The Weltmuseum Wien will reopen at the end of 2017 in the historical complex of the Vienna Hofburg, the former Imperial Palace at the Heldenplatz. Its aim is to connect cultures and people from all over the world in a unique way by offering new perspectives on culture, history and tradition for the visitors. The museum should hence become a cultural center for people of all ages and backgrounds. In 14 representative galleries, which will be arranged like a necklace of stories one after the other, the main collection will be shown and interpreted from a modern standpoint.

One of the 14 galleries of the new Weltmuseum Wien will be the gallery Into a New World which will offer an impression of native cultures of North America. The collection will show objects from four regions (the West, the North, the Center and the East) in North America, giving evidence of the diversity and dynamism of native cultures.

The North American Plains with their nomadic and equestrian cultures have become both an archetype as well as a stereotype for American Indians. However, this way of life only developed after the introduction of the European horse. Dominant as these images still are in the public’s imagination (i.e. a warlike people riding horseback and hunting buffalo), the Plains cultures were not the only native tradition in North America. Other regions showed very different traditions: From the primeval forests in the east, through the Great Plains in the center of the continent, crossing the Rocky Mountains to the temperate rainforests of the West, right up to the Arctic desert of the North. The populations of these four regions demonstrate how diverse and dynamic native cultures of North America were and indeed still are. Despite oppression and destruction, these cultures are still very vibrant. The exhibits will show that traditional materials and shapes are still being used and produced. Yet, adaptations and innovations continue to be introduced. Today, additional native identities find expression in new media and forms. Items such as baseball caps with labels like “Native Pride” and national flags with symbols of tribal identities represent this new way of expression. Hence, the Viennese collection demonstrates both, old and changing traditions in an exemplary way.

For doing the costly renovation and conservation measures for the precious objects, as well as conducting research work in connection with the new exhibits and other culturally diverse events, the Weltmuseum Wien runs a sponsoring and fundraising campaign.

For further information please visit the website of the Weltmuseum Wien.