19th-century England was not just a political and technological leader, but also drove forward the development of new forms for its own products. The establishment of the imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and industry in Vienna, todays MAK, was a clear demonstration of Englands influence. The museum in Vienna was intended to encourage domestic production and enrich its formal repertoire by compiling and showing a collection of models.
The increasing industrialization of 19th-century England saw commensurate growth of the middle class. This market was served via the mass production of affordable textiles, the stylistic sophistication of which increased considerably during the centurys second half.
The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in 1887, mounted presentations of modern arts and crafts that saw the participation of artists such as William Morris, Walter Crane and Charles f. A. Voysey, whose works are also shown in this exhibition. The style that was then subsumed under the term Arts and Crafts embodied a reaction to the aesthetic and economic development of midcentury English output.
The MAK acquired contemporary textiles from England in the late 19th century and presented numerous panels in an exhibition together with contemporary examples from Belgium, france, and italy as early as 1899. Viennese artists and tradespeople, as is shown prominently in the new Vienna 1900 exhibit of the MAK Permanent Collection, were thus given the opportunity to get acquainted with and take inspiration from innovative, Englishdesigned products even prior to 1900.
This exhibition is accompanied by the launch of a database presenting the MAKs entire collection of English textiles and wallpaper. It offers the opportunity to become more familiar with and study these rich holdings, and the varied patterns to be found there can also serve as inspiration for a wide range of interests and occasions.
Curator Barbara Karl, Curator, MAK Textiles and Carpets Collection
Exhibition folder download
Part of the exhibits will be integrated in the EU-funded project Partage Plus Digitising and Enabling Art Nouveau for Europeana:
This two-year EU project is dedicated to the scholarly research and digitization of selected Art Nouveau-era objects, ultimately providing online access to the public via Europeana, a multi-media Open Access data base dedicated to the collection and publication of European cultural assets. The MAK, as one of 23 participating institutions from all over Europe, thus has been offered a unique opportunity to publicize its valuable and extensive holdings from this erain particular works by artists from the Wiener Werkstätte and the Secession like Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, or Gustav Klimt. In the course of this project a total of 4,600 objects from the MAKs collections, including objects presented in the current exhibitions A Shot of Rhythm and Color and Vienna 1900, will be researched, digitized and published online until early 2014.
(Partage Plus is funded by the Commissions ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme)
€ 12 / reduced € 10
Free Admission for children and teens under 19
Tuesdays 6–10 p.m. admission € 5