Time of Curiosities
As a guest in the village you shouldn’t miss out on the Elbigenalp Wunderkammer museum. There you can see the culture and history of the Lechtal population from the perspective of the collector and lithographer Johann Anton Falger and dive into his extensive collection of arts and curiosities. On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of his death, his private collection was enhanced and made accessible to interested visitors. With his knowledge of typical Lechtal customs and traditions and the writing down of what everyday life was like back then he made an important contribution to the preservation of the history of the Lechtal.
Johann Anton Falger – the father of the Lechtal
The painter, lithographer, copper engraver, anthropologist, geologist and researcher of traditions and customs Johann Anton Falger was one of the last polymaths of the late Classicism and is referred to as the father of the Lechtal. His work left a mark on the image of the valley and his influence can still be felt today. Falger founded a drawing school, which enabled the people of the Lechtal to get a proper training and so he paved the way for the famous painter Anna Stainer-Knittel. Today the school is a renowned training institution for crafts and design. His private collection features artefacts from the different areas of life in the Lechtal. He made detailed pictures of the things he couldn’t preserve in original for the descendants or named and explained them in his diaries, chronicles and almanacs. He learned his craft at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Later on his life lead him to Weimar before he returned to the Lechtal. Already in Munich he had developed a deep friendship with Queen Mary of Bavaria, the Queen of Alpine Roses, who then spent numerous summers together with her sons Ludwig and Otto in Elbigenalp. After his death Falger even bequeathed his house with all its treasures and curiosities to her.
The Elbigenalp Wunderkammer
Thanks to his comprehensive collection, it is today possible to see numerous transcriptions of important historic documents, climate studies, anatomically exact drawings, geological findings, examples of old traditional dresses of the Lechtal and numerous other exhibits in the Wunderkammer museum. The history of the “Wunderkammern” dates back to the Renaissance, when rich burghers, dukes, scholars and scientists collected strange artefacts and evidence of astonishing historic events and made them accessible to the interested public. With his collection Falger tried to get an insight in as many fields of knowledge as possible and documented every single detail of the curiousities and the Lechtal history, culture and population, even if they seemed irrelevant.
In the newly opened Wunderkammer museum it is possible to look at the collected exhibits of Falger and to get an overview of the historic development of the valley. The museum is in the former doctor’s building of Elbigenalp. The modern museum concept stipulates that a small part of the exhibition is permanently accessible to visitors and during the regular opening times it is possible to get a deep insight into the Wunderkammer of the last scholar of the Tirolean Lechtal.