Cookie information
This website uses cookies. If you continue using this website, we shall assume that you agree with the use of cookies. Legal notice

You decide, we display!

Collage aus 3 Bildern: Typoskript, Welle, Kinder an einem See

Which "Special Exhibit" would you like to see at a presentation? Vote now! In this round three extraordinary objects from holdings of the Austrian National Library are available. You can vote from 13 until 26 March 2023. The winning object will be displayed in the State Hall of the Austrian National Library starting 24 July 2023 as well as at a presentation on 1 August 2023.

Into the waters
The cool of the water and a raging torrent

When it comes to water, joy and sorrow go hand in hand. While cool lakes and swimming pools are a refreshing delight in the summer heat, floods and high waters can destroy livelihoods. The objects in the collections of the Austrian National Library reflect the entire range of emotions and experiences with water: in the pond, on the wild waters of the Danube and on the majestic waves of the ocean.

Thank you for voting!On 27 March the winning object will be announced on our website.

Your vote counts!

You decide: Vote here for your favourite object!
Only one vote per IP address possible.


Object 1: The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran
Typescript, undated

The short fairy tale/love story "Die Geheimnisse der Prinzessin von Kagran" (The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran) is an episode in Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina (1971). The first-person narrator writes this legend for her lover Ivan, whom she loves sincerely and unconditionally, but who only sees her as an affair. The story is set more than two thousand years in the past and evokes true love. It ends, however, with the princess' prediction that they will meet again at some time in the future and that he will be her "murderer". This love story is symbolised by the landscape, which is characterised by the wild Danube river with its floods and high waters, in which not only pastures and islands disappear without a trace.

Object 2:Heinrich Kühn: Children playing by the water
Photo, 1907/08

Heinrich Kühn was one of the first to popularise colour photography using so-called autochrome plates introduced in 1907. Kühn, who had a doctorate in medicine, lived in Innsbruck and devoted himself entirely to art photography (pictorialism), with which he enjoyed international success and was represented in many exhibitions (including at the Vienna Secession). Kühn only photographed in colour for a few years. He mainly used his family and children as motifs. This colour photograph from Birgitz in Tyrol shows his children by a pond. It was the publication of the photo in the English-language art magazine "The Studio" in 1908 that gave artistic colour photography its worldwide breakthrough.

Object 3: Claude Debussy: La mer
Score, first edition, 1905

Two of Claude Debussy's great passions come together in the first printing of his three "Symphonic Sketches" La mer: Throughout his life, he was attracted by the sea and was an equally intense enthusiast for Japanese art. He was particularly attached to the work of the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Debussy selected the images for the covers of his works himself and for the 1905 publication of La mer chose Hokusai's world-famous woodcut "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" from the series "36 Views of Mount Fuji". Debussy's composition is not based on a specific observation of the sea, but was inspired by his memories of it as well as by depictions of the sea from the fine arts – such as those by Hokusai.

JavaScript deaktiviert oder Chat nicht verfügbar.
Signal Chat Live Chat