In the heart of Vienna, the capital of the Danube monarchy, the predecessor institution of the current University of Applied Arts, the Imperial Royal Arts and Crafts School, was founded in 1867. It was closely affiliated with the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry (today the MAK), the first Arts and Crafts museum on the European continent. It was established in 1863 following the example of the South Kensington Museum in London, now the Victoria & Albert Museum, and was to serve as a collection of models for artists, industrialists, and the general public. At the time, early-industrialised England played a pioneer role in supporting a reformed Arts and Crafts movement in order to prevent its decline in the "Machine Age". In the spirit of Historicism, the aim was to make it possible, also in Vienna, to study the great styles of the past by example of Arts and Crafts objects in the museum and to set up a place of advanced education for designers and craftsmen with the Arts and Crafts School in Vienna. It should train artists and teachers in equal measure to serve the demands of the "art industry".
As a leading center of excellence in art and research, the Angewandte is recognized nationally and internationally.
- Projects and events of the highest quality are developed in all of the Angewandte’s art and research disciplines. The Angewandte occupies a leading position in Austrian art and culture.
- In the field of artistic research, the Angewandte plays a key role in Austria, and it also has achieved great recognition internationally. The recurrent success of applications made from the University to the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) program for arts-based research (PEEK) gives strong evidence for its high level of achievement.
- Outstanding international artists and scholars in all branches of the Angewandte provide essential impulses in the development of their individual disciplines, and beyond the bounds of their disciplines as well - be it in their artwork, in their publications, in exhibition organization, on the art market, in the creative industries or through their media presence.
- The Angewandte has at its disposal a densely woven and structurally well-established network of internationally renowned institutions and experts, providing numerous possibilities for cooperation to national and international partners and interested parties.