Largest Klimt/Schiele collection returns to Vienna
March 22, 2018
Crown Fine Art was responsible for moving the Klimt/Schiele exhibition from the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia and back again between October 2017 and January 2018. On the return journey, our art logistics experts battled snowy conditions and airport delays to care for the works of the great symbolist painter Gustav Klimt and his protégée, Egon Schiele.
The exhibition, which coincides with the centenary of both artists’ deaths, is the largest Klimt/Schiele show ever, featuring 96 works by Vienna’s modern masters. Given the enormous value of the cargo, the paintings and delicate sketches were packed into 17 crates split into three batches, which were flown back to Vienna separately to reduce risk. Each shipment was accompanied at all stages by representatives of the Albertina Museum.
'Self Portrait (Man in Orange Jacket)' by Egon Schiele. Image courtesy of the Albertina Museum
At Crown Fine Art, we plan every step of an artwork’s journey in incredible detail and anticipate any issues well in advance. Given the location and time of year, the first and biggest challenge that had to be overcome was the weather. To minimize exposure of the crates to the Russian winter air, our handlers carefully loaded them into a small vehicle pulled up close to the museum’s side door and drove them to a bigger truck at some distance from the museum.
Once the three shipments arrived at the airport, there were some setbacks. However, prepared for any eventuality, our teams were unfazed by a three-day delay to the flights carrying the second and third batches. The artworks were kept secure during the wait in a climate-controlled warehouse with CCTV security at Sheremetyevo International Airport. As well as safeguarding the artwork, our Logistics Coordinator made sure the arts’ couriers were well cared for in the interim.
Thanks to the careful planning of our team, the paintings and the Albertina’s representatives returned home to Vienna safe and sound.