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Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden to show three centuries of the history of porcelain in two major exhibitions

Invitation to the press conference on 5 May at the Ephraim Palais in Berlin

Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Colleagues,
Exactly 300 years ago August the Strong established Europe’s first porcelain manufactory in Meissen. Meissener Porzellan® (Meissen Porcelain) swiftly became an indispensable status symbol for the European aristocracy. Until the mid-18th century, the Meissen manufactory led the way in terms of ideas for porcelain design throughout Europe. Afterwards, many manufactories that were founded later developed their own forms and styles of decoration and Meissen® gradually lost its predominant position to Berlin and Sèvres, which now took over the leading role in Europe.

With the special exhibition in Berlin entitled “Zauber der Zerbrechlichkeit. Meisterwerke europäischer Porzellankunst.” the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are celebrating the tercentenary of the invention of hard-paste porcelain in Europe. The exhibition – organised in association with the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin – will be showing around 500 objects, including about a hundred porcelain wares from the holdings of the Porzellansammlung of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, encompassing porcelains not only from Meissen but also from Höchst, Frankenthal, Ludwigsburg, Nymphenburg, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sèvres and many other famous European manufactories which rivalled Meissen®. “The Fascination of Fragility” will present Meissen Porcelain in the context of European porcelain culture. Specimen pieces will illustrate both independent developments and mutual relations and interchange between the various manufactories. The exhibition will pay particular attention to the masterpieces produced by the other European manufactories. Among the items on display will be porcelains from the Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Musée national du Céramique in Sèvres.

The exhibition architecture designed by Berlin architect Kuehn-Malvezzi will present the porcelains in an unusual atmosphere, with the works of art arranged both according to their place of production and with regard to thematic focal points and set against a colourful background made up of fabrics and light. Furthermore, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are taking this year’s tercentenary of the invention of European porcelain as an opportunity to hold an exhibition of Meissen Porcelain for the first time at the venue which August the Strong wished to devote to the presentation of the royal porcelain treasures. The special exhibition “Triumph der blauen Schwerter. Meissener Porzellan für Adel und Bürgertum 1710 - 1815.” (Triumph of the Blue Swords. Meissen Porcelain for Gentry and Bourgeoisie 1710-1815) will be on view in the Japanisches Palais from 9 May. It will present a comprehensive survey of Meissen porcelain art from the Baroque to the Biedermeier period.

We should like to invite you to the press conference being held to mark the opening of these exhibitions, which will take place at 11 a.m. on 5 May in the Ephraim Palais (Poststrasse 16 in Berlin). The Saxon State Minister for Science and Fine Arts, Prof. Sabine von Schorlemer, Director-General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Prof. Martin Roth, the Director of the Porzellansammlung Dr. Ulrich Pietsch, Dr. Theresa Witting, Curator of the exhibition in Berlin, as well as Dr. Franziska Nentwig, Director-General of the Stadtmuseum Berlin, will be available to answer your questions.

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