Austrian Museum Quality Seal

Jury renews Austrian Museum Quality Seal for NHM Vienna until 2027

On 12 October 2022, the NHM Vienna was awarded the Austrian Museum Quality Seal in the festive atmosphere of the Klagenfurt Landhaus. In its statement, the jury of the Austrian Museum Quality Seal, which is composed of experts from ICOM Austria and the Museumsbund Österreich, expresses its satisfaction with the fact that the NHM Vienna continues to meet the standards of the Austrian Museum Quality Seal. The Museum Quality Seal has therefore been extended until 2027.
Statement of the Jury:
The Natural History Museum Vienna is one Austria’s most renowned museums. The sheer size of the institution and its collections is impressive. While such major museums have great significance, they run the danger of petrification with a view to different spheres of influence - a problem that can be translated, for instance, into a never-changing permanent exhibition and resistance to requests for change.

For museums it is particularly important, however, to maintain their development, constantly reviewing their own activities and solving current challenges, if they do not want to be perceived as an inflexible, backward-looking institution.

Procedural transparency is required to counteract possible conflicts of interest in development processes and in the elaboration of joint projects and plans, perspectives and visions. In this context, the museum concept developed by the Director General of the NHM Vienna deserves special highlighting. As clearly formulated as it is courageous, this concept identifies goals and problems, contains concrete projects and strategies, but also visions, and it addresses opportunities for improvement.

The museum concept of the NHM Vienna focuses on the next 20 years and aims to promote both the international networking of its staff and the significance of the museum in the local and regional context. It is obvious that this paper was not just developed to be filed away in a drawer, as exemplified by the pesticide management system that has been initiated, by the framework for action for the digitalisation strategy and visitor communication, and especially by Deck 50, which was set up as a laboratory offering easy access to children and families.

Active efforts are being made at the NHM Vienna, and indeed there is a need for action, as not all parts of the permanent exhibition meet the latest standards: there is the need to develop a common collection strategy and common standards of digitalisation, and the provenance of the collection (e.g. with regard to colonialism) needs to be screened, to single out but a few issues.
Many innovations are already being experienced by the visitors, but a great deal is happening behind the scenes. In this context we would like to make special mention of the museum’s commitment to environmental and climate protection (Austrian Eco-label 2021), for example, through the planned expansion of the photovoltaic system and the greening of the car fleet.

The NHM Vienna not only aims to be one of Austria's best-known museums, it has set out to become, in many respects, a pioneering museum in Austria.

Jury Chairperson
Mag. Heimo Kaindl
Director, Diözesanmuseum Graz
Jury members
Mag. Carl Aigner
Director (ret.), Museum Niederösterreich
Mag. Evelyn Kaindl-Ranzinger
Managing Director, MUSIS - Styrian Museum Association
Mag. Lisa Noggler-Gürtler
Director, Museum der Völker, Schwaz
Mag. Dr. Karl C. Berger
Director, Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum, Innsbruck
Ing. Michael Weese
Director, Freilichtmuseum Salzburg, Großgmain

: NHM Vienna Director General Dr. Katrin Vohland (third from left) is awarded the Austrian Museum Quality Seal on behalf of the NHM Vienna.
NHM Vienna Director General Dr. Katrin Vohland (third from left) is awarded the Austrian Museum Quality Seal on behalf of the NHM Vienna.