The MAKs renovation in 1986 went hand in hand with the development of new strategies for presenting the museums extensive collection. The project of redoing the permanent collection made it possible to present preservation-worthy items in an incomparable and exemplary interplay between artistic heritage and contemporary interventions by artists including Barbara Bloom, eichinger oder knechtl, Günther Förg, Gangart, Franz Graf, Jenny Holzer, Donald Judd, Peter Noever, Manfred Wakolbinger, and Heimo Zobernig.
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 MAKs 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 will reopen on 20 November 2012 as a permanent presentation of Viennese Arts and Crafts 18901938.
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.