Clerk, Department of Culture, Office of the Vorarlberg Provincial Government (AT)
Stefania Pitscheider Soraperra Director of the Women's Museum Hittisau (AT)
Gunilla Plank Freelance cultural activist, designer and author, chairwoman of the murauerInnen association (AT)
Andreas Rudigier Director of the Vorarlberg Museum, Bregenz (AT)
Ingeborg Schmid Museum Director, Holzknechtmuseum Ruhpolding (DE)
Elisabeth Schlögl Research Assistant, Deputy Director, Museumsforum Steiermark/Universalmuseum Joanneum (AT)
Beatrix Vreča Historian Director of the Museum im alten Zeughaus Bad Radkersburg and the town archive Museum im alten Zeughaus Bad Radkersburg (AT)


Organisers of the workshop
Thomas Felfer Freelance Cultural Researcher and Museologist, Unzmarkt (AT)
Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen Head of the Cultural History Department & Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (AT)
Eva Tropper Management Team, Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (AT)