Postcards from Vienna
Discover the Big City of Vienna in a Small Format
Do you still write postcards when you go on vacation? Or maybe you have started sending them again because they are something special now? The exhibition “Big City/Small Format” in the Wien Museum MUSA is dedicated to the charming art of handwritten greetings, straight from Vienna. It shows very clearly which pictures and images of the city were transported by means of the postcard and how they have changed over the course of 100 years.
Immerse yourself in the nostalgic world of postcard writing, where the address book was still a faithful travel companion and later, true professionals prepared printed labels to save themselves valuable vacation time. The search for a mailbox in distant countries became an exciting mission and many a postcard seemed to go on a trip around the world before it was delivered.
Historical Vienna on Postcards
In fact, postcards are little treasures, far more than an old-fashioned, often kitschy, everyday object. The comprehensive exhibition at MUSA shows the history of the postcard in Vienna as a means of communication and advertising, as a collector’s item and as an art form.
Around 1900, the postcard became the first global image medium and of course the famous sights were a constant theme. However, in the beginning, postcards also showed side streets, parks and long-forgotten squares, as well as suburban taverns and recorded important current events. To this day, these postcards are the only existing source of images from many Viennese addresses.
Postcards in the Past – Instagram Today
The changes in the postcards also show the changes in the city of Vienna and how it was perceived or wanted to be perceived. Similarities to social media are clearly directly derived and addressed in the exhibition.
The Past Online
For those who would like to take a peek at the exhibition from the comfort of their own home, you are invited to visit the Wien Museum Online Collection. There you will find detailed descriptions of the 31 works of art from this highly interesting exhibition, as well as information about the other exhibitions on display at the many branches of Wien Museum.
Interested in more pictures as contemporary witnesses of Vienna’s past? Then we recommend you visit the “Vintage Vienna” Facebook page and scroll through the many contemporary documents and impressions of the city, mostly from private sources.
Exhibition: Big city/Small format
The MUSA is located right next to the Vienna City Hall and can be easily reached from all five Schick Hotels by tram line 1 – station “Rathausplatz/Burgtheater”, as well as easily on foot during a stroll through the city center.
Wien Museum MUSA
Felderstraße 6–8, 1010 Vienna
till September 24th, 2023
Tuesday to Sunday and holidays
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Header picture: Wien Museum Musa, Big City/Small Format. Postcards from Vienna, Exhibition view, 202, © Leonhard Hilzensauer, Wien Museum