The Vienna Künstlerhaus is an exhibition place, 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 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 those art lovers, as well as a voice for its members in matters of cultural-policy. In addition to the exhibition house, the association also runs the Künstlerhaus cinema housing a theater (brut Koproduktionshaus) and a restaurant.
Since 1998, the management of the house has been pursuing a new exhibition program, focusing on architecture, interdisciplinary theme-exhibitions, international cooperations as well as exhibitions by members. In addition to the almost 2000 square meters of the two-level exhibition area for major exhibitions within the main house, the house gallery on the ground floor and the cinema gallery within the cinema foyer are put at the members' disposal. The passage gallery located next to the subway passage is offered especially to young artists as media-forum, for experiments and for projections at live events.
Beside the exhibition program, the Künstlerhaus also offers a wide variety of events, ranging from discussions and exhibition-related events, to international film festivals in the cinema.