Plaster cast of an antique work of art

Archaeological Museum Innsbruck

The Archaeological Museum Innsbruck - collection of casts and originals of the University of Innsbruck was founded in 1869 as the k. k. Gipsmuseum of the University of Innsbruck. At a time when it was hardly possible for art and antiquity lovers, as well as teachers and students, to undertake trips to the distant, newly discovered excavation sites and the archaeological museums of Europe that were now emerging, collections of plaster casts of ancient works of art had become indispensable as illustrative material for students and researchers alike, even at universities. In the early years, the objects were housed in the rooms of today's Faculty of Theology in Universitätsstraße, where the Chair of Classical Archaeology, established in 1889, was located. When the construction of the new main building of the university on the Innrain began in 1914, the opportunity arose to place the collection in a more dignified setting. However, the objects were only moved to the new premises after the First World War. A special feature of the collection in Innsbruck, which distinguishes it from other collections of casts, dates from the post-war period: the casts were not left white; instead, an effort was made to approximate the marble or bronze originals as closely as possible by using a more colored finish. In 1989 the museum was reopened after extensive renovation work. The ongoing lack of space in the museum was solved by the relocation of the university's archaeological and ancient history departments to the ATRIUM Center for Ancient Cultures on Langer Weg in 2008. This made it possible to create a second representative museum location next to the main building of the university.

Today, the collection of casts provides an almost complete overview of the development of Greek and Roman art and cultural history. From the Minoan-Mycenaean period, through the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Etruscan and Roman periods to Late Antiquity, objects of sculpture, architecture and decorative arts are on display. An attempt has also been made to build up as extensive a collection as possible of sculptures and reliefs from the Ancient Tyrol, in order to unite the works scattered in the original, at least in casts. In addition to the casts, however, the museum also has a collection of originals from times when the export of originals from Mediterranean countries was permitted. These originals have come to the museum through purchase, but also as donations. These include marble fragments such as architectural decorations, remains of sarcophagi, steles and votive reliefs, but also the largest collection of urban Roman Latin inscriptions in Austria. The collection of antique ceramics is a further highlight.

After 150 years since its foundation, the Archaeological Museum, with its combination of casts, copies and originals, represents the largest collection of classical antiquities in Western Austria.



University main building (old building)
Innrain 52 /Christoph-Probst-Platz, 3rd floor
6020 Innsbruck

ATRIUM - Centre for Ancient Cultures
Langer Weg 11, 1st floor
6020 Innsbruck

The museum can be visited at both locations by appointment.

Archaeological Museum Innsbruck

Scientific management

Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Florian M. Müller Bakk.
T: +43 512 507-37568
Mobil: +43 676-7399340

Literature on the collection

Müller Florian Martin, Das Archäologische Museum Innsbruck – Sammlung von Abgüssen und Originalen der Universität Innsbruck: Forschen – Lehren – Vermitteln, in: Müller Florian Martin (Hrsg.), Archäologische Universitätsmuseen und -sammlungen im Spannungsfeld von Forschung, Lehre und Öffentlichkeit, SPECTANDA – Schriften des Archäologischen Museums Innsbruck 3 / Archäologie: Forschung und Wissenschaft 4 (Wien/Berlin/Münster 2013) 289–323.

Müller Florian Martin, Das Archäologische Museum Innsbruck bei Großveranstaltungen – Ein Scharnier zwischen Universität und Öffentlichkeit, in: Hoernes Matthias, Kistler Erich, Reinstadler-Rettenbacher Katharina, ATRIUM. Perspektive Zentrum für Alte Kulturen 1, 2012–2013. Aktuelle Forschungen des Zentrums für Alte Kulturen 2012-2013 (Innsbruck 2014) 15–24.

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