Belvedere Director Stella Rollig looks back on the year 2022 and reveals what the museum will be doing in the Metaverse in 2023.
On the eve of the start of the school year, Stella Rollig, director of the Belvedere, takes stock. “The first highlight was at the beginning of the year. After a complete renovation, we reopened the Lower Belvedere with a Salvador Dalí and Sigmund Freud exhibition. A very special and personal highlight was that the Spanish royal couple is came to inaugurate this exhibition,” Rollig recalls in an interview “Today”.
The boss of the museum is also otherwise satisfied. “It was very nice to see the audience come back. During the autumn holidays, the hall was almost full again. To walk around the halls and see how many people are there is really a great feeling.”
Savings program in the museum
However, the museum will not be able to match the number of visitors from 2019 this year. “In the year 2022, we have 75% of the number of visitors. People are coming back, but there are still few from abroad,” says Rollig.
“We’ll have brilliant exhibitions in 2023, but basically we’re programming more from our own collection. We’re still short on money.”
As with most cultural institutions, inflation and high energy costs were also a major challenge for the Belvedere. “Of course we have to save. The bitter aftertaste of this year is of course the war, which shakes us personally, but also has economic effects. The ecological crisis, the climate crisis, inflation – everything is related.”
The house defies challenges with a savings program. “We’ll have brilliant exhibitions in 2023, but basically we’re programming more from our own collection. We’re still short on money.” This also has an effect on entry prices. According to Rollig, these will be increased “a little” in the spring. The exact amount is not yet known in detail.
According to the director, “People are willing to pay high ticket prices as part of their vacation budget. So we think we can do it. But what’s important to us is to keep offers of affordable access for Viennese and low-income people.”
Belvedere goes to the metaverse in 2023
Despite the crisis, art does not fall by the wayside. Exciting exhibitions also await visitors in 2023. “Next year the Belvedere will be 300 years old. ‘savings in the exhibition programme’, emphasizes Rollig.
The museum is also evolving in the digital domain. The fifth international conference in the Belvedere Digital Transformation Lecture Series will take place January 16-20. “This time it’s about initiating a critical examination of the metaverse in the cultural realm,” says Rollig. “Our first step was the development of the NFT. The Metaverse offers a wide range of possibilities. We are currently examining what is most rewarding for us and our audience.” According to Rollig, the first offers in the Metaverse should be available as early as 2023 in the area of mediation.
“The Metaverse offers a wide range of possibilities, we are currently examining what is most rewarding for us and our audience.”
Between Klimt and Art Nouveau
Not in the Metaverse, but in the Lower Belvedere, a large Klimt exhibition can be seen in early February. From April 6, Belvédère 21 will focus on the local art scene with “Über das Neues”. About fifty artists and twenty project rooms show the current variety of art production and presentation.
A sculpture project with works by well-known artists such as Dan Graham, Kara Walker, Franz West or the shooting star Kapwani Kiwanga will complement the Baroque sculptures around the Belvedere premises from May 15. The first pictorial works of Louise Bourgeois are visible from September 22 at the Belvédère Bas.
In the exhibition “Le Belvédère. 300 years of art”, visible throughout the year in the Orangery, the building deals with its own history.