Duration of project: 1.3.2021 – 31.12.2022
The consortium responsible for the project ATCZ264 JH New digital includes the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts and the Moravian Gallery in Brno (MG). The two focus on Central European Modernism (1890 to 1938) and together share in the maintenance of an institution representing a significant historico-cultural legacy of this era, namely the Josef Hoffmann Museum in Brtnice. The participants also include the City of Brtnice and the New Design University St. Pölten (NDU) as university partner. The Josef Hoffmann Museum was Josef Hoffmann’s family home and served as a “testing ground” for his design talents. His design and architectural projects significantly influenced cultural developments in this era.
The project is a reaction to the (post-) pandemic situation of museums. It presents Josef Hoffmann’s legacy using digital technology, making it available to all interested parties online everywhere in the world. Josef Hoffmann was a co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte and a central figure of an epoch known today as “Central European Modernism.” Focusing on the person of Josef Hoffmann, the project will constitute the first completely digital presentation of his work, complemented by a virtual reality reconstruction of the Wiener Werkstätte’s first showroom.
An international conference will subsequently bring together an interdisciplinary public in the MAK (possibly online) to discuss how the principles of the Wiener Werkstätte can be applied in contemporary design. The remaining project deliverables will also be realized while considering the necessity of mediating them entirely online. Besides two seasonal exhibitions in the summer of 2022, the Josef Hoffmann Museum in Brtnice (hereinafter MJH) will also house a new permanent exhibition featuring contemporary trends in museum presentations and accompanied by a publication on Josef Hoffmann for children.
The barn in the MJH building will be renovated under the patronage of the City of Brtnice and converted into a multifunctional room for temporary exhibitions and accompanying cultural and educational events based on Josef Hoffman’s heritage. The barn will be the focal point for all partners’ project activities. After its reconstruction, in 2022 a permanent virtual reality exhibition will be opened there, based on the NDU’s research project “Traces of Modernity” and prepared by the MG and the MAK.
By extending an invitation to the NDU to participate in the project consortium, the partnership aims to institutionally integrate a university partner—and thus teaching and research—into the project consortium. The NDU participates in all the project’s curatorial processes and makes its expertise available, in particular in the field of mediation.
The project includes developing innovative educational products through a visiting lecturer program that will feature workshops and presentations offered throughout the MJH Building to a range of target groups—thus reanimating the genius loci. Josef Hoffman’s wide-ranging legacy will be further secured by an imaginative “overstepping” of the MJH Building’s boundaries: for children and adults in Brtnice and environs, an adventure trail and cycle path will trace Josef Hoffmann’s achievements and include a visit to the Hoffmann family’s newly restored graves.
Scientific Collaborations resulting from the project:
Project Director MAK:
Dr. Rainald Franz (Curator, Glass and Ceramics Collection, Cross-collection Coordination and EU Projects, Provenance Research and Restitution)
The project has a total budget of 1.09 million Euro and is 85% financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (INTERREG V-A Austria – Czech Republic) as well as by the state budget of the Czech Republic.