Vienna’s famous carpet collection at MAK

Category: General

MAK – the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna has an very important collection of 15-17th century Anatolian carpets, Persian carpets and Egyptian Mamluk carpets. The collection includes approximately 200 carpets. Some thirty of these are on public display in the carpet exhibition hall. The rest is stored and only shown on special occasions.

MAK Carpet Exhibition Hall
Medallion Ushak carpet, West Anatolia 16th century
Medallion Ushak carpet, West Anatolia circa 1600
Bird Ushak
Ottoman carpet late 16th century

Most of the carpets were in the Austrian Imperial Court possession before the conclusion of the First World War, following which they were transferred to the new Austrian state in 1919. Further sources were the former Imperial and Royal Austrian Trade Museum and the museum’s own acquisitions since 1868.

MAK Carpet Exhibition Hall
Star Ushak carpet, West Anatolia 17th century
“Lotto carpet”, West Anatolia Ushak region mid 16th century
Mamluk carpet, Egypt, Cairo, first half 16th century
“Polonaise” carpet, Central Persia, Isfahan/Kashan first quarter 17th century
Herat carpet fragment, Persia mid 16th century
Kerman carpet fragment, South Persia second half 17th century

Many of the stored carpets can be found in Dr. Angela Völker’s massive 436 pages book and catalogue about the museum’s collection of oriental pile rugs “Die orientalischen Knüpfteppiche im MAK”. This book and catalogue includes 150 colour illustrations. Angela Völker was formerly the museum’s carpet and textile curator.

“Portuguese” carpet, Northeast Persia, Khorassan, early 17th century
Kurdistan carpet, Nortwest Persia 17/18th century
Double niche prayer carpet circa 1600
Dragon carpet
Kerman carpet fragment. Arabesque. Second half 17th century
Embroidered cover 17th century
Isfahan carpet
Mamluk, Cairo first half 16th century
Ottoman carpet second half 16th century
Polomaise carpet first quarter 17th century
Polonaise carpet 17th century

Location: Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK), Stubenring 5, Wien

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