Story by Ed Salvato; image above of the Albertina, formerly part of the Hapsburg palace complex and now an art museum housing the world's largest collection of graphics and a spectacular example of Austrian design, courtesy the museum
Many who wish to visit Austria picture snow-peaked mountains, the famous opera, and sachertorte awaiting them. These travelers will not be disappointed. However, what they might not know is that Vienna also offers one of the greatest densities of art museums and galleries in the world, with all manner of options for soaking up culture, including a flourishing design scene. For the past several years, a team of dedicated designers has created Vienna Design Week. This year's event takes place October 1 through 10, 2010.
This 10-day event allows attendees to experience all that's new in the realms of product, furniture, and industrial design, with a fun dose of experimental design thrown in for good measure. Check out the insect-like tape installation to the right, courtesy Design Week.
if you can't make it to Vienna this year -- or just want a foretaste of the event -- check out the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York. It is America's national design museum, part of the Smithsonian, and it is currently showing Ted Muehling Selects: Lobmeyr Glass from the Permanent Collection through January 2, 2011.
New York-based Muehling is the museum's guest curator drawing on works from the recent acquisition of 163 rare examples of J & L Lobmeyer glass makers of Vienna, Austria. Many of Lobmeyer's older works look startlingly modern, like this group of table glass designed by Stefan Rath (Austrian, 1876–1960), manufactured for J. & L. Lobmeyr, Vienna, Austria, ca. 1905.
The second example below is a footed dish with white and light blue enamel bands with gold lining. Designed by Ludwig Lobmeyr (Austrian, 1829–1917). Manufactured for J. & L. Lobmeyr. Vienna, Austria, ca. 1885. Glass, enamel, and gilding