“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Vienna Events Calendar 2018 Autumn / Winter

On 16th August, Vienna took over the 1st place from Melbourne in the Economist’s Global Liveability Index 2018. The city also ranked highest on Mercer’s quality of living this March for the 9th time in a row. What is the magic of the imperial city? Why do natives and expats love Vienna? We collected some of the 2018 autumn events and exhibitions that make our heart beat faster.

Vienna has been among the top global tourist attractions and constantly ranks in the top 3 on all possible lists researching the highest quality of life. This year it was named the world’s best city to live in for the ninth consecutive year by Mercer, one the largest human resources consulting firms. The survey compared 231 major metropolises based on factors such as crime rate, healthcare, education, public services, recreation, housing and personal freedom. The Economist has also compiled its Global Liveability Index for many years with Melbourne taking the throne in the last 7 surveys, until Vienna took the crown in 2018.

Vienna is considered to be formal. On the other hand, it is also very modern and forward looking. For instance, the City Council approved the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy and it aims to be one of the five biggest European research and innovation hubs by 2050.

Having been a central meeting point between the East and West for centuries, its historical and cultural role is unquestionable. It maintains vibrant social and economic communities. The city has recently developed a ‘hip’ status too by mastering the ability to address different layers of society and present arts and crafts in a cool and fresh way.

So clearly, Vienna represents the way people should live all over the planet in 2018.

This Autumn/Winter season will bring jaw-dropping cultural programs hosted by the city’s signature institutes but also popping up in the smallest backstreets. Let me share my personal selection.



Vienna has more than 100 museums and other cultural institutions, promoting the most supreme intellect. They cover all possible fields such as art history, fine art, nature, history, toys, porcelain, furniture, design and more.



The Austrian Museum for Applied Arts (Museum für angewandte Kunst) on the Stubenring has a unique collection of applied arts, crafts, design and contemporary art. It is also a hub for cultural research and collaborates with numerous institutions such as the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Vienna Business Agency, AustriaDesignNet or the Vienna Biennale. MAK established its own Design Lab, too. As a Californian branch of the MAK in 1994, the MAK Center in Los Angeles, West Hollywood operates in cooperation with the Federal Chancellery of Austria / Arts Division and the Friends of the Schindler House.

They take their mission seriously: ‘The MAK is a place of encounter, interaction, and intercreativity.’

300 Years of the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory

16.05.2018 – 23.09.2018

Creating porcelain has a history dating back three centuries in Austria. I visited the astonishing Augarten Porcelain Manufactory last year to discover their designing and manufacturing processes. They celebrate their 300th anniversary in 2018 and MAK dedicated an exhibition to the history and significance of the second-oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe.


Beauty – Sagmeister & Walsh

24.10.2018 – 31.03.2019

Sagmeister & Walsh is a creative agency in New York City, founded by Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh. Sagmeister studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and his agency has undertaken various projects with MAK. Earlier in May, Sagmaister participated in a talk at and& festival in Leuven, Belgium, where he noted: ‘Even when most of our senses are gone, our sense of beauty remains. It is truly part of who we are; part of being human.’ (source: https://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/three-things-we-need-to-know-about-creativity-and-the-future/ )

This October the duo brings a multimedia exhibition into the gallery, divided into six themed areas: ‘What Is Beauty?’, ‘The History of Beauty’, ‘In the Eye of the Beholder’, ‘Experience Beauty’, ‘Transforming Beauty’, and ‘The Beauty Archive’. The Sensory Room is jointly designed with Swarovski, the premium partner of the exhibition.

When there, why would you leave the MAK hungry? Just cross the superb Design Shop and you will find the Salonplafond restaurant designed by the well-known Viennese architect Michael Embacher. The kitchen offers fresh and seasonal local food, which you can have in the hidden patio garden outside during the summer months.



With one of the most important graphic art collections in the world and one of Europe’s largest private collections of classical modernist paintings, Albertina is among the most famous museums. The repertoire comprises nearly 50,000 drawings and one million prints dating from the Late Gothic to contemporary. We have visited them many times; check out a few of their past exhibitions here.

Claude Monet

21.09.2018 – 06.01.2019

The Impressionist movement was developed in Paris in the 1860s. The founding members including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro caused an ‘art-shock’ with their loosened brushwork and lightened palettes of pure, intense colours. Albertina devotes an exhibition to the French ‘Master of Light’, Claude Monet (1840–1926).

His works are very popular still today – the Nymphéas en fleur (Water Lilies in Bloom) was sold for $84,687,500 at Christie’s New York in May, which also set a new world auction record for the artist.

Being an active online player, Albertina organises an Instagram-challenge too. Capture your Monet-mood and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MyMonetMoment between 6 August and 19 October 2018. See more here: https://www.albertina.at/en/visit/program/mymonetmoment/



The Leopold Museum is situated in the MuseumsQuartier, a cultural district spanning over 90,000m2 and gives home to 60 cultural institutions. MQ is ‘an open-air living room for people in Vienna’ as Director Christian Strasser calls it.

The Leopold features the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele works as well as other Austrian masters like Gustav Klimt or Oskar Kokoschka.

