Lonely Planet review for Leopold Museum
This museum is named after Rudolf Leopold, a Viennese ophthalmologist who, on buying his first Egon Schiele (1890–1918) for a song as a young student in 1950, started to amass a huge private collection of mainly 19th-century and modernist Austrian artworks. In 1994 he sold the lot – 5266 paintings – to the Austrian government for €160 million (sold individually, the paintings would have made him €574 million), and the Leopold Museum was born. The building has a white, limestone exterior, open space (the 21m-high glass-covered atrium is lovely) and natural light flooding most rooms. Considering Rudolf Leopold’s love of Schiele, it’s no surprise the museum contains the largest collection of the painter’s work in the world. Other artists well represented include Albin Egger-Lienz (1868–1926), Richard Gerstl (1883–1908) and Austria’s third-greatest expressionist, Kokoschka (1886–1980). Works by Loos, Hoffmann, (Otto) Wagner, Waldmüller and Romako are also on display. Audio guides (bring your passport for ID) in English and German are available for €3, as are free guided tours in German at 3pm on Saturday and Sunday and at 6pm Thursday. A joint ticket covering the Leopold and the Kunsthistorisches Museum costs adult/concession €17/11. On the top floor is Café Leopold.