October 14, 2007

"Baby On Board": The Vienna Museum Is Alive With The Exhibition Of Strollers


DT reader Scott and family were just in Vienna, where he saw this poster for what will be--let's face it--THE MOST IMPORTANT STROLLER EXHIBITION IN AUSTRIAN HISTORY.

The Vienna Museum opens "Baby On Board" next week, which gives a pram's-eye-view of the 20th century of the city, from the emergence of paved roads to the socioeconomic trickledown of luxury prams to the shifting gender roles [i.e., who pushed? Fraulein Maria, the Baroness, or the Captain?] to the stroller as a lifestyle object.

1955, actually. image: wienmuseum.at

Which is all well and good, but we know it's all just an excuse to ogle at a 130 years worth of gadgety, streamlined, wicker-molded, and double-chromed strollerporn. The exhibit seems to focus only on Austrian strollers, which may be partly due to the venue, but also because the stroller market, like cars, has really consisted of multiple, national markets, producing gear tailored to a country's cultural, environmental, and parental characteristics. [e.g. super-light, chair-like Combis for Japan; massive, all-weather Emmajunga tank-prams for Sweden; lumbering Graco mall prowlers for the US.]

1939, image: wienmuseum.at

If you can't make it to the exhibit, which runs from Oct. 18 through Jan. 13, there's always the catalogue. If you can't buy the catalogue, there's always the slideshow on the Wien Museum site. These two photos are just a taste.

[note: Oh, and if you're wondering, "Why Vienna?" this factoid from Scott may give a clue: "Vienna must have the world's highest per capita Bugaboo use by far. I was
seeing 50-100 per day, easily. More than half the strollers I saw."]
[wienmuseum.at via dt reader scott]


Wonder if I can run over to Vienna for a few days? This is my idea of fine museum-going.

BTW, I've got a new guest gallery, at The Pram Museum with a collection of German prams, mostly of the charming ilk of your images above.

My guest collector has his own website (in German); click on "Bewegte Kindheit" on the menu at the left to see more photos. You'll have to scroll down, but it's worth the effort.

[thanks for the update, you were the first person I thought of when I heard about this exhibit. -ed.]

Interesting photo of the two Red Army soldiers in occupied post-war Vienna with their prams. I guess they'd really been "embraced" by the local female population.

Hi I have a nursery & Toy store In Ireland I am going over to the Baby on Board show in Vienna (My fav city) next month 18th Nov I can let you know if it was any good. The world famous Christmas markets are also opening that weekend so I'm looking forward to it.

Hey I am going to this exhibit tomorrow. Want any specific photos or reviews?

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