Find out more about our current special exhibitions
My Safe Place
extended until 8th October, 2021
The subject of the Augarten Porcelain Museum's new special exhibition is solitude, withdrawal in a safe place.
Whether alone or à deux, this state has acquired new significance in the year 2020. Historically speaking, it has not been rare for people to have to do without larger-scale social amusement - or to consciously choose to do so. For many reasons: pandemics and other threats, fancy, despair, or the demands of etiquette - or, more positively, the productivity of solitude for the creative mind. Our ancestors have always been familiar with the practice of self-isolation.
Porcelain has played its own role in this context. New inventions, such as the déjeuner or the trembleuse, added comfort to the 18th century solitude. In the 2oth and 21st centuries, the less courtly situations still demanded for supplies to comfort or entertain oneself or a small company in a safe place. Whether a lonely deep black Turkish coffee in the 1920s or a zoom coffee party in 2021, porcelain has often been useful in times of retreat.
The exhibition asks questions. Can you hear me? Where are you?
Snapshots from everyday life in safe or less safe places set the stage in the display cases.
On her 90th Birthday
A small special exhibition on the first floor of the museum is dedicated to the innovative works of designer Ursula Klasmann.
Born in Tallínn, Estonia, in 1930, she studied under Oswald Haerdtl at the Kunstgewerbeschule (now the University of Applied Arts) in Vienna from 1950 to 1955. After her diploma, Ursula Klasmann began her career at the Viennese porcelain manufactory Augarten and was instrumental in the development of a modern product line.
Nineteen décors and just as many shapes put the theme of porcelain into a new perspective. Black and white, and occasionally even bright colours, geometry and simplicity were her most important stylistic devices. Even today, the vase shapes, the boxes, her candlesticks and not least her Form No. 75 dinner service are of timeless validity. The dinner service was a contribution by the Augarten Porcelain Manufactory to the Triennale in Milan in 1960 and is characterised by forms with thoughtful details that combine functionality and beauty in a way that is in keeping with the designer's sympathetically uncomplicated and direct outlook.
We warmly congratulate Ursula Klasmann on her 90th birthday and thank her for her significant contribution to the history of Viennese porcelain.