The Workshop Room is dedicated to the trades involved in furniture production: cabinet-making, upholstery, gilding and metalworking. The restoration workshops of the Bundesmobilienverwaltung, the federal government department that is the successor institution to the Court Furnishings Depot, were involved in the design of this room.
The Biedermeier alcoves were set up in the 1920s, when display rooms were opened at the former Imperial-Royal Court Furnishings Depot. The Biedermeier furnishings from the imperial household were here arranged to represent model middle-class interiors.
This corner room contains three complete dining room suites that demonstrate the change in style from the Vienna Modern movement around 1900 to the interwar period. The furniture was designed by the Austrian architects Carl Witzmann, Otto Prutscher and Felix Augenfeld.
The next room is dedicated to kitchen furniture, starting with a work bench with pots and pans from the Court Kitchens. Further highlights include an ERDÖ kitchen cabinet from the interwar period and the so-called Vienna fitted kitchen from the 1956 Soziale Wohnkultur programme.
For centuries, bodily hygiene was practised with the aid of special furniture. Preserved at the Furniture Museum are numerous toilet tables, dressing tables and dressing mirrors, plus bidets and ‘commodes’ (mobile toilets). The sanitary porcelain comes from the Silver Collection.
This section preserves the historical state of the former Imperial-Royal Furnishings Depot. The items of furniture were piled up on top of each other on two levels. The two levels are divided by a timber structure.
Displayed in the chair depot is a large variety of seating furniture ranging from stools and chairs to armchairs and rocking chairs. Alongside traditional wooden chairs and upholstered armchairs are seats made of metal, bentwood and cane.
Michael Thonet was one of the pioneers of modern design. A master cabinet-maker, he left his home town of Boppard am Rhein in Germany and settled in Vienna, where he patented his bentwood process. At first he used the bentwood process to make chairs, later producing tables, rocking chairs and children’s furniture.
The Vienna Modern movement
The furniture design of the Viennese Modern movement around 1900 is one of the highlights of the collection. On display are designs by Otto Wagner for the Postal Savings Bank, furniture by Josef Hoffmann for the State Printing Works made at the Wiener Werkstätte, and the very first dining room suite by Adolf Loos.
The interwar period
During the interwar period, a particular style of furnishing evolved with the Neues Wiener Wohnen movement. This section centres on the furniture designed by Josef Frank and made by Haus & Garten, and the apartment designed for Lucie Rie by Ernst Plischke.
The Postwar Period
The main exhibits featured in the section devoted to Austrian furniture design from the postwar era are the Arabia espresso café furniture by Oswald Haerdtl, the Stadthalle chair by Roland Rainer, combinations with metalwork by Carl Auböck, and lightweight chairs by Anna-Lülja Praun. New impulses came from Walter Pichler and Hans Hollein.
The expanding collection
The tour concludes with a new design platform devoted to Austrian furniture design after 2000. Architects made way for designers, with teamwork gaining in importance. Teams featured here include EOOS, POLKA and Walking Chair.
The so-called Armorial Hall was once part of the villa designed in 1883 by the architect Eugen Sehnal for the German-Austrian author and critic Hugo Wittmann. The library was redecorated with arms of the Danube Monarchy at the behest of Anton Nagler, a representative in the Landtag, who had purchased the villa in 1905.