Where to See Gustav Klimt's Art Around the Globe

The Albertina Museum in Vienna has a few artworks by Klimt in its permanent collection
The Albertina Museum in Vienna has a few artworks by Klimt in its permanent collection | © Cum Okolo / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lena Blos
5 March 2021

Austrian painter Gustav Klimt is one of history’s most important artists, most widely associated with the Vienna Secession movement. The artist is most renowned for his Golden Phase at the turn of the 20th century, in which time his focus on the female body and eroticism culminated in some of the most significant works of modern art. Today, Klimt’s art is on display in temporary and permanent exhibitions around the world – from Vienna to New York.

Neue Galerie

Museum, Park
Map View
New York, NY, USA - Dec 24, 2020: Neue Galerie museum entrance dedicated to German and Austrian art at 86th St and Fifth Avenue
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The Neue Galerie on the Museum Mile in New York City exhibits the works of Klimt and his contemporaries, with a focus on early-20th-century German and Austrian artists. The upper floor of the museum is dedicated to fine and decorative art, including paintings by Klimt, Egon Schiele (protégé of Gustav Klimt) and Oskar Kokoschka CBE. Since 2006, the museum has been home to Klimt’s famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold (1907), considered to be one of the artist’s greatest paintings from his Golden Phase. The gallery’s collection also includes a selection of sculptures and photographs, highlighting the relationship between the fine and decorative arts in Vienna during the early 1900s.

Leopold Museum

Museum
Map View
Vienna, Austria ? June 3, 2017. Exterior view of Leopold Museum on Museumsplatz in the Museumsquartier in Vienna, with people.
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The Leopold Museum, which opened its doors in 2001, offers the largest collection of modern Austrian art, with over 5,000 exhibitions, including the largest collection of Egon Schiele. At the heart of the exhibition are Austrian works from the first half of the 20th century, highlighting the transformation from Art Noveau to Expressionism. The museum is home to a variety of Klimt’s masterpieces, such as Death and Life (1906–1916) and Attersee (1900), alongside a collection of approximately 100 drawings. Exhibitions at the Leopold Museum represent some of the most significant works by Austrian artists, including Kokoschka and Gerstl.

The Secession Building

Museum, Architectural Landmark
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Art nouveau Secession building and traffic in Friedrichstrasse in Vienna, Austria
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The Art Nouveau Secession Building was erected in 1897 as an architectural manifesto of the Vienna Secession group, marking their break with conservative exhibition space Künstlerhaus. Above the entrance, visitors can inspect the Secessionist motto “To every age its art, to every art its freedom.” The Secession Building is home to Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, which was created for an exhibition in 1902. The 34-metre-long (112ft) painting depicts Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The final section of the painting (the embracing lovers surrounded by angels) is also known as This Kiss to the Whole World and is considered one of Klimt’s most notable works. The upper levels of the Secession Building feature a variety of temporary exhibitions by modern artists.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Library, Museum
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Maria Theresa Square in Vienna. Museum of Natural History in Vienna. Art History Museum in Vienna.
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Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (Museum of Art History) is considered one of the five most significant fine-art museums in the world, with collections of Egyptian, Greek and Roman Antiquities, alongside sculptural works and pieces of decorative art. The impressive palace, in which the museum is located, was first opened in 1891 and primarily exhibits works of the Habsburg collection. The museum’s stairwell features 40 spandrel paintings and other works between arches and columns, 11 of which were created by Gustav Klimt. The decoration features themes from the history of art, ranging from ancient Egypt to modernity. The frescoes are brilliant examples of Klimt’s artistic prowess and provide magnificent insight into his unique style.

Belvedere

Museum
Map View
The Upper Belvedere, Vienna, Wien, Austria, Europe.
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Partly founded by Klimt, the Belvedere in Vienna showcases an extensive selection of Austrian art. The Baroque palace is home to the world’s largest collection of Klimt’s oil paintings, which includes Judith (1901) and his most famous piece, The Kiss (1907–1908). Painted during his Golden Period, this signature piece depicts a robed couple embracing among flowers and has become one of the most famous Austrian paintings. The Belvedere’s permanent Klimt collection also includes a sketchbook and landscapes.

Albertina

Museum
Map View
Palais Erzherzog Albrecht with art collection Albertina, Vienna, Austria, world heritage. Image shot 2015. Exact date unknown.
© Dirk Renckhoff / Alamy Stock Photo
In 2012, Vienna’s Albertina gallery in the city’s stately First District held an exhibition of Klimt’s work called The Drawings. It featured 170 pages of Klimt’s preliminary and complete sketches, created using pencils, chalk, pen and watercolours. The collection heavily focused on nude images of the female form. Today, you’ll find just a couple of Klimt’s creations in Albertina’s permanent collection. Pieces are rotated regularly and have included the popular Water Nymphs (Silverfish) from 1899.

Theatermuseum

Museum
Map View

Come to the Theatermuseum, in the Palais Lobkowitz in Vienna, to see Klimt’s Nuda Veritas (Naked Truth) from 1899. The artwork features a naked woman holding a mirror beneath the Friedrich Schiller quote “If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please many is bad.” Nuda Veritas was given to the museum by artist Hermann Bahr and is on permanent display, along with reproductions of letters written by Klimt. The Theatermuseum is also a stunning piece of art in its own right.

Amy Blyth contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on March 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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