The various spaces of the Permanent Collection were organized in a chronological fashion, with the individual collection items arranged to produce congenial ensembles of outstanding works rather than a dense, serial presentation. The participating artists, whose interventions were developed via a process of intense collaboration with the MAK’s respective collection heads, arrived at highly diverse approaches and solutions.
With the directorship of Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, the Permanent Collection is to embark on a process of continual change, building on the established concept of contemporary transformation by artists working in the present. As a first step, the Wiener Werkstätte, Art Nouveau Art Deco and 20th/21st Century Architecture sections were closed in mid-July 2012; these reopened on 18 September 2013 as a permanent presentation of VIENNA 1900. Design / Arts and Crafts 1890–1938. After the reinstallation the Permanent Collection ASIA. China - Japan - Korea opened on 19 February 2014 and the Permanent Collection Carpets on 9 April 2014.
In contrast to the previous approach, these spaces will be reconceived as a dynamic display collection in which each periodic re-design of individual areas is to be accompanied by rotation of the objects on exhibit.