In 1903, museum director Arthur von Scala decided to mount a major presentation of the Vienna Porcelain Manufactorys
output at the Imperial nRoyal Museum of Art and Industry, ÖMKI (todays MAK). The showing, entitled Ausstellung von Alt-Wiener Porzellan [Exhibition of Old Viennese Porcelain], opened on 21 March 1904, contained over 2,300 objects, and is to this day regarded
as an epoch-defining portrait of the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory. Alongside museums from Austria-Hungary and Germany, the
over 170 lenders included the Imperial House, members of the high aristocracy, and wealthy collectors.
With this exhibition, the Imperial Royal Museum of Art and Industry established itself as a center of research on old Viennese
porcelain; the museum was well-equipped to do so, having spent the period between 1865 and 1867 taking over the legacy of
the so-called k. k. Aerarial-Porzellan manufactur, which closed in 1864. The exhibition was followed in 1907 by
the publication Geschichte der k. k. Wiener Porzellan-Manufaktur [History of the Imperial Royal Viennese Porcelain Manufactory]
by Josef Folnesics (head of the ÖMKIs Glass and Ceramics Collection from 1897 to 1914) and Edmund Wilhelm Braun, which
is still regarded as a standard work today.
The present showing is meant to document this legendary presentation in terms of its range and quality, as well as make it
understandable in material, analog, and digital form. A purpose-compiled database serves to document the objects shown in
the former exhibition, with special mention of those objects still present in the collection. This is the MAKs first
project in preparation for the major exhibition planned for 2018 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Vienna Porcelain Manufactorys
With representative holdings of ceramics from Austrian production from the sixteenth century until today, unique groups of
objects such as the legacy of the Wiener Porzellanmanufactur (Vienna Porcelain Manufactory) and the extensive collection of
tiled stoves, hafner ware, and majolica of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The MAKs Ceramics Collection is
one of the foremost collections of its type in the world.