MAK Study Collection: Glass, Metal, Ceramics

ARTSTHREAD - MAK Study Collection: Glass, Metal, Ceramics


Address: MAK, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Contemporary Art/Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna

Open: Wednesday-Sunday 10.00 – 18.00, Tuesday until 12 midnight, Monday clossed

Admission price: € 7,90/reduced € 5,5, free admission for children and teens up to 19.

In its study collection of Glass, Metal and Ceramics MAK displays a selection of its numerous pieces of work in an arrangement that is specific to the material and technology of the objects and that correspond with the specialization of the director of each collection. Additionally museum exhibits are placed within typological, historical, or function-related contexts.

Glass: One focus of the rearranged study collection is on glass production in the Imperial and Royal Monarchy, which had reached a high point in quality and variety around the turn of the century. This boom was brought about by the complex interaction of a number of factors and a widespread network of merchant-employers, designers, trade schools, and glassworks. Being the cultural and political capital city of the monarchy, Vienna also was the center of the art avant-garde, among whose most eminent exponents were Josef Hoffmann, Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Michael Powolny, Jutta Sika, Carl Witzmann, and others. Here, the designs were created which were then produced in the traditional glass-industry regions of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, that is, in Bohemia.

Metal: Goldsmiths’ work from the 16th to the 19th century forms the central focus of the metal study collection. Secular utensils made of silver, often also gilded, could be used according to function as pouring or drinking vessels, dishes, plates or platters, and centerpieces. Frequently, large and elaborate pieces of gold work acted as “prestige objects” on display buffets and, at the same time, as a capital reserve. The history of the objects is closely linked to the development of the eating and drinking habits of the wealthy and their desire for prestigious representation.

Ceramics: The main focus of the Study Collection Ceramics comprises objects of Viennese porcelain manufacturing (1718–1864). The artistic heritage of Viennese porcelain manufacturing changed ownership in 1864, when it was passed to the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry (today’s MAK) where it has since become one of the important collections of ceramics. Almost the entire MAK stocks of porcelain including examples from all eras of production are on display, offering an overview of nearly 150 years of porcelain-making in Vienna . The show is completed by examples from Meissen, which was founded eight years earlier making it Europe ’s oldest porcelain producer.

A second area of the rearrangement comprises those ceramics which were created at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century in Vienna , Bohemia and Moravia . The closing down of the Vienna Porcelain Manufacturing in 1864 followed upon the unhindered expansion of the ceramic industry in those countries under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. This development was supported by the foundation of numerous applied arts schools and schools specialized in the ceramic arts, in which both artists and artisans were trained. The events in the last decade of the 19th century, the founding of the Vienna Secession.


MAD Museum of Arts and Design

ARTSTHREAD - MAD Museum of Arts and Design


Online collection:

Address: MAD Museum, New York, 2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Open: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 – 18:00, Thursday and Friday 11:00 – 21:00,  closed Monday

Admission: General: $15, see website for details

For nearly half a century, the MAD Museum of Arts & Design–formerly the American Craft Museum– has served as the U.S’s premier institution dedicated to the collection and exhibition of contemporary objects created in media such as clay, glass, wood, metal, and fibre.

Browse the collection: Browse the entire collection, sorting by materials, techniques, dates or artist. Click on the object or the artists’ names to learn more about them.

Materials and Techniques: Browse the online glossary, look up definitions for materials and techniques, and view video clips and works from the collection related to specific glossary terms.

Curate the Collection: Create your own on-line exhibition of objects from the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design. Save the collection for future reference, and share it with others.

The Teachers’ Lounge: The Teachers’ Lounge is MAD’s central online location for engaging local, national and international educators in the support, conceptualization and integration of arts- and design-based programs, projects and partnerships.


Ceramics Galleries, V&A Museum

ARTSTHREAD - Ceramics Galleries, V&A Museum


Online search:

Address: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Open: 10.00 to 17.45 daily, 10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

Admission price: free

For the first time in a century the V&A has redisplayed its ceramics collection, the most comprehensive in the world. Extensive new galleries tell the story of world ceramics with 3000 objects on display from the earliest Chinese pottery to contemporary ceramic art.

The central gallery shows masterpieces dating from as far back as 2500 BC, exploring the links between the world’s great ceramic traditions. Highlights include a drinking cup from Ancient Greece; Ming dynasty Chinese porcelain; 14th-century pottery from Spain; a Chinese-inspired blue and white bowl made in 16th-century Turkey; Meissen figures; Dutch Delftware ordered by Queen Mary for Hampton Court Palace; colourful, painted Japanese porcelain imported to Europe by the Dutch East India Company; teabowls rescued from an 18th-century Chinese shipwreck; and a vase painted by Picasso in the 1950s depicting the artist with his model.

For the first time, the V&A has created a gallery exploring ceramic production, which incorporates a workshop area where techniques are demonstrated and visitors are able to make, decorate and fire their own ceramics. There is a part-reconstruction of the studio of Dame Lucie Rie, one of the greatest potters of the 20th century, with film footage showing the artist at work.

There are a five further galleries. One is devoted to Architectural Ceramics and contains large scale objects such as a German 15th-century tiled heating stove and Baroque tile panels from Portugal.

There are two rooms displaying 20th-century collections. One shows ceramics made in a factory context and includes objects by designers such as Susie Cooper and Clarice Cliff as well as fine tableware by Wedgewood. The other 20th-century gallery shows hand-made, unique works created in small studios by artists such as Bernard Leach and Lucie Rie.

There is a gallery for changing temporary displays, the first of which will be Objects of Luxury showing French porcelain from the 18th century with works from Sèvres and other leading factories of the time. The final gallery shows contemporary ceramics by artists including Anders Ruhwald and Martin Smith as well as a site specific installation by Edmund de Waal entitled Signs and Wonders.

The second phase of the redisplay houses the study collections, showing around 26,000 further objects and creating one of the world’s leading resources for scholars and artists.