This month, the Openhouse Gallery in New York hosted a free Austrian pop-up shop, which gave visitors a glimpse into what they could experience in terms of art, food, tours, culture, hotels, festivals, museums, and outdoor spaces if they visited Austria.
While the space itself was small, it had a lot to offer. The girls who worked the exhibit were extremely helpful and were happy to walk around with me to explain exactly what everything was I was looking at.
When first walking in, I was immediately struck by a giant painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt called “The Kiss”. In 2012, Vienna will celebrate his 150th birthday with an array of event and exhibits in his honor.
If visitors needed help planning a trip to visit Austria, the pop-up shop featured a travel lounge, as well, with comfortable white, leather couches and a table of tour packets, culinary books, travel advice, and even an Austrian memory and matching game called Craz.The most interactive part of the exhibit, and by far my favorite, was the sampling station. Authentic Austrian goodies to try included:
- Pumpkin seed oil and pieces of bread for dipping
- Viennese cookies from the Vienna Cookie Company
- Gðlles specialty vinegar
- Rupp Alina cheeses
- Zotter hand made organic chocolate
The next section of the pop-up shop expanded on the idea of art, design, and theater in Austria. Visitors were able to take a look at some Austrian craftsmanship from Wien Products, such as vases and other housewares. Pieces of outdoor furniture that are used to help create the lively atmosphere in the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, one of the largest museums quarters in the world, were also on display.
Visitors could also learn about the theater culture of Austria, with the “Sound of Music” installation. The show, which is set in Austria, will debut at the Salzburger Landestheatre this Fall from October 23, 2011 to June 30, 2012. As you continue walking, you will also be able to explore a small gallery of historical Austrian paintings by Austrian artists.
At the end of the visit to the Openhouse Gallery’s Austrian pop-up shop (or the beginning, if you wanted), visitors were invited to enjoy some traditional Viennese coffee and desert in their Cafe Sacher, which included:
- Wiener Melange- an espresso coffee with foamed milk
- Grosser Brauner- a double espresso coffee with cream
- a slice of original Sachertorte mit schlag with whipped cream
- a homemade piece of Viennese apple strudel
The waitresses were even dressed in a traditional dirndl-style costume.
Interested in booking a trip to Austria? Visit the Austrian Tourism Board website. Want to know more about pop-up installations at the Openhouse Gallery in New York? Check out Paul Gerben’s Pickers Cafe that will be going on into 2012.