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|Former name||VLM - Vorarlberger Landesmuseum|
|Type||Art and History|
|Curator||Gerhard Grabher (Archaeology)
Peter Melichar (History)
Ute Pfanner (Arts)
Theresia Anwander (Ethnology)
The vorarlberg museum (former name Vorarlberger Landesmuseum) in Bregenz is the state art and cultural museum of the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg. It was founded in 1857, and has since been a centre for collection and preservation of the state's art and cultural material. The museum conducts research into this material and makes it available to the public. In terms of content, the museum's work focuses on Vorarlberg material, and at the same time considers this in a context which goes beyond the state's boundaries. The collections, which the museum is attempting both to deepen and to broaden, specialize in archaeology, history, history of art and folklore. The museum co-operates with other national, international and regional cultural institutions.
The museum was founded in 1857 by a private association with the aim of securing the state's cultural heritage, preventing the export of significant materials, and where possible achieving the return of materials previously exported.
The museum building opened in 1860, but was soon too small for the rapidly-expanding collections. Despite financial contributions from local industry and from the town of Bregenz, it was not financially possible to commence building of a new purpose-built museum until 1902. The new state-of-the-art museum opened in 1905. It was designed by Georg Baumeister, and incorporated heating, and fire and flood protection. Despite provision for growth of the collections, it was soon overflowing again. Despite complaints in the 1930s of a shortage of space, it was not until the 1950s that the next reconstruction took place; a new storey was added and the decorative façade was removed. It was reopened in 1960, and represented the first investment in the building for half a century to address the increasing expectations of visitors.
Meanwhile, in 1947–48, the collections and the museum building were transferred to the state of Vorarlberg. Since 1997, it has had management support, together with the Bregenz art gallery and the Vorarlberg state theatre, from a management service company set up for that purpose.
The museum building is currently in a redesign phase. On 5 October 2009, it was closed for construction of a new building designed to double its previous floor area. The district administrative centre was intended to be incorporated into the new building.
Directors of vorarlberg museum
- 1948-1986 - Dr. Elmar Vonbank
- 1986-2006 - Dr. Helmut Swozilek
- 2006-2011 - Dr. Tobias G. Natter
- since April 2011 - Dr. Andreas Rudigier
The museum operates a library with a stock of some 15,000 volumes on subjects connected to the museum's focus.