Ever since the American filmmaker Wes Anderson gained acclaim for his stylized films such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Unlimited, he’s been lauded for his narratives as much as his film sets.
His particular sense of aesthetics has been called upon to do more than directing – he’s designed the interior of Bar Luce, the bar and café of the Fondazione Prada in Milan, for one, and now, he’s been asked by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna to curate a personal selection of objects taken from the museum’s historical collections.
This time, Anderson joins forces with his partner Juman Malouf, a designer and illustrator for theatre, film and fashion, as well as a novelist.
Both remarkably creative people, Anderson and Malouf are perfectly cut out for this task.
They’ve named their exhibition ‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, a fittingly whimsical title to accompany their combined finds.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum has an enourmous wealth of collections – fourteen in all – that comprise objects from Egypt, the Near East, Ancient Greece and Rome, a Kunstkammer and much more. But that didn’t seem to be enough for Anderson and Malouf: for their exhibition, they also drew from the Imperial Treasury, the Imperial Carriage Museum, the Coin Collection, Schloss Ambras Innsbruck and the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s storage. Some of the objects the couple have chosen are on public display for the very first time.
Not only does ‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’ give visitors a sense of the type of objects that caught Anderson and Malouf’s eye – a reflection of their personal tastes and aesthetic quirks – it also gives a peek into the massive and magnificent collection that the Kunsthistorisches Museum houses.