Nude artwork from Vienna museums finds home on OnlyFans

After the art was censored by social media platforms, the city of Vienna is trying something new.

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Steph Panecasio was an Editor based in Sydney, Australia. She knows a lot about the intersection of death, technology and culture. She's a fantasy geek who covers science, digital trends, video games, subcultures and more. Outside work, you'll most likely find her rewatching Lord of the Rings or listening to D&D podcasts.
Steph Panecasio
2 min read

A view of the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

In an effort to combat censorship in the art world, the Vienna tourism board in Austria has launched a marketing campaign on an unexpected new platform: OnlyFans. 

Many of the greatest works in Vienna's assorted collections depict nudity in some form, which is banned outright from appearing on most social media platforms. After continuously being penalized by social media and conventional marketing options for using these iconic nude artworks in promotional materials, the museums turned to OnlyFans as one of the only ways to avoid censure.

Founded in 2016, OnlyFans is a subscription service used to connect creators with supporters that has made a name for itself as being one of the only platforms allowing nude and explicit content -- though that almost changed earlier this year, too.

"When you think of the self-portrait by Schiele from 1910, it's one of the most iconic artworks," Helena Hartlauer, a Vienna tourist board spokesperson, told The Guardian. "If they cannot be used on a communications tool as strong as social media, it's unfair and frustrating. That's why we thought [of OnlyFans]: finally, a way to show these things."

But despite this, the marketing campaign has also encountered roadblocks -- prominent social media platforms refused to link to the account, so the campaign is teased rather than explicitly linked to outside of the official website.

For subscribers to Vienna's adult-only content, however, the explicit works are available to peruse on the museum's OnlyFans profile at their leisure -- with early subscribers also scoring a Vienna City Card or admission ticket to see the artworks in the flesh at either the Leopold Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna or Albertina, when travel permits.

According to the website, "By putting Vienna's historical 18+ content on OnlyFans, subscribers can now view provocative works by the likes of Egon Schiele, Richard Gerstl, Koloman Moser and Amedeo Modigliani – all of which are on show for all to see in the capital."