Klaus Albrecht Schröder announces his Departure
After more than a quarter of a century, director Klaus Albrecht Schröder announces his departure. He already has an idea for his successor. Klaus Albrecht Schröder standing in the Albertina lobby answering questions from the ORF team. One would like to know from the director of the Vienna Art Museum what he thinks about the actions of the “last generation” that moves the climate. Schroeder doesn’t mince his words: “Risking myself to die on camera.”
Although the activists claimed they didn’t want any harm, they were causing a great deal of harm simply by asking a place like Albertina to dedicate resources to additional checks and straining the patience of its visitors. Nor does Schroeder think of as much action as the Tyrolean State Museum, which offers activists a space to serve tomato soup or mashed potatoes. The ORF man leaves with a satisfied face and sexy quotes on the box.
No one who wants to consider a possible contract extension talks like that. Schroeder’s appointment as general manager of the Albertina complex expires at the end of 2024. So it should end for him after 26 years, he says in an interview with this newspaper. He himself decided. “I didn’t want people to wonder, do we have to remove it?” Under Schroeder, the house, which had previously mainly featured his collection of classic prints, was modernized and expanded, both in terms of space and content.
Great impetus came from the combination of the Batliner Collection with many works of Classical Modernism – an era which, in Schroeder’s words, historically surpassed Austria’s “imperial collections”. Even if that means a long term, the role should be announced in the coming weeks. “In the first quarter”, it was confirmed at the home of the responsible Austrian Minister of Culture, Andrea Meyer (appointed by the Greens). One is with her “in absolute agreement”, stating on both sides.
Canonical White Men
In that case, Schroeder’s word should carry weight in the succession plan. On the one hand, he speaks of the hope of a living European participant in the call for participation, but also of a “qualified figure” within the company that means Angela Steif, curator of contemporary art and director of Modern Albertina. “She runs this house very well and is very much at home in the neoclassical style.” Of course: “It’s up to the politicians to decide.”
Born in Augsburg but working in Vienna for two and a half decades, Steve took office at the newly formed Modern Albertina chapter in the summer of 2020. The left liberal standard has described her as a “shining star” and with the keywords ” feminist, diverse and young”. The exhibition “Gender, Ethnicity and Gender Diversity”, which will be held this fall, will be an identity card. According to the advertisement, the image that previous exhibitions and collections had given the Albertina was deeply one-sided, shaped by white men from Michelangelo to Warhol. The 21st century has broken this law.
When asked if diversity was not a buzzword, he replied: “Of course, but if you want to use a buzzword to suggest that it is insubstantial and likely to have no justification, then I disagree.” Woke or MeToo, diversity, gender or whatever, because they build barriers more than they break them down.” But their justification is undeniable. “What movement, born of deep darkness, does not transcend? Does this make the move obsolete? number.”
Schroeder points to the recently completed Basquiat Gallery. This attracted a hitherto unnoticed audience in Albertina, many blacks. “Why has it taken me so long to implement a program that you find relevant and up-to-date as well? Why didn’t we do this sooner without flushing the baby with the bathwater? Has Michelangelo become less important as a result? Not to mention! But we have to reflect on the social diversity.” A museum that changes with social evolution.”