Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH

Exhibitions 2016 | Animals and science are the focal points


Additional information and picture material on individual projects can be found at the following link: Annual programme 2016

24 exhibitions at 10 locations, as well as a broad offering of accompanying educational services and events: once again the Universal Museum Joanneum presents a highly varied programme in 2016 covering science, art and culture. Emphasis in the coming year will be on the fascinating world of animals as well as the diverse ways of producing and passing on knowledge.

Animals leave their pawmarks on 2016


Legends about and insights into an animal that evokes ambivalent ‘images’ form the focus of the new exhibitionThe Wolf (02.04.2016–31.10.2017) in the Hunting Museum Schloss Stainz. Besides cultural-historical viewpoints and legends, which even today shape our image of the wolf, a large part of this show will be devoted to current themes: from research results from various scientific disciplines, monitoring results from the worlds of hunting and conserving nature and animals, to the programmes of various Central European states designed to counteract the unfounded fears we feel towards wolves.


Spanning collections, the exhibition project Legendary Animals. 1 Horn and 100 Eyes (13.05.–31.10.2016) in Schloss Eggenberg directs our gaze towards mythical creatures and other remarkable animals that have stimulated the human imagination over the centuries. Conceived jointly with children, the show is also designed especially for young visitors. In terms of space it stretches from the special exhibition rooms of the Schloss, the permanent exhibition at the Alte Galerie and the State Apartments, as far as the Schlosspark. The Archaeology Museum is also participating in the focus on animal themes, investigating the psychology of ritual killing of animals in the show Animal Sacrifice. Killing in Cults and Religion (20.05.–31.10.2016), taking the example of a Styrian cult site from the pre-Roman La Tène period, the ‘Perl-/Stadläckern’ at Frauenberg near Leibnitz.


Which Toads, Snakes & Co live exactly where in our own gardens in Austria will be examined by bio-scientists from the Joanneum together with school pupils as part of our ‘Sparkling Science’ research project supported by the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Industry. The results will be on show in the Natural History Museum from April 15 to July 10. Animals also play a key role in the paintings of Graz artist Norbertine Bresslern-Roth, whose work is honoured with a large retrospective in the Neue Galerie Graz (26.10.2016–17.04.2017).



‘Paths of Knowledge’


In the coming year, another exhibition focal point will examine the passing on and transfer of knowledge as well as its usage in cultural practices, and arts and crafts production compared historically. In the Kunsthaus Graz Terry Winters (11.03.–21.08.2016) is devoted to the intersection between art and science in the museum. In an installation arrangement of individual works and exhibits from the natural history collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, the American painter visibly links up objects and disciplines, narrating the mutual penetration of fields of knowledge. In the group exhibition Kneaded Knowledge. The Language of Ceramics(24.09.2016–19.02.2017), in which two outstanding international artists are represented, Ai Weiwei and Edmund de Waal, malleable material is investigated for the ways it is used and worked, as well as concerning cultural contexts and developments.


Using the examples of 30 selected objects from the cultural-historical collection, the museum traces how things become what they are – from the starting material right up to the finished product – in the exhibition The Production of Things (opening: 15.09.2016), offering insights into the working process of selected production facilities.


For the first time, from June 7-11, 2016, Graz will host the largest European event for science communication – the Ecsite Annual Conference, as a joint initiative of the FRida & freD – the Grazer Kindermuseum, the Universalmuseum  Joanneum and the society ScienceCenter-Netzwerk. In this context the Neue Galerie Graz will present a solo show of media artist Richard Kriesche (03.06.–02.10.2016) and the Natural History Museum will awaken curiosity in the natural sciences in the touring exhibition Wirkungswechsel (02.03.–10.07.2016).



Many other highlights


Alongside these themed exhibitions, visitors can expect other museum highlights: the Kunsthaus Graz devotes a comprehensive solo show to the Austrian artist Constantin Luser (*1976 in Graz) in Space01.  This is followed immediately by three female sculptors, Alina Szapocznikow, Kateřina Vincourová and Camille Henrot (26.05.–28.08.2016), who engage in a cross-generational dialogue about the creative hand, the notion of the body as material, and the historically and socially shaped legacy etched into that. The series Open House is ultimately much influenced by the opening of the Kunsthaus Graz in various artistic and social directions. Diverse exhibition and educational formats – whether installation, performance, talks or workshops – enable flexible collaboration with local cooperation partners as well as a lively discursive encounter with contemporary art.


In the exhibition Painting in a State of Flux (03.03.– 08.05.2016) the Neue Galerie Graz presents the donations received in 2014 from the Ploner Collection generously lined up beside in-house collection items. Parallel to the large retrospective of Günter Brus in the Martin-Gropius-Bau the BRUSEUM is devoted in the early part of 2016 to his Berliner Jahre (08.04.–10.07.2016); also, with Victor Hugo (Opening: 08.09.2016) it shows an artist, who – just like William Blake, August Strindberg or Günter Brus – has created something lasting and permanent in two artistic métiers. Unlike Hugo’s famous literary works, his drawings were long known only to a small circle of those given special admittance; the BRUSEUM shows a selection of these in Graz.


The Folk Life Museum is dedicated to that item of furniture in which we spend the greater part of our life: the exhibition In Bed (01.04.2016–06.01.2017) sounds out the everyday life, mythological and political dimensions of this apparently private space, asking people of various ages about their ‘bed stories’ and shedding light on various positions in terms of its usage and significance.

In its exhibition Landscape is Movement (19.03.–31.10.2016), Schloss Trautenfels shows how geological processes and the climate have formed the district of Liezen. With many vivid examples and visualisations, this show also conveys the interaction of natural processes and human influences, enabling in this way new perspectives on familiar landscape.


Picture material and further information on individual projects can be found at the following link:



We look forward to your reports and will be happy to help you with any enquiries you may have in this regard.


Warm regards
Christoph Pelzl & Anna Fras