Thursday, July 8, 2010

The porcelain pilgrimage continues to Budapest and Vienna

I had a short day in Budapest on Sunday before leaving Hungary. I went for the second time to the Museum of Decorative Arts. Last time was in 2005, when one of the curators with connections to the ICSHU sent her intern around with me to visit store rooms full of ceramics of all ages and types. There was a Zolnay show up in the galleries, too. This time it was textiles but they also had a wonderful show of their collection up with some great European porcelains included. The building itself is spectaclar with, you might have guessed, Zolnay tiles for the roof and entrance. I have also included a photo of the main market with Zolnay tiles.

Vienna is a beautiful city, so bright, clean and well run. Their Decorative Arts Museum (MAK) was amazing. It is also housed in a spectacular building (are you getting the idea that the decorative and applied arts and design are more appreciated in Europe than the US?). They had a ceramics study collection of almost 1000 pieces. My biggest frustration is that they did not allow photos, not even with an extra fee. I had a book in German as a guide and I took copious notes, some in German, for my research. Vienna had an active porcelain production. I am looking for similarities and difference in the major porcelain producers, in techniques, quality and imagery. The final image included is the Majolica House - and people live in it!

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