Veronika Stachel
ifk Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2023 bis 30. June 2024

The Founding History of the Weltmuseum Wien


Vienna’s Museum für Völkerkunde (now called the Weltmuseum Wien) was opened on May 25, 1928. Its debut was preceded by decades of debates about the presentation of the ethnographic collections in Austria’s possession, as well as the purpose and orientation of ethnological museums as such. Centering on the status of East Asian art, the disharmony intensified in the 1920s. In addition to academic disputes, political-ideological groups and rising antisemitism had an impact on these conflicts.

The PhD project »Museale Irrungen«: The Founding History of the Weltmuseum Wien examines these debates for the first time and identifies the scientific, political, and personal networks involved. The work thus contributes to the early history of cultural anthropology in Austria and the establishmentf ethnological museums.


Veronika Stachel is a PhD Candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Her master's thesis examined the history of anthropology during the Nazi era, with a biography of the Austrian professor Josef Haekel. Her research interests revolve around the history of science, particularly the early history of ethnography and anthropology.


»Ein Parteibuch für die Karriere? Josef Haekel in der NS-Zeit«, in: Andre Gingrich and Peter Rohrbacher (eds.), Völkerkunde zur NS-Zeit aus Wien (1938–1945): Institutionen, Biographien und Praktiken in Netzwerken, Vienna 2021, 471–492