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Museum of women

In 1309, the Archduchess Euphemia founded the Convent of the Poor Clares at the Kornplatz of Meran.
During 500 years this princely foundation characterized the townscape of Meran. Beside the Parish Church Saint Nicholas the church of the convent was the most significant sacred building of the town. Moreover, the Poor Clares possessed the only medieval women’s convent of Meran.
The convent was a centre of the Adoration of the Virgin, school for young girls, host for local brotherhoods and guilds, and burial place for many local citizens and aristocrats.
In 1782, Emperor Joseph II suppressed all the convents. The sisters had to leave the convent.
In 1923, the building has been aquired by so called Spar- und Vorschusskasse, which later on was named Volksbank, which already is allocated in the main floor of the building. The frescos of the church were documented, partially taken down and replaced at the large cloister.
In 2010 the two top floors where adapted for the Woman’s Museum and rent by the municipality of Meran for the Woman’s Museum.
In 2011 took place the inauguration.

The history of the Women’s Museum
The origine of the Women’s Museum is closely related to the biography of the founder Evelyn Ortner (1944-1997). Native of Vorarlberg (Austria), on here own she founded in 1988 the Museum of clohing and frippery under the arcades (Lauben) nr. 68. Since 1993 the museum is administrated by an association.
The museum is open all the year round, and it’s specialized on cultural and everyday history from a female point of view which is represented in the permanent exhibition: the representation of the female ideals, image and roles of women in 19th and 20th century showing cloths, accessories, every day objects, books and documents.
In special exhibitions and various events there is an enlargement of the repertoire of female-specific and gender sensitive topics year after year .
Women’s Museum of Meran takes a stand for a Sensitization to women’s history, but as well for the discussion of actually matters as equal opportunities. It has becam an active cultural center in Meran, where are also approached environment conscious and social themes.
It’s active in local and international network activity and it is nodal point of the "network of women's museums".

The basis of the collection arrived from the founder. Since the foundation of the association “Women’s museum – the woman in the change of times” 1993 the collection of the association is continually growing and the many donators know, that there objects and item’s are in good hands, and placed in a location, where they receive value, namely embedded in the every day history and culture, which reaches until today.
The “narrative stile” to show female history is still characterized by every epoch by the fashion, the accessories and the every day things to offer “time pictures”.

Permanent Exhibition
Based on our collection we have a sort of “red thread” passing from fashion to accessoires and selected everyday objects. So we start from the precept, that fashion is the mirror of the societyand interpret due to there different varieties the spirit of the times “Zeitgeist” of the relative era.
The new permanent exhibition of the Women’s Museum is like a shopping street with vitrines. But instead of shop windows with purchasable clothing and fashionable articles we show the image of women of the last 200 years with outfits and accessoires.
The exhibition moves between the poles of showing beautiful dresses and accessories from the rich collection of the museum and on the other site to reveal with these garments the female story and roles in our society, which aren’t always only pleasant. Nevertheless we won’t to point the finger.
The story telling of the female perception and roles takes place from inside to outside – it begins with the skin, passes through the body shapes, the clothing of the legs – tights, skirts, trousers - , to the pelvis, the importance of the hair and the headgear and finally to the works on and outside home.

Monday - Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 12:30
Sunday closed

Adults 4,5 €
Reduced or with Guest Card Meran 4,00 €
Seniors, Students 4,00 €
Guided tours (with appointment only) 6,00 €

The Women’s Museum is all over accessible barrier-free. There is a lift on the ground floor.
The main entrance to the Museum is on the 3rd floor, also the exhibition on the 2nd floor is accessible by lift.
On the 2nd floor there is a wheelchair accessibile bathroom.