The MAK's collection of lace, and its holdings of glassware—especially Venetian glass—are considered among the finest and most varied in the world. Even in the Baroque period, Venetian glasswork was particularly treasured, and both men and women spent vast sums on the sumptuous lace decoration that fashion demanded.
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
While glass-making is one of the oldest handicraft techniques in the world, the history of lace-making only begins in the late Renaissance period, probably in Italy. A distinction is made between needlepoint lace and bobbin lace, but combinations of the two techniques are often seen. Florence, and later Venice and Milan, were the centers of Italian lace-making in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, before lace-making in France and Flanders began during the eighteenth century.
Venice was the center of European glass-making from the Middle Ages onwards. Around 1500, Venetian glass-makers succeeded in producing clear, colorless glass. Glassblowing spread from Venice across the whole of Europe. In the north, centering on Bohemia and Silesia, there was a preference for harder glass that could be decorated with relief or intaglio engraving, or glass decorated with enamel, Schwarzlot ("black solder"), or gold. This presentation of glasswork and lacework is not based only on art-historical criteria, but also on the visual effects of the materials—their "transparency", material delicacy, and the virtuosity of the craftsmanship involved in their production—which may today be the aspect of them that arouses the greatest admiration. / Angela Völker (curator of the MAK Textiles and Carpets Collection during the phase of the reinstallation of the MAK Permanent Collection in the early 1990s)
Artistic intervention:
Franz Graf
Every week you can explore our permanent collections anew together with our art educators. Each time they focus on something different, with fascinating stories, insights, and background information on the exhibits.
every Friday, 4.30 pm (in English) 
every Sunday, 11 am 
Experience the MAK by listening! Explore the MAK with the digital MAK Guide. Audio pieces and high-resolution images offer you an entirely new access to MAK objects and their stories. Free of charge and without download on your mobile at
Artistic intervention
Franz Graf
A design intention = states of affairs. The wealth of appearances. The legacy of those who were here before us = the form of actions, our inheritance = memory: museums are also, like cemeteries, our quiet bliss: because the nature of the encounter also gives rise to understanding: it seems there can be no truth concerning this, but only original, brilliant works: silence is the word extinct. Because the same thing once meant something else: because the essence of things is forever dead, and its material properties maintain this expansion into a different world: because a past exists that the living individual can reach into and at least the possibility is hinted at of coming to an end through oneself and beyond with the early ***** appearance. / Franz Graf
Biography Franz Graf
Born 1954 in Tulln, Lower Austria. Lives and works in Vienna. Franz Graf is one of the most important representatives of a neo-conceptual position. His innovative combinations of divergent media such as drawing, photography, and installation repeatedly lead to new and open structures. The spectrum of his motifs ranges from abstract to ornamental, figurative and emblematic, or to factual representations of reality made with the camera.


Entrance: Weiskirchnerstraße 3
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts