700 museums open their doors for Long Night event

700 museums open their doors for Long Night event
The hare with amber eyes. Photo: KHM-Museumsverband/Michael Harvey
Night owls and culture vultures can explore over 700 of Austria’s museums from 6pm to 1am on Saturday, courtesy of the ORF’s Long Night of Museums event.

Many museums are offering special events or exhibitions for the occasion. One ticket covers all the museums in the city where you are based and costs €15 (or €12 for concessions). Children aged 12 can enjoy the event for free. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Information Point in every state capital (in Vienna this is located at Maria-Theresien-Platz), and in the museums themselves.

As well as the bigger museums we recommend checking out some of the smaller, quirkier offerings – such as the Museum of Funeral Services in Vienna’s Central Cemetery, Vienna's Urania Observatory, or the Alpen Verein museum in Tyrol. 

Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) also happens to be celebrating its 125th anniversary and to mark the occasion it’s showing the famous ‘hare with amber eyes’ miniature sculpture. The sculpture inspired a family memoir by the British ceramicist Edmund de Waal. His family, the Ephrussis, were once a very wealthy European Jewish banking dynasty, centered in Odessa, Vienna and Paris.

They lost almost everything in 1938 when the Nazis seized their property, including priceless works of art. However an easily hidden collection of 264 Japanese netsuke miniature sculptures was miraculously saved, and tucked away inside a mattress by a loyal maid at the Palais Ephrussi in Vienna during the war years. It will be the first time the ‘hare with amber eyes’ has been displayed in Vienna. Netsuke are beautifully crafted decorative buttons made of ivory or wood, which were traditionally attached to a man’s kimono.

An exhibition of Edmund de Waal’s work opens at the KHM on October 11th, and will feature further works which were recovered from the Ephrussi collection.

More information on the Long Night of Museums on October 1st at: https://langenacht.orf.at/