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. The special exhibition Looking Allowed? Human Diversity from the 16th to the 18th century looks at diversity in the past from today's perspective.

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. 




Public Guided Tours

From 20.06. to 06.10.2024 every Wednesday & Friday at 2.30 pm (German only).
EUR 6,- p. p. plus admission




Audio guides with comprehensive background information on the special exhibition.
German or English:
EUR 5,- p. p. plus admission


Group Tours

Guided tours for groups / special needs groups bookable on request.



Children's Programme

"We are all different" - Guided tour for children on 22.06., 20.07., 24.08., 21.09. and 05.10.2024 at 2.30 pm (German only).
EUR 6,- p. p. plus admission



Lange Nacht der Museen

Special guided tour for families on 05 October 2024 at 8 pm and 9 pm (German only).

Exhibition cooperations: Reducing barriers together

Feast for All

Cooperation with Absolut Vodka & Artivive - A work of art to break through prejudices

The Feast of the Bean King’, one of the most famous works in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, has been given a contemporary interpretation. The original (Jacob Jordaens, 1645) shows a group of people celebrating in high spirits. All in a good mood, all drinking - but above all: all white. The Viennese artist Tyrone Egbowon, with Croatian-Nigerian roots, changes the narrative with Absolut Vodka. In the reinterpretation ‘Feast for All’, the people depicted are swapped with ambassadors for diversity & inclusion from various backgrounds: Temiloluwa Obiyemi (Gold Caviar Crew), Leni Charles (Kids of the Diaspora), Elisabeth Mtasa, Bianca Rosemarie, DJ Mosaken, DaDa JV and Godwin Merano.
To be seen from 20 June 2024 in Looking Allowed?


A fascinating collaboration behind the new lift at Ambras Castle Innsbruck

Under the motto ‘Human Diversity’, we will be presenting a special exhibition in 2024 that shows the diversity of life and how it was dealt with in different eras. The idea of a lift in the Upper Castle was born to give everyone access to the special exhibition. We came across Tina Hötzendorfer, an inspiring artist and entrepreneur, and her story and creativity inspired us! Tina is not only one of our ‘lift ambassadors’, but her unique products are also exclusively available in our shop.
Discover them on your next visit!

Lebenshilfe Tirol

Cooperation in the name of the environment

Lebenshilfe Tirol supports people with disabilities in leading a barrier-free, self-determined and fulfilling life. Various products were made at the Hötting West and Sillside work locations from old printing types from Schloss Ambras Innsbruck.
The small bags will soon be available in the museum shop - pay as you wish: 100% of the proceeds will go to Lebenshilfe Tirol.
Take them with on your next visit!

Universität Innsbruck

Cooperation on the research focus 'Cultural Encounters - Cultural Conflicts'

The FSP day ‘Diversity - Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’ takes the special exhibition as a starting point to look at social categories of difference and their construction and effectiveness in both historical and contemporary terms and discusses in particular how changes in the way society deals with diversity make social negotiation processes visible.
As part of a course, students developed and incorporated additional aspects of diversity research for this year's special exhibition. 
Discover in the exhibition using a QR code!

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.