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16 March 2016 to 27 November 2016
The 21 November 2016 will mark the centenary of the death of Emperor Franz Joseph, who ruled over the Habsburg Monarchy for sixty-eight years. This exhibition will take a critical approach to exploring the personality of the emperor. Divided into a number of different focal themes, this large-scale temporary exhibition will take place in four different locations in Vienna and Lower Austria.

At the Imperial Furniture Collection, which boasts some of the largest museum holdings of furniture in the world, the focus will be on festivities and everyday life. The frugal personal requirements and ‘life full of papers and files’ of the monarch whose existence centred on his bureaucratic duties contrast sharply with the pomp and elaborate protocol of state visits and the grand festivities that were customary at the Viennese court.

Another theme explored by this section of the exhibition is the mythologizing of Franz Joseph as a long-serving ruler, an image that was to remain powerful long after the decline of the Danube Monarchy. Starting with the unsuccessful attempt on the emperor’s life in 1853, an event that was swiftly exploited to shore up his image, the exhibition covers the World’s Fair of 1873, the silver wedding anniversary of the imperial couple in 1879, the millennial festivities in Hungary in 1896 and the imperial jubilee celebrations of 1898 and 1908. The ubiquity of the emperor in the form of portraits, monuments and other media which ensured his ‘virtual’ presence even in the farthest-flung corners of the Empire, also contributed to this stylization. Thanks to the technological progress that took place during his lifetime, Franz Joseph became the first emperor to be immortalized in moving images and voice recordings.

Hofmobiliendepot • Imperial Furniture Collection: approx. 570 m² with approx. 175 exhibits

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