Collection of the objects from the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
The ancient South Arabian collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien is one of the biggest in Europe, next to the ones in Paris, London and Berlin. The most beautiful and important objects are on display in room VIa of the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection. All the other objects (mostly fragments) are kept in storerooms. The history of this collection is closely connected to two Austrian South Arabian scholars: David Heinrich Müller (1846-1912) and his student Eduard Glaser (1855-1908).
Eduard Glaser himself organized four trips to Yemen (between 1882 and 1894) to study South Arabian inscriptions. An official South Arabian Expedition of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften) led by Müller took place in 1898/1890.
Glaser’s fourth trip to Yemen in 1894 has a particular meaning for the Kunsthistorisches Museum as nearly all of the antiquities which he brought back from Yemen remained in Vienna. This large amount of South Arabian objects resulted in the formation of a new inventory – the so-called Semitic inventory -, which subsequently was enriched by the list of all the objects of the Ancient Near East preserved in the Museum.
In the 1950ies a complete revision of the collection enabled the discovery of many unregistered South Arabian objects which were edited by Jacques Ryckmans. The collection includes a lot of inscribed stone slabs, bronze plaques, funerary faces, sculptures, incense burners, metal works and coins.
From a cultural and historical point of view, the objects cover the complete history of the South Arabian kingdoms.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum's collection in DASI comprises nearly 120 inscriptions and 40 anepigraphic objects, which were edited or revised in DASI by Irene Rossi and Sandra Lombardi. Catalogue and bibliographical information was provided by Elisabeth Monamy. Photos are courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.
This is the collection home page. You can begin the consultation of the whole collection by using the indexes and tools menu on the left or you can consult only one of its sub-collection, when present, by choosing from the list below.