Exhibition | Eternally Beautiful: 300 Years of Vienna Porcelain

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 24, 2018

Now on view at the Augarten Porcelain Museum in Vienna:

Eternally Beautiful: 300 Years of Vienna Porcelain, 1718–2018
Augarten Porcelain Museum, Vienna, 20 March — 13 October 2018

The central theme of the Augarten Porcelain Museum’s jubilee exhibition is the dialogue between the designers and the users of Vienna porcelain since 1718. Select exhibits from the hands and minds of innovative artists and designers from the various eras enter into dialogue with their respective cultural context, distinctive creative styles thus being paired with their era’s distinctive mood. The historical spectrum ranges from astounding miracles of Baroque craftsmanship to light-hearted Rococo objets d’art, from the golden glory of Neoclassical porcelain through the simplicity of Biedermeier to the allusive reminiscences of Historicism, and then continues up to the present day via the delicate creations of Art Déco, the bright colours of the 1950s and the fascinating world of modern design.

In all the most important phases of the Vienna porcelain manufactory first founded by Claudius Innocentius du Paquier in 1718, production has been characterized by an interplay between the vision of the porcelain-makers and the actual lifestyle of the porcelain-users. Conrad von Sorgenthal (1733–1805), the most successful director of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, sent staff out as ‘lifestyle scouts’ to sound out the habits, fashions, special preferences and opinions of his customers, so that the findings could then be reflected in the design process. When the Augarten manufactory was founded in 1923 as the successor to the imperial works, it strove to achieve a similar closeness to contemporary lifestyle. The craft of fine porcelain was enriched with significant formal and emotional input not only from designers of the Wiener Werkstätte and but also from a host of excellently trained graduates from the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts. By putting innovative creations from three centuries under the spotlight, the exhibition is intended to stimulate fresh debate and generate a new discourse. As part of the presentation, the Museum has invited the designers currently cooperating with the Augarten manufactory to take part in designing the present-day exhibition space.

Claudia Lehner-Jobst, Ewig Schön: 300 Jahre Wiener Porzellan (Vienna: Residenz Verlag, 2018), 192 pages, ISBN: 9783701734498, 35€.

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