Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Spitzmaus mummy in a coffin and other treasures
curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf

In 2012, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna initiated a new series of exhibitions for which remarkable, creative individuals are invited to present their own personal selections of objects drawn from the museum’s historical collections. The museum’s collections number more than four million objects, and span a period of five thousand years. The first exhibition, titled The Ancients Stole All Our Great Ideas, was selected and curated by the painter and draughtsman Ed Ruscha. This was followed in 2016 by the exhibition During the Night, selected and curated by the British ceramicist and writer Edmund de Waal.

The Adonyeva Foundation is delighted to have supported the third instalment of the series, titled Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures, which was selected and curated by the filmmaker Wes Anderson and his partner, the writer and illustrator Juman Malouf.

With assistance from the museum’s staff of curators and conservators, Anderson and Malouf assembled more than 400 objects drawn from all fourteen of the museum’s historical collections. These included Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, Old Master paintings, selections from the Kunstkammer and the Imperial Treasury, items from the Imperial Armoury, Coin Collection and Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, as well as pieces from the Theatermuseum, the Weltmuseum, the Imperial Carriage Museum and Schloss Ambras Innsbruck, along with a handful of special guests from the Natural History Museum.

Particular attention was given to the museum’s storage: more than 350 of the objects have been brought from depots, with many of them on public display for the very first time.
The gathering and arrangement of these treasures – from the earliest, a necklace of ceramic beads strung together in Ancient Egypt, to the most recent, a wooden monkey carved in Indonesia almost 5,000 years later – convey the spectacular breadth, depth, history and complexity of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s collections.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and the Fondazione Prada. It is currently on view at the Fondazione Prada, Milan.
Beethoven Moves at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

29th September 2020 – 24th January 2021

The Adonyeva Foundation is responsible for the commissioning of a new work by the celebrated artist Tino Sehgal in the context of ‘Beethoven Moves’, an exhibition marking the birth of the venerated composer 250 years ago.
This remarkable exhibition was curated by Jasper Sharp, Adjunct Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, an institution well placed to host a celebration of the epochal artist, Ludwig van Beethoven (Bonn 1770–1827 Vienna). The permanent collection bears witness to five thousand years of cultural history culminating in the Age of Enlightenment at the end of the eighteenth-century.

Beethoven Moves brings together paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, sketchbooks by JMW Turner, graphic works by Francisco de Goya, Anselm Kiefer and Jorinde Voight, sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Rebecca Horne, a mise-en-scene by John Baldessari, a performative work by Tino Sehgal, a film by Guido van der Werve and much more, all of which are set into dialogue with the music and persona of Beethoven. The exhibition thus builds a bridge between the present and past masterpieces of fine art, and forms connections with music and silence.
The Adonyeva Foundation is particularly proud of having brought into the world This Joy – Diese Freude, a masterwork by Tino Sehgal. It consists of a group of singer-dancers, performing one at a time. Each dancer sings, acapella, a piece of music by Beethoven (a piano sonata, a concerto, or a symphony). In total, nine separate pieces of music are performed. For each piece of music, a different part of the singer's body dances: their hand, their knee, their foot, their torso, and so on. For the ninth piece of music, the singer's entire body goes into motion.

The singer-dancers perform in the final room of Beethoven Moves and mark the finale of the exhibition. The singer-dancers move around the gallery, amongst regular visitors, many of whom are not initially aware of what is taking place. Visitors are invited to stay for one minute, or one hour - to sit, stand and walk around freely experiencing the work 'live'. Diese Freude now takes its place in the canon of Sehgal’s unique, unusual and now internationally respected repertoire.