This museum impressively documents the life of a significant historical personality in the Bregenzerwald. Franz Michael Felder (1839 to 1869) was a farmer, writer and social reformer and is an important historical figure.
The museum is in the top floor of the culture and office building in the village centre. An illuminated wall featuring quotes, pictures and texts provides insights about the life and works of Franz Michael Felder. Additionally, listening stations, light and sound are central elements of the exhibition’s design.
Franz Michael Felder
Born in 1839 in Schoppernau, Felder was born into a middle-class family of farmers whose property was at any given time at least two-thirds in debt. Felder, who was nearly blind in one eye due to doctor malpractice, attended a two-class primary school and always had an interest in the written word. In 1861, he married Anna Katharina “Nanni” Moosbrugger from Au. She was, like Felder, well read and composed poetry and the two had five children together. Nanni died in 1868 and Felder died just a year later in 1869 at the age of 29.
Franz Michal Felder is recognised as one of Vorarlberg’s first social reformers. He endeavoured to change the difficult social and economic prospects that affected many people in the region from the ground up. In order to try to break the nearly unlimited economic power of the region’s cheese dealers, Felder founded the first agricultural cooperative. His activities met with heavy resistance, especially from the clergy.
Franz Michael Felder was erudite and an avid writer. He subscribed to many newspapers including the socially critical “Gartenlaube,” for which he also wrote. His social criticism and societal utopian ideals were the topic of his novels, “Sonderlinge (Eccentrics)” and “Reich und Arm (Rich and Poor).” His masterpiece was his autobiography “Aus meinem Leben (From my life),” which was finished shortly before his death.
Mon 4-6 pm, Thurs 9-11 am, Fri 5-7 pm, Sun 9:30-11:30 am