The museum’s history
“A different kind of museum”
The history of the first Austrian museum of labour begins with the Upper Austrian regional exhibition titled “Labour/Man/Machine. The path to an industrialised society” in 1987. Inspired by the “Dig where you stand” movement, it was envisaged as a museum of a different kind that would do more than just museumise labour. The declared goal was to enable people to experience the volatility of the future by shedding light on the historic forces of change.
When the regional exhibition was transformed to be shown in a permanent museum, the decision to take the path of a “museum in the making” was made. Instead of rigidly holding on to tried-and-tested methods, the institution was to interact with its surroundings in a flexible way. In this vein, temporary exhibitions were to constantly change the museum’s appearance.
Ever since, the museum has featured a widely varied programme, ranging from exhibitions about the history of technology to socio-historical and socio-political issues. The museum’s trademark, however, are its exhibitions dealing with contemporary Austrian history.
From 2016 back to the beginnings of the museum in 1987
Forced labour under National Socialism
This international travelling exhibition was the first to offer a comprehensive narrative of the systematic exploitation under Nazi rule and its consequences. In Austria, it was on show exclusively at the Museum Arbeitswelt from 15 May to 18 December 2016.
An exhibition by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, initiated and sponsored by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future”. www.ausstellung-zwangsarbeit.at
COME TO STAY – 50 Years of Labour Migration
A travelling exhibition on the history of labour migration in Austria, initiated by “migrare – Centre for Migrants in Upper Austria” and “Volkshilfe Refugee and Migrant Support Upper Austria”.
Curator: Michael John
Memories with a Future
A crowd-built exhibition:
Seventy years after the liberation of Steyr and the end of the Second World War, 100 project participants from various education institutions went on a cross-generational search for traces of memory. Their discoveries formed the exhibition titled “Memories with a Future”.
Idea, concept & implementation: Museum Arbeitswelt | Exhibition design: Erich Aufreiter (grafik.er:ich)
FROM BOOM TO CIVIL WAR. Steyr between 1914 and 1934
Special exhibition at the Museum Arbeitswelt on the social, political and economic development of Steyr from the outbreak of the First World War to the Austrian Civil War in February 1934.
Curator: Florian Wenninger
working_world.net – Working and Living in a Globalised World
Permanent exhibition at the Museum Arbeitswelt on the present and future of labour and the consequences of globalisation on working, living and society.
Scientific lead: Josef Weidenholzer, JKU Linz | Design: Arno Grünberger, Spurwien
AT YOUR SERVICE – Art and the World of Labour
An exhibition by the Vienna Technical Museum and the ERSTE Foundation.
The Just – Courage Is Your Decision
An exhibition by the Austrian Friends of Yad VaShem.
Curated and designed by Michael John, Albert Lichtblau and Manfred Lindorfer.
Another Type of Globalisation
Photo exhibition by Katharina Mouratidi, 2012
Environment – Between Conflict and Cooperation
Special exhibition by Adelphi Research, Adelphi Consult and Weltformat Design, 2011
Home Game : Away Game – Migration in Austrian Football
Special exhibition on the occasion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, in cooperation with Fare and fairplay, 2010
No Glitter and Glamour. Prostitution and the Trafficking of Women in Times of Globalisation
Travelling exhibition by Terre des Femmes – Human Rights for Women, 2010
Images of Work and Life
Photographs and stories from 1900 to 1970, 2009
Ferdinand Redtenbacher. Steyr’s Very Own “Leonardo”
Special exhibition on the occasion of the 200th birthday of the founder of scientific engineering, 2009
Our Steyr Diary, Volume 2: Generations
Project exhibition in cooperation with the retirement and nursing home Steyr Münichholz and the Steyr Secondary School for Economic Professions, 2009
Fanshop der Globalsierung
Sonderschau der deutschen Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 2008
Our Steyr Diary, Volume 1: Migration
Project exhibition in cooperation with eight Steyr-based schools and the Paraplü Centre for Integration, 2008
ANTI-SOCIAL. Travelling exhibition Welfare State Austria
Travelling exhibition of the Working Community Youth against Violence and Racism, Graz, 2007
The Austrian State Treaty Myth. Stories from History
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Austrian State Treaty and the 60th anniversary of the Second Republic, 2005
The Persecution and Annihilation of European Jewry 1933-1945
Travelling exhibition of the House of the Wannsee Conference Educational and Memorial Site, Berlin, 2004
The suitcase of Adele Kurzweil
Special exhibition of the Working Community Youth against Violence and Racism, Graz, 2003
Time-travelling to Europe, 2003
Inventors. Patents. Austria
Technological developments and their inventors, 2002
Women at work
Women. Labour. Society, 2002
Faces of Islam
Photograph exhibition by Michael Obert, 2001
An Austrian from Europe, 2001
An exhibition against oblivion, 2000
His times and more, 2000
No One Is Born a Racist
A story for today, 1999
Period montages on labour and culture of the industrial region of Steyr, 1998
Pictures of Humankind
Labour and leisure in the industrial age, 1997
People as Special Waste
HIV and AIDS, 1996
The future of information society, 1995
The history of five Jewish families, 1994
A history of the computer, 1993
500 Years of America
Discovery – Destruction – Defiance, 1992
100 years of Catholic social teachings, 1991
The history of metal workers, 1990
Red in the Country
100 years of Austria’s Social Democrats in the countryside, 1989
The Robots Are Coming
The future of the industrialised society, 1988
The path to an industrialised society, 1987