The collections of the Jewish Museum Vienna make up a remarkable, unique mirror of centuries of Austrian-Jewish history.
Worldwide, they constitute one of the most important holdings showcasing the Jewish cultural history of the Hapsburg Empire, the first Austrian Republic, the Viennese inter-war period, as well as the history of the disfranchisement, expulsion, and murder of Austrian Jewish citizens. These unique collections date back to the world’s first Jewish museum, which was founded in 1895 and was forcefully closed down by the Gestapo in 1938. Despite the hostile disruptions, more than half of the objects collected by that point survived, and went on to form the basis of the 15,000 objects inventoried in the Jewish Museum Vienna today.
Their care and preservation represent a great and continuous challenge for the museum, one we are trying to meet by inviting members of the public to act as ‘godparents’ by sponsoring a particular object, and helping us to maintain this unique cultural heritage for the future. With each donation, we are able to implement urgently needed preservation or restoration measures, ranging from simple cleaning and maintenance to substantial repairs. This work requires the skills of a great variety of specialists after all, as much as the histories of these objects vary, so do the materials from which they are made. Individual, family, and corporate sponsorship plans are available. All donations are tax deductible regardless of whether they derive from private or corporate assets.