Filled to bursting with Austrian art from the early 20th century, the Leopold Museum has an appropriately contemporary design. Constructed in Vienna’s innovative MuseumsQuartier by design partnership Ortner & Ortner, the museum opened in 2001 and is essentially a gleaming white, limestone cube that contrasts neatly with the flamboyant Baroque architecture of Imperial Vienna.
Named after philanthropist and art collector Rudolf Leopold, who died in 2010, the museum holds around 5,200 works of art; the permanent exhibitions displayed around the vast atrium and open galleries range from masterly silverware and ceramic decorative arts from the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) of 1903–32, to stylish Art Nouveau furniture designed by Kolomon Moser, and some rather brutal portraits by Expressionist Oskar Kokoschkar.
However, the standout pieces in the Leopold’s collections are by two world-famous artists who bring in the crowds in their thousands: portraits swathed in gilt and landscapes by Gustav Klimt – including his peerless Death and Life – and the world’s most important collection of portraits and nudes by the enfant terrible of Austrian Expressionism, Egon Schiele, who was mentored by Rudolf Leopold throughout his career.
The Leopold Museum is located in MuseumsQuartier at Museumsplatz 1. The site is open September through May on Wednesday and Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. In June through August, it is open Friday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission costs adults €12, seniors €9, students €8 and children under 18 €7. Tram Lines 1, 2 or D can be taken to Dr-Karl-Renner-Ring, or U-bahn line U2 to MuseumsQuartier, U3 to Volkstheater.