Gray Sundays in Vienna: Theater Museum

I am proud to say that on the very last day that my annual Kunsthistorisches Museum pass was valid, I finally made it to the Theater Museum.

Fountain in the foyer of the museum.

Fountain in the foyer of the museum.

The "Eroica Hall."

The “Eroica Hall.”

Located in a beautiful Lobkowitz Palace close to the Albertina, the Theater Museum is a small exhibition space with two or three collections on view at any given time.

At the moment, the main exhibit is about puppets, specifically Javanese -style rod puppets designed by an Austrian named Richard Teschner. I am not really into puppets, but these are very beautifully crafted ones.

Rod puppet.

Rod puppet.

More rod puppets.

More rod puppets.

Unfortunately–and somewhat inexplicably–there is exactly zero information in English in the museum. So, my understanding of what I was seeing was limited to what I could figure out from the German placards. It seems that Teschner was sort of the Terry Gilliam of his time and place, designing innovative puppets, stage sets, posters, and costumes in his own, unique style.

Theater poster.

Theater poster.

"Color organ" designed by Teschner.

“Color organ” designed by Teschner.

There was also an exhibit of Japanese theater design, and a lot of very not-PC (but amusing) photos from a turn of the century production of The Mikado. And, various other items related to theater productions scattered throughout: posters, props, a scale model of the Burgtheater, and so on.

Mock-up of a set for The Mikado.

Mock-up of a set for The Mikado.

To be perfectly honest, without any English translation, I would not pay 8 Euros to see this very nice, but small, museum. However, if you have the annual pass anyway, or if you can read German pretty well, it is a good place to while away an hour or so on a cold, gray Sunday in Vienna.

Reviewed by Kelly.

Theater Museum
Lobkowitzplatz 2
1010 Wien
www.theatermuseum.at

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