The Vienna Künstlerhaus is a cultural center, rich in tradition. The historical building dating back to the era of the Ringstraße was built on the centrally located Karlsplatz next to the equally world famous building of the Musikverein (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, New Year's Concert) in 1868 as an event site and exhibition house for the oldest artist association of Austria. Since 1945, the building has been continuously adapted into a modern exhibition house.
The house is still owned by "The Association of Austrian Artists Künstlerhaus" founded in 1861. The independant, private association with nearly 500 member artists comprises a variety of fields such as painting, sculpting, architecture, applied arts and film, and sees itself as a platform for artists and art lovers.
The Künstlerhaus exhibition program is focusing on contemporary art, architecture, design, media, film, interdisciplinary theme-exhibitions, international cooperations as well as exhibitions by members.
Beside the exhibition program the Künstlerhaus also offers a wide variety of discussions, lectures, performances and other exhibition-related events.
In addition to the almost 2000 square meters of the two-level exhibition area for major exhibitions, the Künstlerhaus houses the experimental theater „brut Wien“ developing new performances in cooperation with independent groups from the international theater scene, the contemporary and retrospective art house cinema „Stadtkino“ showing original versions of films and the young urban restaurant „Ludwig & Adele“.
Künstlerhaus traditionally is one of the annual locations of the international Viennale Film Festival (founded 1962 in the Künstlerhaus). From 2014, Künstlerhaus is hosting the „Wiener Festwochen“ festival center.