Leopold Museum and MuseumsQuartier celebrated the opening of MQ Libelle

The “Libelle Party”, which took place on Wednesday, 2nd September following a ceremonial act on Tuesday, provided the final highlight of the official opening festivities for MQ Libelle on the rooftop of the Leopold Museum. 

The party, organized by the Leopold Museum and the MQ in honor of the architecturally significant extension building, was a celebration of art and architecture.

Numerous honorary guests accepted the invitation of the MuseumsQuartier’s Director Christian Strasser to attend the ceremonial act for MQ Libelle, as well as the Leopold Museum’s Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger and Director Strasser’s joint invitation to attend the “Libelle Party”, among them the former Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer and his wife Margit Fischer, the president of the Austrian National Assembly Werner Sobotka and the second president of the Austrian National Assembly Doris Bures, finance minister Gernot Blümel, the mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig, former vice chancellor Clemens Jabloner, the Vienna city councilor in charge of cultural affairs Veronika Kaup-Hasler, the president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and of the Austrian National Bank Harald Mahrer, the head of the department of art and culture of the Federal Chancellery Jürgen Meindl, Josef Ostermayer (chairman of the board of directors of the Leopold Museum Private Foundation), the Leopold Museum board members Elisabeth Leopold, Agnes Husslein-Arco, Werner Muhm and Carl Aigner, Moritz Stipsicz (Managing Director of the Leopold Museum), the chairman of the district council of Vienna’s Neubau district Markus Reiter, the former minister for culture Thomas Drozda and the former secretary of state for art and culture Ulrike Lunacek, the former city councilor for culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, the former secretary of state and director of the MQ Wolfgang Waldner, Parnass editor Silvie Aigner, Falter CEO Sigi Schlager, ICOM president Bettina Leidl (director of the Kunst Haus Wien), Monika Sommer (director of the Haus der Geschichte), Peter Weinhäupl and Sandra Tretter (directorate of the Klimt Foundation), member of parliament Eva Blimlinger, the architects Laurids and Manfred Ortner, Wolf D. Prix, Carl Pruscha, Markus Spiegelfeld and Gregor Eichinger, the artists Brigitte Kowanz, Eva Schlegel, Peter Kogler, Constantin Luser, Elfie Semotan, Gottfried Helnwein, Hubert Scheibl, Sophie Thorsen, Julia Avramidis, Lukas Pusch, Andreas Duscha, Anna Jermolaewa, Waltraud Cooper, Martin Schnur, Esther Stocker and Florian Reiter (gelitin), the artistic director of the Wiener Festwochen Christoph Slagmuylder, the cathedral priest of St. Stephen’s Cathedral Toni Faber, the artistic director of ImPulsTanz Karl Regensburger, the director of AZW Angelika Fitz, Johanna Chromik (artistic director of viennacontemporary), the head of ORF III Peter Schöber, Martin Traxl (head of the ORF’s culture department), the director of Wien Tourismus Norbert Kettner, culture manager Daniel Serafin, Life Ball founder Gery Keszler, the collectors Diethard Leopold and Waltraud Leopold, Peter Noever, NÖKU CEO Paul Gessl, Katrin Vohland (Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna), Andrea Zsutty (director of Zoom Kindermuseum), Wien Museum finance manager Christina Schwarz, Viennale CEO Eva Rotter, Ulrike Sych (head of the Vienna University of Music), Zone CEO Benno Pichler, Meinhard Rauchensteiner (office of the president), Hans Raumauf (Vorstandsdirektor Wiener Städtische Versicherung), Thomas Blimlinger (former chairman of the district council of Vienna’s 7th district), advertiser Christian Satek, jazz musician Max Nagl, author Stefan Kutzenberger, Peter Hörmanseder (maschek), actor and TV presenter Alfons Haider, wine grower Norbert Walter, publisher Nikolaus Brandstätter, and may others.

