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Max Perutz Mural

Audio Guide
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The Max Perutz Mural is located at Rennweg 95A, in the 3rd district of Vienna, on a wall of the Max Perutz Labs, a research institute focused on molecular biology that was founded by the University of Vienna and the Medical University and named after the Austrian-born Nobel Prize winner Max Ferdinand Perutz.

The mural is 25 m x 28 m and weaves together many different aspects of Max Perutz' life, his research techniques, and the natural sciences.

The mural was developed by artists Käthe Schönle and Sebastian Schager in consultation with the WIENERWISSEN Team and the Max Perutz Labs. It was completed in November 2022.

 

Scroll down to read more about the life and science of Max Perutz and artists behind it.

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PERUTZ'S LIFE
& A VIENNA CONNECTION

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The Vienna-born Max Perutz won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with his colleague John Kendrew for determining the structure of a protein. Perutz studied haemoglobin, which is the molecule that transports oxygen from our lungs to our muscles and organs, and gives blood its red colour. 

 

He studied chemistry at the University of Vienna, and then moved to Cambridge, England, in 1936 to start his PhD researching haemoglobin. Jewish by descent, he became a refugee a few years later, during World War II, and eventually gained British citizenship. Nevertheless, he spoke often of his love of his native Austria, the mountains, skiing, and of course the idiosyncrasies of the Viennese people. 

 

Perutz is often considered the father of structural biology, the study of the three dimensional structure of biological molecules. He linked the structure of a molecule to its function, and its malfunction to disease. He also founded and led the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in Cambridge, England, which became one of the most successful labs of all time, producing more than a dozen Nobel Prize winners.  

 

Perutz passed away in 2002. The mural is on the site of the Max Perutz Labs, which were named in his honour in 2005. At this site, researchers continue to tackle some of the most interesting questions in molecular and structural biology.

Max Perutz setting off skiing during a protein workshop in Hirschegg, Vorarlberg, in 1968.
Credit: Perutz Family / Max Perutz Labs

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THE ARTISTS

The motive for the mural was developed by artists Käthe Schönle and Sebastian Schager in consultation with the WIENERWISSEN Team and the Max Perutz Labs.

 

Sebastian Schager is an artist and curator based in Vienna, Austria - working in various artistic and commercial fields, he is highly acclaimed in the Street Art/Urban Art Scene and realized several large dimensioned Murals (up to 300 sqm) in the last decade and collaborated with national and international brands. He is the curator for the MQ Vienna StreetArtPassage and Artist in Residence Program, Founder of “ARTIS.LOVE”, Founder of Art Collective “PERFEKT WORLD” and “Jan Arnold Gallery” and „Leap Art PRINTS (Print Art Editions)

 

Schager studied Art History (University of Vienna) and has a degree in Graphic and Communications Design.

Käthe Schönle is an artist based in Vienna, Austria - working in the fields of painting, drawing, collage and printing. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally and can be found in private and institutional art collections. Schönle received several grants and Artist Residencies, including the Art Prize of the City of Kassel.

 

Schönle graduated with honors from the Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany, where she studied Fine Arts (Painting) and Visual Communication (Illustration).

THE MAX PERUTZ WALL MURAL WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF 

The logo of the Max Perutz Labs in Vienna
The logo of the University of Vienna
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The European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101017902.

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