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Heidi Goëss-Horten is building her very own public museum in Vienna
A socially distanced friendly chat with the Austrian power patron
Art x Style 24 Nov 2020

In the heart of Vienna, nestled between the Albertina Museum, Burggarten Park and the Vienna State Opera stands Hanuschhof House, where a brand new art hotspot is set to open in 2022. The building’s annex (called Stöcklgebäude) will be transformed into a sensational contemporary museum and house the monumental art collection of patron and art collector Heidi Goëss-Horten – from that point onward her collection ought to be accessible to the public.

Heidi Goëss-Horten’s high-calibre art collection includes examples of classical modern art – from Klimt to Picasso -, highlights of German Expressionism and American Pop Art, as well as masterpieces by contemporary art superstars Gerhard Richter and Damien Hirst. Following on from the hugely successful temporary exhibition ‘WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection’ at the Leopold Museum Vienna in 2018, the world-famous art collection is about to be permanently exhibited in its very own museum.

Work of paper by Birgit Jürgenssen – “anna-tommie”


Located in the courtyard of the historical Hanuschhof House, the Stöcklgebäude has already been home to various art and cultural facilities. Most recently it hosted the Vienna State Opera Museum.
The architect’s office ‘the next ENTERprise architects’ has been announced as the winner of the architectural competition and will design the plans for the new museum. It is set to open its doors in spring 2022 under the shiny new name ‘Palais Goëss-Horten’.

To sweeten the waiting time until we can visit Palais Goëss-Horten, we got to know Heidi Goëss-Horten a little better:

Heidi Goëss-Horten – Image via the Heidi Horten Collection


If you had to describe your art collection in one word, what would it be?

Colourful / Inspiring

How did you experience the last few months? Where did you spend the lockdown?
I have been fortunate enough and extremely grateful to have been able to spend lockdown at my house near Lake Wörthersee. Surrounded by my art and animals, both of which gave me strength and pleasure, especially in those difficult first few weeks.

Construction site of the new museum. Image by Stefan Olah for Heidi Horten Collection


Why is it important to you to make your collection accessible to the public?

It is my special wish to offer the possibility to access these wonderful pieces of art for anyone who is interested.
Art shouldn’t be an exclusive experience and I am keen to share the joy I find in my collection with like-minded people.

Which piece of art holds the most special meaning to you personally? Why?
Each piece of my collection is special and has its own history, but one painting particularly pleases me day after day: A seascape by Gustav Klimt. Both motif and colours fascinate me endlessly – I appreciate Gustav Klimt and all of his art very much.

In your opinion, how does the government support the cultural and creative sector in the current Coronavirus crisis? Was it necessary to close the doors of theatres and museums despite well thought out safety arrangements?
As I am part of the people at higher risk myself, I continue to be extremely cautious about my surroundings. It still saddened me greatly to witness the hasty closure of cultural institutions and gastronomic businesses, even though there was no thorough risk assessment in terms of virus transmission within a museum.
For me, these are fundamental institutions that make life worth living.

Construction site of the new museum. Image by Stefan Olah for Heidi Horten Collection


What is your favourite museum?

I have a lot of favourite museums in the world…

Is there a piece of art that you wanted for your collection, but couldn’t acquire?
Unfortunately yes, even several of them! Sadly this happens to every art collector…

Which piece of art has joined your collection most recently?
A stunning work on paper by the brilliant artist Birgit Jürgenssen who passed away far too early.

Future museum. Image by Stefan Olah for Heidi Horten Collection


If you could meet one artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

I am continually and immensely attracted by the sumptuous colours used in the paintings of the expressionist artist colony ‘The Bridge’. They inspire my style of painting and it would have been amazing to get to know one of them personally.

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