One of the most important museums of its kind worldwide is the MAK- Museum of Applied Arts. Founded in 1863 as the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry, today’s museum can boast an incomparable identity, with its exclusive collection of applied arts and as a first-class address for contemporary art. Today’s MAK Series, originally developed as an outstanding source collection, continues to stand for an exceptional union of applied art, design, contemporary art and architecture.
The MAK DESIGN LAB extends our understanding of design by including previous generations. This definition is historically grounded in the 20th and 21st centuries, allowing a better assessment of the concept of design today. The MAK presents different artistic stances from the fields of applied arts, design, architecture, modern art, and digital media in temporary exhibits, with a continuously emphasised theme being the reciprocal relationships between them.
Selection of Collection in Fine Arts
Furniture, textiles, industrial design and jewellery.
1902 saw the newspaper Die Zeit, the worldview of which was quite friendly towards Viennese Modernism, open its telegraph office. Located on Vienna’s exclusive Kärntner Straße, it was used both as a flagship store and for the display of breaking news. The design of this office was entrusted to Otto Wagner, the father of Viennese Modernism.
This chair is the first piece of bent wood furniture created as a cooperation between architects and the bent wood industry in the course of the Viennese “Sacred Spring Movement” around 1900.
For the dining room and the adjoining glazed veranda of the Sanatorium Westend in Purkersdorf (Lower Austria) Josef Hoffmann designed tables, armchairs, and side chairs, which were executed by the bentwood manufacturers J. & J. Kohn. They correspond to Hoffmann’s conviction about the unity of form and function.
Der Faltstuhl (Faldistorium) wurde aus dem Benediktinerstift Admont erworben, dessen Äbten er neben Mitra, Ring, Brustkreuz und Hirtenstab als Insignie der Macht diente. Als solche steht er in der Tradition der römischen sella curulis. Er ist neben dem Faltstuhl aus dem Benediktinerinnenstift Nonnberg in Salzburg das älteste in Österreich erhaltene Sitzmöbel.
This library table originally belonged to the furnishings of the Vienna Jesuit College library (the old University library) and is thus one of the few verifiable pieces of Viennese marquetry furniture of the 1st half of the 18th century. The entire interior decoration and furnishings were dismantled and removed in 1884.
The secretary desk designed by Koloman Moser for the mother of Fritz Waerndorfer (1868-1939)-who, alongside Josef Hoffmann and Moser himself was one of the cofounders of the Wiener Werkstätte in 1903-is one of the first pieces of furniture that the Wiener Werkstätte set about realizing.
This ornamental box is one of the most magnificent silver works created in the Wiener Werkstätte. The multicolored cabochon gemstones, which are embedded in embossed leaf tendrils on the back wall and the base plate with cavetto moulding, create a great contrast to the smooth surfaces of the wall.
This beaker, painted in Anton Kothgasser’s workshop, is a glass typical for Biedermeier in Vienna. Thin walled beakers with enamel painting became popular presents and souvenirs of the time of the Congress of Vienna. From 1811 on, Gottlob Mohn refined enamel painting, practiced by his father Samuel in Dresden, in Vienna.
The installation by Franz West consists of overall 25 divans and explores furniture as an instrument of the collective and items which represent attitudes towards life in an exemplary way. It demands adaptation-a circumstance that accommodates Franz West’s way of working and his intention to evoke an action or an attitude.
The tea service which consists of a samovar, a teapot, a cream jug, and a sugar bowl belongs to the earliest objects made in the Wiener Werkstätte. These pieces of work are characterised by the geometrical contours of the objects. Cubes and squares are essential artistic elements which are a feature of Hoffmann’s style in the early beginnings.
The glasses Spectacles were designed by the Austrian designer Herbert Schweiger. They were produced in the 1960s as a limited edition in black and white and became an object of desire through advertising in numerous fashion magazines. Their clear, geometrical lines and the simple shape express the aesthetics of the designer.
The design of this dress is accredited to Josef Hoffmann, co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte. It was produced by the dressmakers of the Wiener Werkstätte. Hoffmann was an architect but was also interested in fashion, also reform dresses. He designed this dress for Johanna Wittgenstein.
Despite being created by different artists, the jewelry of the Wiener Werkstätte was defined by an individual style which distinguished it from the rest of the international production. This jewelry is characterized by a border which surrounds the inner motif and is composed of basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, or octagons.
The MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna stands for an extraordinary union of applied art, design, contemporary art and architecture. It is one of the most important museums of its kind worldwide. Be inspired by the design highlights at the MAK.