Internationally Unique Furniture Museum

Originally established to store the imperial furniture holdings, today the Imperial Furniture Collection in Wien contains 165,000 objects, and is thus one of the largest collections of furniture in the world. Displays include items of imperial furniture, various furnishing styles such as Biedermeier, Historicism and the Viennese Modern movement, and contemporary furniture design. Temporary exhibitions explore the architecture, design and furniture of the twentieth century or famous personalities from the Habsburg dynasty.


The Hofmobiliendepot Imperial Furniture Collection houses outstanding holdings of historical cultural artefacts. The core of the collection is original items of furniture from the Habsburg court household that were used to furnish Schönbrunn Palace, the Belvedere, Laxenburg and many other imperial residences. On display are carpets, chandeliers, paintings, tableware, chairs, tables, beds, commodes and even entire suites. Linked to individual personalities such as Prince Eugene of Savoy, Crown Prince Rudolf or Empress Elisabeth, these objects reflect not only political events and imperial court ceremonial but also day-to-day life.


The 6,500 items on display derive from the furniture depository established by Empress Maria Theresa in 1747 in which all the furniture of the imperial court household was stored and maintained until the end of the monarchy. The depository has been in the ownership of the Republic of Austria since 1919, and in 1924 the first permanent display was opened. The current display goes back to 1998, when the museum was reopened following extensive remodelling and restoration. The reorientation of the museum was to focus not only on presenting the holdings according to customary museum conventions but also to emphasise its continuing role as a repository. Thus ‘walk-in’ access was created to a repository, which has remained virtually unchanged since the time of Emperor Franz Joseph. The museum still provides furniture for federal offices, embassies and state receptions.


Since its reopening, the museum has also focused on Viennese furniture design from the Modern era to the present day, holding items of furniture by major Austrian architects such as Adolf Loos, Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann or Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and also contemporary designers. It also collects ensembles that are slowly but surely disappearing from the contemporary cityscape. Temporary exhibitions explore individual aspects of architecture and design in the twentieth century.


The Imperial Furniture Collection has always had a particularly close relationship with the film industry. Up to the 1970s almost all films shot in Vienna sourced their furniture from the repository, including the legendary Sisi films directed by Ernst Marischka made in the 1950s.


This internationally unique furniture collection is managed by Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. (SKB), which also operates the imperial attractions at Schönbrunn.