The MAK or the Museum of Contemporary and Applied Art in Vienna

Chair in the MAK

Chair in the MAK ©annecesch/Flick

The Museum of Applied Art is briefly called MAK and presents unique exhibits from various stylistic periods. The museum presents furniture, glass, porcelain, silver and textiles from the Middle Ages until today.

Every exhibition space of the present museum was arranged by different artists. Besides the exhibition, the MAK in Vienna also has a place for scientific research, where they must find the answers for all questions relating to the production, transmission, storage and reorientation of art.

The museum was founded in 1864 as the “Imperial Austrian Museum for Art and Industry”.

Museum of Contemporary and Applied Arts

Museum of Contemporary and Applied Arts ©lreed76/Flick

The most important exhibits of the MAK

The stylistic features of each epoch are listed in chronological order. The Museum of Contemporary and Applied Arts in Vienna has precious crafts from the Viennese workshops, furniture from the factory of Thonet and various masterpieces of the Jugendstil like the decorative sketch with gold leaves of Gustav Klimt made specially for the Stoclet Palace in Brussels.

Chair in the MAK

Chair in the MAK ©annecesch/Flick

The wood chairs manufactured by Thonet, which are still used in Viennese coffeehouses and armchairs from the Middle Ages until today invite you to sit in the most concrete sense of the word. The pink, green, yellow or red Biedermeier sofas  surprise you with their color, while their simple and clear lines lead you to a balance according the logic of the Biedermeier design.

Biedermeier furniture

Biedermeier furniture ©sftrajan/Flick

The Viennese workshops or the Wiener Werkstätte founded in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser are proving their high class by the good quality and the unique design of their glass, porcelain, silver and textile products. A hammered silver service of Hoffmann or the black or white vase will thrill everybody, not only the lovers of Jugendstil.

Some recent changes in the museum

In the November of 2012 the “Vienna 1900” collective exhibition of the Museum of Contemporary and Applied Art has been completely redesigned and is dedicated to the artistic field of 1890-1938. Three exhibition halls tell you the history of the search of the modern style, through the birth of the Viennese style until the confrontation of it with the international style and ends at the moment when the power if Austria is taken by the Nazis.

Inside the Museum of Contemporary and Applied Arts

Inside the Museum of Contemporary and Applied Arts ©Gerhard R./Flick

From the May of 2013 an intervention of the artist Pae White from U.S. focuses on Viennese modernism.

From the fall of 2012 an other collection appeared in the MAK, an exhibition having as theme Asia and presenting Chinese porcelains, Japanese prints, Japanese woodcuts and Japanese templates.

The contemporary art of Donald Judd, James Turrell and others and the 12 a sofas of Franz West are making a bridge from the recent past until today. The design presented in the MAK Design Shop is young, extravagant, perfect to be taken home and the “Österreicher im MAK” offers culinary delights.



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