Mag. Rocco Leuzzi MSc
Office of the Lower Austrian Federal Government, Department of Art and Culture
A-3109 St. Pölten, Landhausplatz 1
The State of Lower Austria has had an extensive Folk Life collection since the Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum was established in 1911. Systematic surveying and cataloguing began in the 1930s. Its holdings took shape through the incorporation of existing private collections and active collecting on the part of the museum staff. Particularly noteworthy in this regard were their “collection expeditions”, in which objects were collected in micro-regions through a targeted search on the respective sites. The collection holdings were expanded in the course of founding the Museum für Volkskultur in Groß Schweinbarth, a museum for folk life in operation from 1985 to 2011. The Folk Life collection is currently undergoing a process of scholarly reassessment and systematic expansion, with a strong focus on collecting objects of everyday culture from the recent past.
THE FOCUS OF THE COLLECTION
The Folk Life collection and its approximately 30,000 objects serve to document the cultural history of everyday life and festivities in Lower Austria. The large number of traditional, artisanal and commercial objects and household goods is joined by specific collection categories such as a traditional costumes and textiles collection, a large collection of devotional illustrations, a collection of rustic furniture, and a collection of votive images from sacred folk art and pilgrimages.
An extensive library of specialised literature has been tailored to the collection holdings.