One of the top tourist attractions in Vienna is the Albertina museum which is home to one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings. The museum holds permanent exhibitions on two significant collections of Impressionist and early 20th century art, as well as frequent temporary exhibitions too.
The original building was taken over by Duke Albert of Saxen-Teschen who used it as his residence and later brought his graphics collection there from Brussels. The collection was expanded by Albert’s successors. In 1776, the Austrian ambassador of Venice presented nearly 1,000 pieces of art to Duke Albert and his wife Maria Christina.
Since 1805 it has been founded in one of the most magnificent neoclassical palaces in Europe: the Palais Albertina. The Batliners then set up the Herbert and Rita Batliner Art Foundation, which transferred the artworks to the Albertina as a permanent loan. The museum houses works from the Swiss collection of Eva and Mathias Forberg, around 100 works from the Batliner Collection, outstanding works by Paul Klee from the Carl Djerassi Collection, paintings by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Miró, Klee, Kandinsky, Chagall, and other masters along with late works by Picasso and exhibits by Rothko and Bacon and works by contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter.
Although the Albertina is a state museum, it is particularly fortunate because it gets a larger proportion of its budget from the private sector than other museums in Austria. When in Vienna, the museum is a must see by all the art lovers.