A preview of Vienna´s long night of research – Part 1: the MAK

On 13 April 2018 you have an opportunity to visit many of Vienna´s cultural and research institutions for free.  It´s Lange Nacht der Forschung (Long Night of Research) again!  LNF18 is the only nationwide science communication event that makes the services of domestic institutions accessible to the general public – from school projects to cutting-edge research.

Yesterday I had a chance to get a special preview with Instagramers Austria of what´s on show at Vienna´s Museum of Applied Arts — the MAK.  This venerable institution was founded as the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry in 1863 and has come a long way since then.  Today, history and modern (applied) art sit side by side. 


Genealogy of the Angewandte
Touring the time line “Genealogy of the Angewandte” with Instagramers Austria


So, what do science and research  have to do with art?  Quite a lot, as it turns out.  Special exhibits for the LNF18 include:

  • Klimt´s Magic Garden: A Virtual Reality Experience by Frederick Baker
  • CRISPR / Cas9 gene manipulation visualized! Where art and science  interact
  • Ornament, mathematics, and art: the reconstruction of the rosette from the Minbar of the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo
  • Made by Klimt, reloaded by MAK: A technological look at the design drawings for the Palais Stoclet
  • Rediscovery of the Viennese Orient: an attempt to reconstruct the work of architect Franz Schmoranz
  • A missionary artist: Matteo Ripa at the imperial court in Beijing

The Aesthetics of Change

If you want to see the temporary exhibit on the Aesthetics of change, which chronicles important milestones in the evolution of the MAK, you have to hurry – it ends on 15 April 2018!   It is arranged in alphabetic order – from A to Z (the MAK from 1867 to 2017)

Drawing of the MAK by Alphons Theodor
The beginning: Ink drawing of the MAK facade from 1889 by Alphons Theodor. Behind it, the handwritten approval of the construction of this institution by Emperor Franz Josef I, 1867
Shoe chair by Birgit Juergenssen
How about that? A shoe chair from 1974 by Birgit Juergenssen.


The second part of this anniversary exhibition, 150 + thirty, sketches some theses for the future and pleads for a reorientation of education, art and society.  This is where modern technology meets art – some rather interesting exhibits there.

This is a sort of mobile installation that translates ocean waves somewhere into real-time movement. Mesmerizing!
Fly painting on screen
Here some digital (but very real looking) flies do the drawing – the digital artist created an algorithm that outlines the silhouette of a watching visitor.


From Viennese to International Style

I also recommend the permanent exhibition spaces.  Personally I am quite partial to the objects of home interior design from the Vienna Secession period.  The MAK has some really beautiful pieces on show.

Furniture Vienna Style around 1900
A sample of distinctly Viennese Style (Secessionist) furniture and other objects for Austrian homes around the turn of the century.


Time for some relaxation

After having a look at the permanent exhibitions and exploring the various temporary exhibit spaces, perhaps you´d like to take a reading break on the modern seating elements by Hermann Czech in the MAK’s central, neo-Renaissance Main Hall? Or enjoy some food at t he MAK´s restaurant Salonplafond.


Main lobby of the MAK
The main lobby of the MAK was built in Italian Renaissance style during the period of historism. Look at the modern sofas they placed there for visitors.


Did you know that the MAK has several venues apart from the well known one at Vienna´s Ringstraße?  There is even one in Los Angeles (yes, admittedly a bit far from Vienna)!

MAK History

Have a look at the entire programme of the LNF18 — I bet you´ll have a hard time choosing what to see.

All current exhibitions at the MAK

The MAK also has a blog! (in German)

Beyond the MAK – MAK Tips

WATCH THIS SPACE for Part 2 – the ZAMG


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: