Mummies in Tweed? Wes Anderson Is Bringing His Retro Whimsy to Vienna’s Art History Museum for His Curatorial Debut

The filmmaker is curating the show with his partner, Juman Malouf.

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf. Courtesy of Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

Vienna’s preeminent art history museum, the Kunsthistoriches Museum, intrigued audiences earlier this year when it announced that acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson and his partner, illustrator and costume designer Juman Malouf, were going to curate an exhibition there.

Now, the museum has finally released a few details about the mysterious project, which will be called “The Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures from the Kunsthistorisches Museum​.” The exhibition dates have also changed, moving back a few months from September to early November.

In a brief teaser video, museum curator Jasper Sharp gives a quick rundown of some of the kinds of objects viewers can expect to see. “We have given Wes and Juman a very special but somewhat overwhelming invitation: to sort through all of the objects in our museum,” Sharp says in the video. The collections contain “an embarrassment of riches,” he says, including Egyptian mummies, Greek and Roman antiquities, Old Master paintings, and crown jewels.

Sharp says the project is unlike anything the museum has done before. It is, however, part of an unusual ongoing exhibition series that began in 2012 to invite artists in various fields to curate their first shows. First up that year was American photographer Ed Ruscha, followed by British artist and author Edmund de Waal in 2016.

Anderson is known around the world for his quirky vintage aesthetic and highly curated film sets, which makes the leap to curating at the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Austria’s largest and most prestigious arts institution, seem like a natural fit.

“The Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures from the Kunsthistorisches Museum​” will be on view at the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna from November 6, 2018–April 28, 2019. 

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