Looking Allowed?

Diversity from the 16th to the 18th century
20.06. – 06.10.2024



We are all different.  

Diversity has always existed, even in the 16th century. When humans increasingly took centre stage in the Renaissance, it was not just their ideal that was of interest, but also their inexhaustible diversity.

Stories from life

With its look back at history, this year’s special exhibition at Ambras Castle Innsbruck presents depictions of the most varied people. The point of reference are the Ambras collections of Archduke Ferdinand II. Here the whole world was illustrated, as was common in chambers of art and wonders. Many unusual paintings, fascinating descriptions and scientific objects have remained preserved to the present day. 

But why did the Portrait of a Disabled Man find its way into the Ambras Chamber of Art and Wonders? Who is behind the ‘hair family’? And why do portraits of ‘court giants’ and ‘court dwarves’ move us? The paintings run the risk of being dismissed as mere curiosities. The special exhibition, in contrast, tells the stories of these people who do not fit the norm, taking as its theme the question of whether, and if so, how encounters with them took place. 


Look, or look away?

From a modern-day perspective, putting people on display is seen as voyeurism. The special exhibition invites visitors to reflect on their own perception and confronts them with the question: ‘Is it allowed to look?’ Treasures of art- and cultural-historical value encounter current viewpoints by means of audio and video contributions. Adapted font sizes and exhibition objects placed on different levels are aimed at reducing barriers and making it possible for a variety of visitor to experience Looking Allowed? Furthermore, the installation of a lift in the upper castle offers easy access for the first time to the special exhibition rooms located on the second floor. 


Come and visit the special exhibition from 20.06. to 06.10.2024 daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ambras Castle Innsbruck! 


Press information: This way

Looking Allowed?

Ambras Castle
Schlossstraße 20
6020 Innsbruck

Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed in november

Information for your visit

Get your online ticket digitally on your smart phone.