The Porcelain Museum at Augarten illustrates the history of Viennese porcelain with more than 150 significant, historical exhibits of the first Viennese porcelain manufactory founded in 1718. 300 year porcelain history is on display to till today.
PORCELAIN MUSEUM AUGARTEN
Extensive renovation completed in June 2011 has now restored the palace of Augarten to its former glory. Originally an imperial maison de plaisance, it has since 1923 been the home of the AUGARTEN PORCELAIN MANUFACTORY. One wing of the building now houses the Augarten Porcelain Museum, the exhibition rooms of which feature an imposing original kiln extending over two floors.
The museum illustrates the history of Vienna porcelain with a representative selection of pieces from all its artistic phases. The visitor entering on the upper floor is presented with accounts of porcelain’s origins in China, of the enthusiasm it fired in the hearts of Western rulers, and of the European discovery of the recipe for hard-paste or “true” porcelain. The various stages of production are vividly represented, with opportunities to touch and feel samples of porcelain’s essential ingredients: kaolin (“china clay”), feldspart (“china stone”) and quartz.
From DuPaquier to the imperial manufactory
1718 – 1864
Vienna’s first porcelain manufactory, the second in all Europe, was founded in 1718 by Claudius Innocentius du Paquier, whose porcelain displays a truly Baroque exuberance of form. In 1744, following the expiry of du Paquier’s imperial privilege, the enterprise passed into Habsburg ownership and the stylistic tune was called by Maria Theresa’s beloved Rococo.
A generation later the rise of Neoclassicism inspired porcelain with perfect forms and lavish ornament. Subsequently, the porcelain of Biedermeier Vienna was notable for its radiant colours. The exhibition illustrates these changes in style with a wide range of objects, some owned by Augarten and others loaned by important museums and private collections.
The tour across one and a half centuries of Vienna porcelain concludes with the famous porcelain “Kaisersemmel” bread roll and the closing down of the imperial manufactory in 1864.
The restart from 1923
The ground floor is devoted to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and is the museum of the Augarten Porcelain Manufactory. Founded at this location in 1923, Augarten was intended not simply to carry on the grand old tradition of its imperial predecessor but also to make its own special contribution to contemporary art.
Accordingly, production in the 1920s and 1930s was marked by such artists as Josef Hoffmann, Hertha Bucher, Ena Rottenberg, Walter Bosse and Franz Zülow.
In another vein, the period also brought forth the famous Spanish Riding School series of equestrian figures by Albin Döbrich and Karin Jarl-Sakellarios.
After illustrating the particular problems of and technical experiments carried out during the Second World War, the exhibition presents porcelain by Ursula Klasman that exemplifies the pursuit of a radical new simplicity characteristic of the 1950s. Pieces by Wolfgang Hutter and Arik Brauer from the years up to and including the 1990s show the art of Vienna porcelain being given a particularly Viennese slant.
The twenty-first century is represented in works by a very diverse range of artists including Kurt Spurey, Gregor Schmoll and Gundi Dietz.
The museum also features the most recent work of contemporary designers such as Gottfried Palatin, Philipp Bruni and Thomas Feichtner, which has been inspired by the tradition of the 1920s.
The design for the Augarten Porcelain Museum by the architect Professor Boris Podrecca features elegant “paravents” and glass cubes that provide the perfect setting for the porcelain exhibits.
The concept for the presentation was the creation of Annette Ahrens B.A. and Dr. Claudia Lehner-Jobst.
HOW TO REACH
Underground U2 to Taborstraße or U4 to Schottenring and tram 31 to Obere Augartenstraße. 5 minutes walk to the manufactory.
Museum € 7,00 / Concessions € 5,00
Manufactory tour and Museum € 14,00 / Concessions € 12,00 / School groups € 7,00
Monday to Thursday 10.15 and 11.30
Guided Museum tours € 11,00 / Concessions € 9,00
Saturday, 14.00 and 15.00 (german and english)
Special tours upon request
Obere Augartenstraße 1