Works on Paper Room

From Dürer to Sagmeister

The Works on Paper Room is dedicated entirely to works on paper. Due to the special conservational requirements of paper as a material, the rich holdings of the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection are displayed in rotating exhibitions, whose topics cover the discipline of commercial graphic design in the wider sense: posters, drawings, Japanese woodblock printing. Artists’ statements, artists’ books, and architectural projects testify to the diversity of the program arising from the complexity of this collection.
As part of the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection, several exhibitions are curated every year using the collection’s holdings. Particular attention is paid to ensuring a balance between historical and contemporary works as well as between the main focal points of the Library Collection.
In line with its historical function as a reading room, the Works on Paper Room was first used as an exhibition room in 1968 for a presentation of Japanese colored woodblock printing from the collection’s own holdings. The history of Cuban posters was here told for the first time in Austria in 2005, and in 2002 Stefan Sagmeister’s first solo show took place here. His HAPPY SHOW in 2015 and exhibition on BEAUTY in 2018 were a continuation of that first event. In this room, tribute has been paid to such personalities as Otto Neurath and Carlo Scarpa as well as to the pioneers of commercial graphic design Joseph Binder, Julius Klinger, Hermann Kosel, and Hans Neumann. With its annual 100 BEST POSTERS exhibition, the Works on Paper Room offers young poster artists in German-speaking countries a platform for their work.
Book art is also a focus of our program: from Russian and Viennese children’s books and book covers designed by the Wiener Werkstätte to the contemporary artist’s book, the MAK has set itself the task of sharing a wide range of media with its public.