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Frauenmuseum Hittisau, Bregenzerwald, Museen in Vorarlberg (c) Albrecht Immanuel Schnabel
A Place of Encounter

Women’s Museum in Hittisau

Austria’s only women's museum showcases changing exhibitions as well as special architecture.

The Women’s Museum in Hittisau in the heart of the Bregenzerwald region has been a place of encounter that gives voice to women’s issues for 20 years. The museum was founded in the year 2000 by Elisabeth Stöckler. Since that time, it has housed more than 45 exhibitions on topics related to women in culture, society, the arts or architectural history. The museum highlights both regional and international aspects. To complement the exhibitions, the Women’s Museum in Hittisau offers a substantial number of specially organised custom tours, lectures, workshops, concerts, readings and film presentations. The communications programme is differentiated and offers both adult- and child-specific events.

Due to construction work in the municipality of Hittisau, the Women’s Museum Hittisau is closed until 6 February 2022. From 25  November 2021, however, the Women’s Museum will be present with a traveling exhibition at the “Arbeiterkammer Vorarlberg” in Feldkirch:

THE RED LINE
An exhibition about sexualized violence against women

Sexualized violence against women and girls has many faces – from misogynistic slogans, verbal harassment, suggestive looks, discrimination based on belonging to the female gender to forced sexual acts. This form of violence continues to be a massive problem in Europe: Every 3rd woman experiences some form of sexual harassment after the age of 15, every 5th woman experiences physical and/or sexual violence.

Exhibition preview:
Pursued. Engaged. Married. Marriages of convenience into exile.

In March 1938, a race against time began for Austrian Jews. Some Viennese Jewish women saved themselves by entering into a marriage of convenience with a foreign citizen. These marriages were made pro forma, out of solidarity or for payment, in order to get to a country where Jews were not (yet) persecuted. Women who were already in exile entered into marriages of convenience to escape statelessness or to obtain a work permit.

13 women’s fates tell of the different life stories and the opportunities and risks of a sham marriage as a survival strategy – with different outcomes. The theater director Stella Kadmon was able to escape to Palestine, the violinist Alma Rosé was murdered in Auschwitz. Only a few women later told about their sham marriages.

Frauenmuseum, Ausstellung
Frauenmuseum Hittisau © Kristina Stalnionyte
Award winning architecture

The building, which was erected in 2000 by the Vorarlberg architectural firm Cukrovicz Nachbaur Architekten, is the recipient of several awards and was erected on the edge of a ravine that slopes steeply down to the Subersach stream at the site of an erstwhile gravel pit. The building houses a Women’s Museum as well as the local fire service and the Hittisau-Bolgenach music club’s rehearsal room.

While the fire service is oriented slightly towards the main street in the up-sloping terrain, the Women’s Museum in contrast is a wooden cuboid that seemingly floats above the fire service and opens up towards the village centre via a large glass front. A radical materials concept further reinforces the separation of the two functional areas by different spatial orientations. The fire service is composed of concrete, galvanised steel and glass. Meanwhile, the Women’s Museum follows the regional building tradition of only using untreated domestic silver fir for the walls, ceilings and floors.

 

  • Contact & opening hours
    Women’s Museum in Hittisau
    Platz 501
    6952 Hittisau

    Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
    Due to construction works, the Museum is closed until 6 February 2022

    Adults: €9
    Reduced: €8

  • Public tours
    every Monday, 6 p.m.

    Guided tour + admission €12
    Guided tour + admission €5 with V-Card and culture pass

    Group tours available on request.

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