MAK is one of the most important museums of its type in the world, established in 1863 under the name k.k. Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie (Museums of Arts and Industry). Festive opening was held on 12 May 1864. The current building, built in Renaissance style according to plans of Heinrich von Ferstel at Stubenring, houses the museum as from 1871. In 1938, the institution was renamed to Staatliches Kunstgewerbemuseum in Wien (National Museum of Arts in Vienna) and since 1947 it uses its current name Museum für angewandte Kunst.
MAK represents a connection of the past and the present, connected in its extensive collections , topic-oriented exhibitions and extensive program. The most significant features include the effort to connect the field of applied arts, design, architecture and current arts mainly within the scope of season exhibitions. The permanent exhibitions provide a view of extensive fields and make visible the history and variability of applied arts, rich forms and materials. MAK is perceived as a place of knowledge, gathering, investigations, keeping and mediation, meetings, interactions and inter creativity. And last but not least, there is also an important connection within cross-border activities, international dialogue with designers, artists and architects.