The Glass of the Architects. Vienna 1900–1937
17 April 2017
As a long-term joint initiative of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and the Pentagram foundation, Le Stanze del Vetro is dedicated to the exploration, preservation, archiving and digitisation of glass art in the 20th and 21st centuries. In January this year, collaboration with Le Stanze del Vetro, resulted in the exhibition “The Glass of Architects. Vienna 1900–1937”, which runs until 17 April 2017. This collection of more than 300 glass objects from the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the end of the First Republic can now be seen in Vienna for the first time.
A group of young architects – among them students of the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts studying under Otto Wagner, the Kunstgewerbeschule (a school of arts and crafts) and the Technical University – all had a decisive influence in the design and manufacturing techniques of the glass objects. At that time, glass was becoming established as a material of modernity. Contact with influential Viennese glass manufactures, such as E. Bakalowits and Sons and J. and L. Lobmeyrs as well as reform art movements such as the Viennesse Secession, made it possible to create completely novel design concepts. Among the renowned protagonists of Viennese Modernism are Joseph Hoffmann (1870–1956), Koloman Moser (1868–1918) and Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867–1908); they all significantly influenced later designs for decorative and utility glass. The creation of Viennese art glass based on architectural designs became an integral part and feature of important reform art exhibitions, such as the 8th Viennese Secession exhibition held in 1900, or the Werkbund exhibition held in Cologne in 1914. The exhibition “The Glass of Architects. Vienna 1900–1937” covers seven areas including “Glass in the Viennese Workshop”, “Wartime Glasses”, “Bronzite Glass”, “Classical Glass Designs by Josef Hoffmann” and “Glass from the Glassmaking Schools”. The architects’ designs and photographs from the earlier exhibitions supplement the display of glass objects. Together with the exhibition “Handwerk. Tradiertes Können in der digitalen Welt“ [Handicrafts. Traditional Skills in the Digital Age] (running until 9 April 2017), MAK redirects the focus onto glass as an essential material for craftsmanship and design in various epochs.
The regular entrance fee is 9.90 Euros. On Tuesdays, admission is free from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A guided tour focussing on the material glass takes place on Saturdays from 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 p.m. onwards. The accompanying exhibition catalogue is available in the MAK Design Shop.