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Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin

Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin

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Encyclopedia
The Kunstgewerbemuseum, or Museum of Decorative Arts, is an internationally important museum of the decorative arts in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums). The collection is split between the Kunstgewerbemuseum building at the Kulturforum
Kulturforum
The Kulturforum is a collection of cultural buildings in Berlin, Germany. It was built up in the 1950s and 60s at the edge of West Berlin, after most of the once unified city's cultural assets had been lost behind the Berlin Wall...

  and Köpenick Palace
Köpenick Palace
Schloss Köpenick is a Baroque palace of the Hohenzollern electors of Brandenburg which stands on an island in the Dahme River and gives its name to Köpenick, a district of Berlin....

 

History


It was founded in 1868 as the Deutsches Gewerbe-Museum zu Berlin, and was originally a teaching institute as well as a public museum. The collection grew significantly in the 1870s, and it was renamed Kunstgewerbemuseum in 1879. In 1881 it relocated into the Martin-Gropius-Bau – where Priam's Treasure
Priam's Treasure
Priam’s Treasure is a cache of gold and other artifacts discovered by classical archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann claimed the site to be that of ancient Troy, and assigned the artifacts to the Homeric king Priam. This assignment is now thought to be a result of Schliemann's zeal to...

 was also on display for a time – and in 1921 it moved into the Stadtschloss.

Parts of the collection were destroyed in World War II, and the surviving items were split between East
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

 and West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

. The Eastern collection moved into Köpenick Palace in 1963, while the Western exhibits moved first into Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin, Germany, and the only royal residency in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. It is located in the Charlottenburg district of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf burough.The palace was built at the end of the 17th century...

, then into the new museum building in the Kulturforum in 1985.

Exhibition


The Kunstgewerbemuseum displays European (and Byzantine
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

) decorative arts from all post-classical periods of art history, and features gold, silver, glass and enamel items, porcelain
Porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

, furniture, panelling
Panelling
Panelling is a wall covering constructed from rigid or semi-rigid components. These are traditionally interlocking wood, but could be plastic or other materials....

, tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

, costumes, and silks.

There is a very important collection of Late Antique objects in many media. The items from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 include a large number of gold reliquaries
Reliquary
A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures...

. The Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 is represented by silverware from the city councillors of Lüneburg
Lüneburg
Lüneburg is a town in the German state of Lower Saxony. It is located about southeast of fellow Hanseatic city Hamburg. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, and one of Hamburg's inner suburbs...

, and bronze sculpture
Bronze sculpture
Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called simply a "bronze".Common bronze alloys have the unusual and desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling the finest details of a mold. Then, as the bronze cools, it...

s, tapestries, furniture, Venetian glass
Venetian glass
Venetian glass is a type of glass object made in Venice, Italy, primarily on the island of Murano. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skillfully made....

es and maiolica
Maiolica
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance. It is decorated in bright colours on a white background, frequently depicting historical and legendary scenes.-Name:...

s from the Italian princely courts.

The Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 era is represented by faience
Faience
Faience or faïence is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a delicate pale buff earthenware body, originally associated with Faenza in northern Italy. The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip...

s from Delft
Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

, and glass items. There is also European porcelain (particularly from Meissen
Meissen porcelain
Meissen porcelain or Meissen china is the first European hard-paste porcelain that was developed from 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. After his death that October, Johann Friedrich Böttger, continued his work and brought porcelain to the market...

 and the Royal Manufacturer of Berlin), and decorative crockery from the rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

, classicist
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

, historicist
Historicism
Historicism is a mode of thinking that assigns a central and basic significance to a specific context, such as historical period, geographical place and local culture. As such it is in contrast to individualist theories of knowledges such as empiricism and rationalism, which neglect the role of...

 and Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

styles. The "New Collection" of 20th century craftwork includes industrially-manufactured products.

External links