The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna announced the passing of long-time director of the Paintings Gallery Dr. Renate Trnek (1949-2023). Renate Trnek became a member of CODART in 2013 when she accompanied an excursion to the Paintings Gallery during the CODART ZESTIEN congress in Vienna. She continued her membership until 2018.
The board of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna writes: Renate Trnek’s professional career as an art historian and museum manager is closely connected with the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. After studying in Munich and Vienna, she joined the Academy’s Paintings Gallery in 1975 as a research assistant under Heribert Hutter. In the course of her work on cataloguing the collection, she published the scholarly catalogue Die holländischen Gemälde des 17. Jahrhunderts (1992), which is still considered a standard work today.
As director of the Paintings Gallery (1992-2010), Renate Trnek reformed the profile and appearance of the collection, which had been used primarily as a paradigmatic teaching collection in art classes since the 19th century. Against the backdrop of the changing conditions of the cultural institutions of the 1990s, she recognized the potential of the collection, the core of which is the high-quality collection of paintings that came from the estate of Count Lamberg-Sprinzenstein. Step by step, she succeeded in making the Paintings Gallery a fixture of international standing in Vienna’s museum landscape by establishing and expanding its museum infrastructure and public presence. The collection owes its legal protection to Renate Trnek’s great commitment.
Renate Trnek promoted an exhibition policy that concentrated thematically on the collection holdings, but also repeatedly juxtaposed them with contemporary positions related to the Academy. At the same time, she was able to consolidate the international reputation of the collection through exhibition cooperations worldwide, especially in Asia.
Last but not least, Renate Trnek was also concerned throughout her life with the scholarly development of the collections. Towards the end of her professional career, she once again devoted herself to the Hieronymus Bosch Triptych of the Last Judgement.