Special exhibition ’De Auribus’ is dedicated to the ear

Bild: Josephinum/Bene Croy
Bild: Josephinum/Bene Croy

A special exhibition to commemorate the founding of the Ear Clinic in Vienna in 1873 focuses on the human hearing organ. Using objects from the Josephinum’s collections, it provides insights into the exciting history of otology.

The Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Vienna, founded by Emperor Joseph II in 1779 after his visit to Paris, can be traced back, like so much else, to Joseph’s travels. It made it possible to provide regular instruction, particularly in sign language and spoken language. In 1873, the year of the Vienna World Exhibition, the world’s first specialized university ear clinic opened in Vienna. New instruments, diagnostic procedures and treatments were developed that became world-famous and laid the foundations for modern otology. Almost 100 years later, the development of the cochlear implant in Austria opened up a new dimension in the treatment of severe hearing disorders.

"The Vienna University Clinic with its important doctors from Adam Politzer to Nobel Prize winner Robert Bárany paved the way for great achievements in medicine," says Christiane Druml, Director of the Josephinum, "in close cooperation with today’s University Clinic, we show the constantly progressing scientific development from 1873 to the treatment of severe hearing disorders with the cochlear implant."

The Josephinum is in possession of objects that provide an insight into the successful development of otology. The exhibition is given a special character by contributions from contemporary artists such as Jeremias Altmann, Christina Gruber, Meret Oppenheim, Katharina Sabernig and Nives Widauer, which complement the historical objects with their special reference to the ear.

Special exhibition De Auribus

Exhibition duration: January 26 - October 5, 2024
Curator: Daniela Hahn
Scientific advice: Wolf-Dieter Baumgartner & Herwig Czech

Josephinum - Museum of Medical History Vienna

Währinger Straße 25, 1090 Vienna; www.josephinum.ac.at
Opening hours Wed-Sat, 10.00-18.00, Thu, 10.00-20.00
Guided tours: Thursdays 18.30, Saturdays 11.00