December 24 2012 will be the 175th anniversary of the birth of Empress Elisabeth.
Visitors to the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments in the Vienna Hofburg will be given new insights into the life of Empress Elisabeth. From 10 September the Trabantenstube will house a new exhibition space devoted to the empress’s children, featuring biographies of each child together with original exhibits associated with them, such as the buttoned boots worn by Archduchess Marie Valerie, a letter with enclosed flower written to her mother by Gisela, the couple’s eldest surviving daughter, or the lederhosen and hunting waistcoat worn by Crown Prince Rudolf. The role of Elisabeth and Franz Joseph as parents is also explored.
The new exhibition space in the Large Antechamber belonging to the empress’s suite is devoted to the empress’s brothers and sisters, who have always been overshadowed by their prominent sibling. Now they are being called before the curtain in the form of life-size photographic figures which present the touching and sometimes harrowing stories of their lives.
The empress’s bathroom makes a fresh and colourful impression in honour of the 175th anniversary of her birth: the original wallpaper has been carefully removed and replaced with an exact replica. The bathroom is currently the object of research which aims to restore the original sanitary fixtures and furnishings.
Another project carried out on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of Empress Elisabeth’s birth was the restoration of the famous pair of portraits by Franz Xaver Winterhalter showing Sisi in a ball gown with the famous diamond stars in her hair and Franz Joseph in full dress uniform. Each painting and its frame took two months to restore. Today the portraits are resplendent in their original colours with all their details visible once more.
The Sisi Museum has been housed in part of the empress’s original residential apartments since 2004. Operated by the Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und BetriebsgesmbH (SKB), the museum enables the visitor to explore the life of the empress through a sensitively staged display of more than 300 personal objects that foregrounds authenticity and avoids popular cliché.
Kaiserappartements, Sisi Museum, Silberkammer
Hofburg /Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Vienna
Ph: +43 1 533 75 70
Opening hours daily from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Uta Hauft, tatwort - nachhaltige projekte
Ph: +43 1 409 55 81-11