Baroque Rococo Classicism Collection, Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna

18th century furniture art is represented in the collections of the MAK with excellent examples. The focus is on furniture from the Austrian and German cultural circles. They bear witness to the enormous typological, technical and formal development that took place in the course of the 18th century. The type of cabinet that dates back to the 17th century is replaced as representative furniture by the writing cabinet, whose southern German design is known as the “tabernacle cabinet”. In France, the chest of drawers is created as a new container furniture in the living area, thus evolving towards more privacy and convenience The desk and cylinder office, among others, are used as writing furniture.

The surface design of the furniture is used even more diverse and according to the new needs and fashions (wood and board marquees, lacquer, porcelain, etc.). The interior design itself is further standardized in its wall-mounted and mobile equipment. The furniture forms a decorative and often even structural unit with the room.

The porcelain room from the Brno Palais Dubsky is not only a talking document, but also for the porcelain production that started in Vienna in 1719. / Christian Witt-Dörring, curator (at the time of the reorganization curator of the MAK furniture and woodwork collection) The furniture forms a decorative and often even structural unit with the room.

Artistic intervention Donald Judd had doubts about the idea of having artists make installations out of objects from earlier times; he still have doubts. This should be the task of the curators responsible for the objects, despite his continuous criticism of the generally artificial way in which objects are installed. Hiring artists with these installations is probably a way to continue with questionable installations.

The premise of the museum, the unchangeable condition for the installation, was that the Dubsky room, originally a room in a palace, had to be reconstructed within a much larger museum hall. The room could either be rebuilt in one of the corners of the room, which would have left an unfavorable right angle for the rest of the furniture; or it could be placed in the middle of the room, thus leaving a symmetrical room free, in order to possibly establish the good idea of a room within a room.

The Dubsky room is too big and its positioning difficult, but the decision was right to place it in the middle. This room and most of the other furniture was made for the nobility in the 18th century. The pomp of the room is ambivalent and therefore excessive. He is uncomfortable; Chardin is not. Today architecture and most of the installations are uncomfortable. Why is Chardin simple, strong and “comfortable” for us? The individual pieces of furniture have been arranged symmetrically, usually in pairs, opposite each other.

A rectangular room usually does not allow anything else. The positions of the furniture have also been carefully chosen with regard to size, color and type I decided to ask that part of the stucco is repeated from below the ceiling and placed around the outside of the Dubsky room in order to better integrate the space of the 18th century, which was created in the 19th century, and to reduce the excessive arbitrariness of the outside , This is a small, uncomfortable room, uncomfortably placed in a large, doubly uncomfortable room. I think it should be in the basement. But Witt-Dörring and I did our best without any comfort.

Seating furniture collection
Part of our material memory is in this room. Is it just a collection of any household items or does history manifest here as the totality of our consciousness? How far are we in direct contact with these things? Or has an archive of things been piled up here, the lowest common denominator of which is the quality characteristics “museum” or “second hand”? We have the choice between these two association possibilities, between the object or functional character of an object. Only the latter, however, makes the museum good part of our everyday consumer life again. Instead of a one-dimensional history of style, we experience a three-dimensional family tree of our own cultural history. Of course, this gives the opportunity to

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This is attempted using visually sensual and not didactic communication. The visible juxtaposition of different or the same types, functions, stages of development and materials succeeds in evoking the multi-faceted world of experience of a piece of seating furniture and thus directly addressing the visitor and letting them feel values. Questions arise, decision-making processes are initiated and fundamental criteria are made aware. This stimulation can help turn an undifferentiated consumer into a responsible consumer by evoking thoughts buried in the daily amount of product.

Seating is the closest piece of furniture to people. Its proportions are closely related to the human body. The change in human body language can be seen in the changing formal training and type determination of the seating furniture. Between the two opposites of representation and comfort, this seems to be looking for means of expression that arise depending on the defined values and priorities. A high and straight armchair requires different clothing and posture than one with a low, slanted back and rounded backrest.

Basically, the question arises whether the furniture forms the human body when sitting, or whether the opposite is sought. As an extreme example of the latter, the “Sacco” shown here, a typical seating model from the 68s generation, can be seen. The concept of seating, which only emerged in the 18th century and combines several types of seating furniture into a decorative unit, is an expression of the fact that there is no longer any need to distinguish between the status of individual users; it can only prevail when court law prescribes a less strict ranking between the individual types of seating furniture.

However, this historical development lives on in our subconscious to this day. It still wrote in 1922 Handbook of good sound and fine custom : “As a lady, you deserve the space on the sofa to the right of the woman of the house. As a young girl, you use an armchair. ”The seating furniture makes form and body language a readable cultural-historical unit ….

Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
The MAK – Museum of Applied Arts is one of the most important museums of its kind worldwide. Founded as the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry in 1863, today’s museum—with its unique collection of applied arts and as a first-class address for contemporary art—can boast an incomparable identity. Originally established as an exemplary source collection, today’s MAK Collection continues to stand for an extraordinary union of applied art, design, contemporary art and architecture.

The MAK is a museum and laboratory for applied art at the interface of design, architecture and contemporary art. His core competency is dealing with these areas in a contemporary way, in order to create new perspectives based on the tradition of the house and to explore border areas.

The spacious halls of the Permanent Collection in the magnificent Ringstraße building by Heinrich von Ferstel were later redesigned by contemporary artists in order to present selected highlights from the MAK Collection. The MAK DESIGN LAB expands our understanding of design—a term that is traditionally grounded in the 20th and 21st centuries—by including previous centuries, thereby enabling a better evaluation of the concept of design today. In temporary exhibitions, the MAK presents various artistic stances from the fields of applied arts, design, architecture, contemporary art, and new media, with the mutual relationships between them being a consistently emphasized theme.

It is particularly committed to the corresponding recognition and positioning of applied art. The MAK develops new perspectives on its rich collection, which spans different eras, materials and artistic disciplines, and develops them rigorously.