The Museum of Applied Arts is not top on most peoples' list of things to do in Vienna, so it is good to know what is even inside of there so you can decide if this is for you or not. In any case, there's no doubt that the cafe/bar/restaurant connected to the Museum of Applied Arts (Museum für angewandte Kunst) is a fun and different place to go.
Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance Room: Göss paraments, various pieces of Majolica, and some pieces of furniture. Most interesting are the ceramics and furniture from the 15th and 16th centuries. The bureau cabinet from Augusburg is beautiful!
Baroque Rococco Classicism Room: There are some very cool pieces of furniture here, built in the 18th century for the aristocracy.
Empire Style Biedermeyer:The display of chairs is really really interesting, not just the chairs, but how they are displayed--very cool!
"Wiener Werkstätte":This is kind of hard to explain. Wiener Werkstätte was basically a company here that existed from 1903-1932, in which they tried to take normal everyday items and adapt them artistically to the new era...I guess you have to read more about it and see the exhibits...
There is a contemporary art collection, 21st century architecture, a Far East room, and an Orient Room.
If you don't like art, furniture, history, etc...probably you won't like it--go straight to the cafe/restaurant. But otherwise, even if you're not a big museum person, there are interesting things to see here and great bar/cafe/restaurant.
Every Tuesday the museum is open until midnight and it is great to visit at night!
Every Saturday is free entry!
Closed Mondays and otherwise open from 10 AM - 6 PM.
Very close to Ubahn Stubentor, or just walk there from the very center, from the St. Stephen's Cathedral.
Entrance is 7,90 Euros without the "MAK" guide, or 9,90 Euros with it. There is a garderobe to store your coats, etc...costs about 70 cents.
There are so many wonderful art museums in Vienna, yet there is one more that I would suggest to any art lover traveling to Vienna: the MAK museum of applied and contemporary art.
The MAK, reopened in 1993 after being reconstructed and redesigned, as a visual delight. The current Wiener Werkstatte (WW) exhibit is wonderfully organized and very informative. And the permanent exhibits are creatively displayed. Leading artists designed the display rooms organized by period (Art Nouveau, Biedermeyer, WW, Contemporary, etc.) and decided how to display those works. The results are stunning. The room devoted to chairs from the Historicism Art Nouveau period are displayed behind white panels, with light shining through so that you can focus on the curves and shapes of the chairs as the shadows hit the panel. Finding out how each room's objects are displayed is as interesting as looking at the items themselves.
So carve out two or three hours during your visit to Vienna to see the MAK. It is open late on Tuesday nights until midnight, and they hold special programs including concerts on these evenings (MAK nites). If you're still skeptical, visit on a Saturday when entrance is free. Another interesting innovation is the museum catalogue, called Vienna by MAK. More than just a typical overivew of its collection, Vienna by Mak includes a description of the MAK and its affiliated museums, suggestions for walking tours to see important architectural sites, other tips for sightseeing, eating, and shopping in Vienna. Vienna by MAK is the first museum "catalogue" that I read cover to cover. Best of all, you get Vienna by MAK if you pay for regular admission (any day but Saturday) to the MAK (9.9 EUR). For a couple of Euro less, you can enter the MAK without the guide, but I think it is more than worth the price. The shop and café are very nice too. Closed on Mondays.
The MAK is the Viennese museum for applied arts - if you are familiar with London, it's the equivalent of the Victoria and Albert. There are some wonderful things here, particularly if you are interested in _stuff_. There's furniture and clothing and pottery and glassware and architectural models and textiles and metalwork and about every other kind of craftwork you could possibly imagine. I was especially interested in the room devoted to the development of fine furniture in Austria. The MAK is a hip and chic place, and Tuesdays nights, when the museum is open until midnight, are really a "happening."
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