| Möbelmuseum Wien

FINER DINING. AMBOSS DESIGN & DINING CULTURE 1950–1970

Special exhibition


During the post-war economic boom of the early 1950s, Austrian eating patterns and dietary habits began to change. There was a renewed interest in cooking, accompanied by an increased enjoyment of the aesthetic aspects of food and tableware. Now no longer just the preserve of the elite, the notion of fine dining also became an affordable consideration for the middle classes.

2022/09/28 - 2023/04/16
Vienna Furniture Museum
included in museum admission

AMBOSS DESIGN & DINING CULTURE 1950–1970

During the post-war economic boom of the early 1950s, Austrian eating patterns and dietary habits began to change. There was a renewed interest in cooking, accompanied by an increased enjoyment of the aesthetic aspects of food and tableware. Now no longer just the preserve of the elite, the notion of fine dining also became an affordable consideration for the middle classes.

Rather like in the past few months during the pandemic, when the one thing people were longing for was to spend carefree time with family and friends, there was a great desire for convivial gatherings following the hard years of war and economic recovery. This also took new forms, including fondue parties, for instance, or inviting friends round for TV evenings or cocktails. With the advent of new electrical appliances and the availability of convenience products, catering for such events became effortless – or so the advertising slogans claimed – for the housewife.

It is in this context that the rise of the Austrian cutlery manufacturer Neuzeughammer Ambosswerk in the Steyr Valley should be seen. From 1950 the company grew from a small-scale artisanal manufacturer of knives and steel goods into an industrial producer of modern stainless steel cutlery. Designers such as Carl Auböck, Helmut Alder and János Megyik created stylish modern household products for the Amboss company, winning numerous design prizes.

The history of the Amboss company is explored against the atmospheric backdrop of 1950s to 1970s design as manifested in tableware, everyday culture and interior design. While the Lilienporzellan Daisy service – nowadays virtually synonymous with 50s design – is widely known, Amboss cutlery can now be discovered in this exhibition. But be warned: it has definite cult potential!

The exhibition is curated by Dr Marlene Ott-Wodni and Dr Eva B. Ottillinger.