The diverse coverage of the collection ranges from the Middle Ages to Historicism and Art Nouveau, and encompasses all of the fields of the applied arts. The coverage ranges from precious goldsmith work to glasses and ceramics, tapestries, furniture, tile stoves and entire room furnishings.
The Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum’s applied arts collection begun immediately after the museum was established, owes its existence above all to a series of donations and endowments. The Gothic furniture came from the Ritter von Az endowment and the Makart room from the estate of the painter’s granddaughter. The Kastner donation also contains important applied arts from the Middle Ages to the secession.
The inventory encompasses around 400 pieces of furniture, 900 goldsmith works, 500 works made of tin, 600 works made of iron, 1,700 ceramics, 500 porcelain works, 700 glasses and 1200 varia and around 500 textiles. The focuses are on the Gothic furniture and goldsmith works, the magnificent doors from Schloss Hartheim, the magnificent Renaissance and Baroque tiled stoves, the abundant collection of Gmunden ceramics and works of Art Nouveau from Vienna.
Among the collection’s earliest works are Limousin Enamel, an ivory box and several Gothic ivory reliefs. The processional staffs and crucifixes as well as the “palm donkey” mounted on a trolley give an impression of Middle Age processionals. Among the Gothic furniture the sacristy cabinet from Eferding stands out, which – as it was originally – contains liturgical devices, including a rare copy of a "griffin’s claw".
The ceilings und magnificent doors from Schloss Hartheim spread over several rooms, ornate cabinets and boxes, an Italian cassone (trunk), a Flemish tapestry with ostriches and the large stove from Schloss Würting give an impression of domestic Renaissance culture. A tile series with the Our Father and allegories, painted ceramic plates from Urbino, several imperial eagle beakers and an ornately decorated iron chest bear witness to the luxurious lifestyles of the aristocracy and wealthy bourgeois.
The prince-elector’s stove from Schloss Wildshut, banquet table from the Schwanenstadt trove, magnificent furniture, a parade carriage and the giant chess game from Schloss Weinberg bear witness to Baroque joie de vivre. The abundant inventory of ceramics provide an overview of the most important European manufacturers, in particular those from Gmunden. Notable among the glasses are above all the luxurious Bohemian goblets. The collection’s showpieces include a large tapestry, which glorifies peace prevailing over war.
The scythe smith room gives a sense of the elegant lifestyle of the “The Black Count”. It leads into the Biedermeier era, which is represented by Viennese porcelain, glasses, iron cast works and Johann Rint’s miniature carvings. Two rooms, one of which is from the Hans Makart endowment, give an impression of the lifestyle of the “Ringstrasse” era. A Robert Obsieger tiled stove and an abstract glass mosaic by Peter Behrens round out the collection.
The department considers itself a focal point for regional history research, on which the exhibitions are also focused. In 1987 an internationally well-received exhibition was dedicated to the topic of jewellery and its creative and societal elements. In 1994 the luxurious baroque goblets and the Lötz glasses were the focus of an exhibition. The jewellery of the Kastner endowment and the Linz carpets were scientifically analysed in cooperation with the Museum für angewandte Kunst [Museum for applied arts]. The Gothic applied arts were also researched in 2002 on the occasion of the Gothic project. The collection last participated in 2015 in the "Myth of Beauty" exhibition and will also be at the 50-year anniversary of the Schlossmuseum Linz in 2016.