Artists in Residence – A Museum Lives!

With the creation of his museum, Josef Schütz has pursued his vision of building an edifice in which art is created, studied and experienced. Indeed, this philosophy is mirrored by the overall design of the Museum. For example, all the galleries have large windows pointing strictly in a northerly direction, in order that the works are safeguarded against direct sunlight.  Conversely, visitors can peruse the exhibits in daylight and obtain moments of relaxation through fleeting glances at the Danube and the surrounding countryside. In fact, the credo of the Schütz family is, “We have built the museum for people and not for the artworks!”     

With the comprehensive Artists in Residence Programme not only are fresh approaches to the European museum world being adopted, but also further evidence provided of just how systematically the concept of “a life with art” is being realised.  Throughout the year, three artists will work in parallel for three months directly in the Museum and therefore in the course of a year, a total fifteen artists will select Engelhartszell as their temporary home. A home that may well be far removed from urban hustle and bustle, but is located in one of Austria’s most inspiring rural landscapes where nature serves as a counterpoint to the hectic pace of our age and hence a genuine source of creativity.   

With the Artists in Residence Programme, the Museum springs to life in the truest sense. International artists, who were selected and personally invited, and also fulfil the aspiration to top quality of the Museum’s founder, ensure an intercultural exchange with the visitors. On the one hand, they will consist of artists who are already known and recognised and on the other highly talented young artists and students, who this initiative will seek to spotlight.  Consequently, the Museum on the Danube will constitute both a crystallisation point for encounters with the Classic Modern era and a stage for international talents from the contemporary art scene. 

Undoubtedly, an exceptional experience will await the artists, who will come from around the world. They will live in rented apartments and work in three spatially separated studios in the Museum.  The Schütz family is  especially concerned that the residents feel completely at ease and therefore their studios will offer the appropriate peace and quiet for artistic activity and ideal light conditions because the windows all point to the west. These are also appropriate open spaces such as a sculpture terrace available for recuperation and relaxation and in order to introduce Austria in all its diversity to the international guests, a suitable supporting programme is already in planning.  

This initiative represents an opportunity for all those involved. For the artists, it means increased prominence, the chance to offer works for sale on the spot via the Museum Shop, gather new impressions, enhance their own creativity and form interesting contacts with art lovers. For the visitors and friends of the Museum, Artists in Residence furnishes an encounter of substance with other cultures and their artistic communities, and quite possibly insights into the world and hence its greater understanding. In return for the costs of the stay, the Museum receives a portion of the works created in Engelhartszell. Any sales proceeds will be used exclusively for art purchases, exhibition design and the financing of the Artists in Residence programme. Furthermore, at this juncture it should be stressed that the Schütz family administers this project on a purely voluntary basis.        

The high-profile link for the Artists in Residence project is provided by two exhibitions annually, which will showcase the best works of the artists and represents another benefit of their stay.  

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