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.