MQ Libelle: Widely visible landmark, attraction and 21st-century salon

Situated some 25 meters high, the Libelle serves not only as a spectacular finial to the Leopold Museum but also provides a widely visible landmark to the entire area. Situated atop the museum’s static and reposing cuboid made of light shell, which was also designed by the architects Laurids and Manfred Ortner, the Libelle’s curved structure provides a sense of lightness and animation. Both the MuseumsQuartier and the Leopold Museum will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year. The construction on the Leopold Museum’s flat roof is the first extension to the MQ since it opened in 2001. “Good things come to those who wait“ – Leopold Museum Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger quoted this aphorism to sketch the Libelle’s history of creation, seeing as first suggestions for a vertical extension of the museum building were given by the Leopold Museum’s then Managing Director Peter Weinhäupl already in 2007.

“A new attraction on the roof of the Leopold Museum, the MQ Libelle addresses a diversified audience, inviting it to participate. The extension building will become an open-air, 21st-century Viennese salon. Visited before or after a tour of the museum, the viewing platform provides a venue for encounters, exchanges and inspiration to a broad public.” Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Director of the Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum and MQ Libelle: Gesamtkunstwerk

The terrace extending before the Libelle affords breath-taking views over the Maria-Theresien-Platz between the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum all the way to the Hofburg. Visible from this elevation are the towers of the Rathaus, the Piaristenkirche and St- Stephen’s Cathedral, as well as the impressive roof of the Minoritenkirche, the high-rise building on Herrengasse, the Ringturm and the Millennium Tower.

Conceived by the architects of the architectural team Ortner & Ortner (O & O Baukunst) as a Gesamtkunstwerk (or universal work of art), the Libelle was realized together with two interventions by the internationally renowned artists Brigitte Kowanz and Eva Schlegel. The intervention by the architect of light Brigitte Kowanz with her light circles mounted on slanted supports, which revisits one of the Libelle construction’s basic geometrical forms, makes a highly visible statement already from afar. Illuminated at night, the circular elements of the light installation appear to hover over the terrace. During the day, the construction reflects the sunlight, offering an interesting interplay of light and shadow. The 94-meter-long glass cover was designed by the artist Eva Schlegel, dubbed the “poet of boundary expanding image production”. 2.4 million white dots of varying sizes form a dense, vibrating veil that delicately encases the construction’s shell. In keeping with the extension‘s name Libelle – dragonfly – 20 cm stings add a defensive component to the facade and, refracting the light, provide scintillating highlights.

“With the ‘MQ Libelle’, the MuseumsQuartier has a new attraction that is open to the public: ‘I am delighted that the ‘MQ Libelle’ is now finally accessible to everyone. The cooperation between architects and artists has led to a Gesamtkunstwerk, a beacon of art and culture. The view is pure magic. I invite you to draw inspiration from this unique atmosphere and to gain a new perspective of everything from atop the ‘MQ Libelle’,” according to the MuseumsQuartier’s Director Christian Strasser.

The Leopold Museum as an intellectual foundation for exploring art

The MQ Libelle provides a new conclusion “on top of the Leopold Museum”. Much in keeping with the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk propagated by the Secessionist in Vienna around 1900, this new, lively venue is closely linked with the intellectual foundation of the museum permeated by varying artistic disciplines. The Leopold Museum showcases works of Classical Modernism from the collection of Rudolf Leopold which is noted for its diversity and comprises paintings, graphic works and sculptures as well as pieces of furniture, examples of artisan craftwork, photographs, documents and autographs. The museum’s emphasis is on the art of Viennese Modernism with eminent works by Gustav Klimt, the world’s largest compilation of works by Egon Schiele and Richard Gerstl, as well as the most comprehensive permanent Oskar Kokoschka presentation. Design and architecture features in the collection through select arts-and-crafts objects, examples of interior decoration, drafts, posters etc. by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos. Through the permanent presentation on Vienna 1900, which comprises works from the museum’s own collection as well as loans from other museums and private collections, Austrian art is placed into the context of international art of the same period, for instance by Auguste Rodin, Medardo Rosso, Gustave Courbet, Max Klinger, George Minne and Ferdinand Hodler. Temporary exhibitions, such as the current successful presentation “Hundertwasser – Schiele. Imagine Tomorrow” (on display until 10th January 2021), allow for an in-depth exploration of the topics and provide a bridge to contemporary art. 

Links zu Veranstaltungsfotos:

Opening Ceremony

Leopold Museum Private Foundation
Mag. Klaus Pokorny und Veronika Werkner, BA
Presse/Public Relations
0043 1 525 70 - 1507 or 1541



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