Make me beautiful, Madame d’Ora. The photographer d’Ora 1907-1957

13.07.2018 – 29.10.2018

‘In our time… photography has almost become a psychological instrument, an x-ray of the soul; as a snapshot of individuality it is an unmistakable mirror of the soul… it has a mission: representing the real and the ideal impression at the same time’ – the exhibition opens with the line by Wiener Salonblatt from 1915 (an Austrian newspaper, between 1870 and 1938 in Vienna).

Dora Philippine Kallmus (1881-1963) was one of the first women in Vienna to open a photographic studio and certainly a pioneer in her category in the world too. As a fashion and portrait photographer she established her own ‘brand’ and pseudonym ‘Madame d’Ora’. She captured the great names of the 20th century’s world; like Coco Chanel, Tamara de Lempicka, Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier and many families from the aristocracy. The terror of the WWII reached her and changed her subjects and styles (her sister Anna was killed by the Nazis). She photographed refugee camps and slaughterhouses. The exhibition encompasses her entire oeuvre.



Mumok is yet another MQ establishment. The Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien is the largest museum in Central Europe for art since modernism, with works from classic modernism, pop art, fluxus, nouveau réalisme, conceptual art, post minimal or Viennese actionism to contemporary film and media art.

55 Dates

12.07.2018 – 03.02.2019

Their latest show actually takes a reverse approach. 55 Dates is the name of a book, which they compiled from their exhibited works since the opening of the museum in 1959. The 55 pieces are composed by highlights and lesser known works, such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso or Paul Klee but also Marta Hoepffner (1912—2000, German photographer), Ed Paschke (1939-2004, American painter, greatly inspired by popular media and American subcultures) or Friedl Dicker (1898-1944, Austrian artist, who gave secret art lessons to the children in the Terezín concentration camp before being murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz-Birkenau).

The exhibition in the gallery is derived from the book.



Opened in 1989 in its current form, Kunstforum Vienna is one of the most successful exhibition spaces in Vienna. Its name has been synonymous with the greatest paintings of the classical modern post-war era. The halls showcase collections of leading international museums such as the Guggenheim Museum New York and the Russian Museum St Petersburg as well as various individuals.

Fascination Japan – Monet · Van Gogh · Klimt

10.10.2018 – 20.1.2019

The Asian cultures have had a huge impact on the art of the West. The exhibition follows the ‘Japomanie’ between 1860’s and early 1900s through paintings, printed graphics and other objects such as furniture and the works of Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Gustav Klimt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Nabis and the Blauer Reiter group.



Vienna Research Festival

14.09.2018 – 16.09.2018

A sign of just how seriously Vienna takes the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy and the public involvement is the 3-day event they organised around innovation. ‘Vienna Research Festival will present ideas, innovation and results from research in comprehensible and exciting way.’ It is an interactive event held at multiple stations together with businesses and universities and set around six topics: Healthy Living, Modern City, Intelligent Production, Assistance in Every-day Life, Digital Realities and Playful Learning.


Vienna Design Week

29.09.2018 – 10.10.2018

Design, creative thinking and experimentation are in the spotlight at the Vienna Design Week on an extended week from 29 September – 10 October. The 12th edition of the event defines design as ‘an essential part of the cultural production’ and shows how it shapes the everyday life of consumers. Each year, organisers select a Festival HQ and focus district, which in 2018 happened to be our amazing HQ, Neubau. 🙂 There will be a special spotlight on local, old-established businesses of the area.


viennacontemporary art fair

27.09.2018 – 30.09.2018

For the 4th time this year, the annual viennacontemporary art fair will present contemporary art with a focus on Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe in the Marx Halle between 27-30 September. We enjoyed the rich selection of the region at last year’s edition and the interesting supplementing talks. The organisers put an emphasis on providing opportunity for young artist born, educated or active in Austria to present their views on current social and political matters through their works. ZONE 1 is dedicated to them. Additionally, 100 galleries and institutions from 23 countries take part in the show.


Long Night of Museums


A single ticket for all participating museums and culture spaces across all Austria for one night? 6 October is dedicated to ‘night owls with an interest in culture’. From 6pm to 1am you can cherry pick from the long list of museum tours and special programs across the country.


Wiener Schmucktage 2018

06.11.2018 – 11.11.2018

Are you into jewellery? The Imperial City has been well known for goldsmiths and jewellery makers. From 6 to 11 November, Wiener Schmucktage awakes the desire of wearing contemporary jewellery and immersion into their creation processes. It includes exhibitions, but also workshops and events like themed breakfasts in galleries, studios and shops. The SCHMUCK.DISKURSIV lecture section will be held on 11 November at the MAK FORUM and will target the usage of new materials and innovative technologies in jewellery making.


Vienna Art Week

19.11.2018 – 25.11.2018

The Vienna Art Week from 19 to 25 November, 2018 serves up a full art program under the slogan ‘Promising Paradise’. Visitors can look forward to exhibitions, panel discussions, lectures, talks with artists, special guided tours, installations, interventions and performances.


Art & Antique

10.11.2018 – 18.11.2018

Art&Antique is the fair for art, antiques and design, held at the Imperial Palace in Vienna between 10-18 November. Numerous national and international galleries offer Orientalia, antiques, glass, furniture, handicrafts, and sculptures as well as modern and contemporary art.


Photo credits: Loupiosity.com. Mumok.
All registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All rights reserved.