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Belvedere Museum

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About the Museum

The Belvedere is one of Austria’s most famous museums. It was founded in 1903 as Contemporary Gallery and has not lost its forward-looking spirit. Here, the paintings of Klimt, Schiele, or Van Gogh can be displayed alongside bold works of modern art such as Ai Weiwei’s “F. Lotus” installation.

The Belvedere pays special attention to the rapid digitalization of art. For example, it hosts the annual conference “The Art Museum in the Digital Age.” Previously, it was held in the modernist building of Belvedere 21 in Vienna, but in 2021 the coronavirus pandemic broke the established tradition. The event had to be moved to Zoom.

This time, conference participants discussed the impact of the pandemic on the life of museums, the forced growth of online collections, and the position of traditional art in the digital age. One of the main predictions reads like this: “The current crisis will force museums to step away from the touring blockbuster exhibitions and return to work with internal holdings. Similar processes are already noticeable in the Belvedere and other Viennese museums.”

Prof. Stella Rollig

Scientific Director, CEO Belvedere

  • How ready was the museum to transition to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    We realized the importance of online communication long before the pandemic. For years, the Belvedere has been purposefully investing in this, and the pandemic, obviously, acted as a catalyst. Therefore, we already had the basis for a complete transition to online, but it needed to be expanded jointly in response to the influx of new users.

  • How have quarantines and lockdowns influenced the development of the museum's digital projects?

    One of the biggest challenges of the past year was the dramatically reduced time available for developing new formats due to the pandemic. In March 2020, everyone suddenly had to speed up. Still, we managed to start live broadcasts from the museum on the very first day of the lockdown.

    Our visitors watched these programs with great interest. Audiences really enjoyed the online projects, and they became quite popular. Over the past year we have begun to notice people’s fatigue from the abundance of digital products, but I still think that we can expect to work a lot on the diversity and availability of these products in the future.

    © Belvedere Museum

  • What project should someone start with when getting to know the museum’s online offerings? Which platform best captures its spirit and can become the entry point for digital tourists?

    Personally, I would recommend the online tours that we prepare for each new exhibition. These are expert accounts narrated by the curator with a deep dive into the subject.

    For those who have never been to our museum, I would single out the video filmed in the museum against the background of Vienna. The “Canaletto’s view” of the city and the Belvedere ensemble of buildings will immediately show the amazing atmosphere of our museum’s work.

    © Belvedere Museum

  • Will online projects replace offline museum spaces and eliminate them forever?

    Definitely NO! Nothing can replace the experience of going to museums. Nothing can convey the aura of the building and the works of art as well as contemplation and the full-fledged experience in the way that in-person presence can.

    This, incidentally, is one of the main lessons of the pandemic. The digital space opens up many possibilities and creates its own world. But it is not able to replace our tangible world, where you can sit next to other people, eat together in a restaurant, chat, or just go to a museum.

    © Belvedere Museum

    What we can do digitally is to amplify and deepen our experiences before, during, and after a museum visit.

    I can also see the huge potential of digital media in making art more egalitarian and accessible. This is a task that we shall have to work on for a very, very long time.

    © Belvedere Museum

  • The information provided by Belvedere Museum in summer 2021.

Digital museum

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project team

Author

Chief-editor

Producer

Designer

Developer

Project Manager

Assistant Producer

Diana Terenteva

Kirill Golovkin

Ali Muratkali

Karina Golubenko

Nadezhda Savina

Victoria Davidyan

Rina Podolski

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