Awards and Distinctions

Max Hollein named WU Manager of the Year 2020


Award for WU alumnus and director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York

For the first time ever, the presentation ceremony is held online, with WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger giving the laudatory speech. WU awards this special distinction to alumni who have made outstanding, visionary achievements in management.

Video Presentation ceremony (in German)

Presentation ceremony (in German)

Max Hollein has had an impressive career in international arts and museum management. After completing degrees in business administration at WU and art history at the University of Vienna, he moved to New York in 1995 to work at the Guggenheim Museum. In 2001, at the age of only 31, he was appointed director of the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, where he also took over the reins as director of the Städel Museum and the Liebighaus Skulpturensammlung in 2006. In 2016, Max Hollein was appointed to head the Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco, one of the most important museums of the US West Coast.

In 2018, he crowned his career by becoming director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the biggest art museum in the US and one of the most important museums in the world. “Today, we are very pleased to honor Max Hollein, a curator and museum director of world renown who boasts an impressive career and biography. Max Hollein says that a love of the fine arts alone is not enough to run a museum. Directing a museum also requires a high degree of business and management responsibility. Max Hollein is a manager who does not avoid challenges – he actively seeks them out. WU is proud to count him among its alumni,” says WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger.

A deep connection to the alma mater

“I have a deep connection to Vienna. It’s my home town and the place where I received my education. When I learned that I had been selected as WU Manager of the Year, all those beautiful memories of my student days at WU came to my mind. Even back then, WU was a very special place for me: an outstanding university, and very internationally oriented. It demands a lot from its students, but it also encourages them and rewards their efforts. WU is managed with a high degree of professionalism, and it’s always abreast of the latest developments,” Max Hollein says about his deep connection to his alma mater.

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