The Collection of Applied Arts consists of a broad spectrum of objects from Viennese arts and crafts. Among the oldest objects are stained-glass paintings from the 14th century, of which the stained glass windows from the Choir of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (c. 1340) deserve special mention. The collection’s focus is on the Biedermeier Period as well as applied arts around 1900: the most important Viennese manufactures and workshops as well as craftsmen and designers of these eras are represented here. The stocks are divided into works of porcelain, glass, metal and miscellaneous items (e.g. mother-of-pearl works).
In the porcelain area, the spectrum ranges from works from the “Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur” (“Vienna Porcelain Manufacture”), founded by Claudius Innocentius du Paquier in 1718 through to objects from the “Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten (“Vienna Porcelain Manufacture Augarten”), which was newly established in 1923. Highlights of the collection are made up of works from the Classicist “Sorgenthal Period” as well as Biedermeier bowls with delicate porcelain painting.
Rimmed beakers painted with transparent enamel paint – glasses that widen towards the top with a slightly protruding base, the “Ranft” – and other glasses by Gottlob Samuel Mohn and Anton Kothgasser are among the most splendid of Biedermeier arts and crafts. Besides glasses with views of Vienna’s squares and buildings, friendship and memento glasses as well as glasses with portraits of rulers are also represented in the collection.
Among the most remarkable of the ceramic items of the Wien Museum are the c. 500 works from the Vienna Manufacture Goldscheider (1885-1953), mostly serially produced figurines which reflect the popular taste of the Historicist Period up to the 1950s. Among these can be found famous models such as Josef Lorenzl’s “Der gefangene Vogel” (“The Captive Bird”) and Ida Meisinger’s “Der Modehund” (“The Fashion Dog”) as well as ceramics by artists such as Arthur Strasser, Stefan Dakon or Rudolf Knörlein.
Special mention should be made of the Museum’s extensive Wiener Werkstätte (1903-1932) Collection. Drawing on and evolving from old craftsmen’s traditions and the English Arts and Crafts Movement, the Wiener Werkstätte developed a modern Viennese language of form that won international acclaim. Among the works of the early period, particular mention should be made of the silver objects of Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Dagobert Peche as well as the ceramics of Michael Powolny and Berthold Löffler. The 1920s are documented by glass and ceramic objects by artists such as Vally Wieselthier, Marie Strauss-Likarz, Hilde Jesser or Kitty Rix.
With the works of designer Carl Auböck (1900-1957) the collection also possesses an important inventory of designer objects from the 1930s through to the 1950s. His designs for utilitarian objects for upmarket lifestyle – ranging from bookends through to smoking utensils – were exported throughout the world. At present the collection is being extended to include designer articles from the second half of the 20th century.