North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Siberia

The North African, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Siberian Collection at the Weltmuseum Wien, with its inventory of nearly 25,000 objects, numbers among the world’s most important collections pertaining to the everyday culture and characteristic objects of the regions it covers. The objectives that have determined the collecting strategy of this department over the past decades are reflected in the individual areas of the collection.

One major goal during the second half of the twentieth century was to systematically and selectively document Oriental handwork and arts and crafts throughout the ages, while another was to cover the symbolic forms in which folk religiosity was expressed in the four great monotheistic religions of the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism). This approach entailed that few if any objects were document and collected as “artworks,” most being instead acquired and studied in their historical, socioeconomic and cultural contexts. The by now mainly historical collections cover everyday culture in the Maghreb, Egypt, Anatolia, Iran and Afghanistan during the 19th and 20th century, as well as the material culture of the so-called “little peoples” of the Russian Far East around 1900.

Selected objects

Souvenirs aus Südjemen: Indischer Rundschild, lokal gefertigte Deckelkörbe und chinesische Riechfläschchen
Slg.: Karl Alexander Anselm von Hügel
Slg.: Museum Miramar
Slg.: Adolph Traugott Dattan
Öllampen, mesbah
Slg.: Emil Benedikt
Schatulle mit Spiegel und Toilettrequisiten für einen Mann
Slg.: unbekannt
Wandbehang, pardeh-qalamkâr
Slg.: Fritz Willfort
Töpfereiarbeiten aus Oberägypten: Vasen, Krüge, Flaschen, Deckeldose, Vogelfigur mit Krokodil am Rücken, zoomorphe Hornhautentferner
Slg.: Josef Szombathy
Koptische und griechisch-orthodoxe Religiosa
Slg.: Peter Wolfgang Schienerl
Jüdischer Eheurkunde, ketubba
Slg.: Alfred Janata
Vorratstöpfe und zweiteilger Kochtopf
Slg.: Renate Menzel


Weltmuseum Wien
Neue Burg
Heldenplatz, 1010 Wien
Tel. +43 1 534 30 – 5052 oder 5053

Wissenschaftliche MitarbeiterInnen