Pouch, purse, ridicule (a knitted pouch), sac Pompadour, handbag with or without handle(s), travel bag, shoulder bag, Kelly
bag, messenger bag the MAK owns a kaleidoscopic and superlative collection of around 270 bags from Europe, the USA,
the Islamic world and China, dating from the Late Middle Ages to the twenty-first century. Visitors can see a representative
selection in the exhibition LEATHER, FABRIC AND ZIPPER, most items being presented to the public for the first
It will show that bags are more than just useful containers and can be interpreted in multiple ways. The bag is carried as part of ones own body. As an object it can oscillate in association between obsession and status symbol; in addition, it is a trendsetter and has meanwhile become a not inconsiderable economic factor. The bags from the MAK Collection are augmented by works of contemporary designers (Lisa Niedermayr, Chris&Tibor, fabrics__interseason et al.), the juxtaposition enables to illustrate the developments within the individual topical sections and re-contextualise the museum objects.
In the exhibition, the bag is treated not only as accessoire chic, but discursively within specific key topics as a complex and multifaceted cultural object. By sectioning it into topics, the exhibition explores the history of the triedand- tested form, which throughout time has been embellished with an increasing love of detail. The form is adapted according to function, illustrated for instance in the key topic Travel and Transport. On the other hand, one section focuses on the topic of gender issues by looking at the way utility bags are worn whether on or under the article of clothing.
Curator Barbara Karl, MAK Curator Textiles and Carpets
MAK Study Collection In the Study Collection, the MAK exhibits selected objects of its extensive collection on a permanent basis. The arrangement by materials corresponds to the specializations of the collections curators, while the selection is based mainly on major lines of development. Temporary exhibitions offer an opportunity to cast a spotlight on various aspects of the collection and to consider objects in the collection between the poles of applied and contemporary art.