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History of the Collection

As industrialisation intensified towards the end of the 19th century, many traditional forms of folk culture disappeared from the everyday life of ordinary people. At the same time, art historians and artists began to take an interest in the subject of folk art. This concept refers to artistic and creative works produced outside the sphere of the classical arts, usually associated with traditional crafts and domestic production. In Dresden in 1897 Oskar Seyffert (1862-1940), a professor at the Königliche Kunstgewerbeschule, founded the Verein für Sächsische Volkskunde (Society for Saxon Folklore), among the aims of which was the establishment of a museum. After a period of intensive collecting, he succeeded in opening the “Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst” in the renovated Jägerhof in Dresden-Neustadt in 1913, and he became its first Director. It was thanks to the charismatic personality of Seyffert and the popularity of his many museum events that this was the first of the Dresden museums to be restored and reopened after suffering considerable damage in the Second World War. It was reopened as early as 1952 and since 1968 it has been part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

  • Museum of Saxon Folk Art and Puppet Theatre Collection © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photographer: Hans Christian Krass, 2011
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Museum of Saxon Folk Art and Puppet Theatre Collection © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photographer: Hans Christian Krass, 2011
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Museum of Saxon Folk Art and Puppet Theatre Collection © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photographer: Hans Christian Krass, 2011 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


The origins of the puppet theatre collection go back to the private collection assembled by the teacher and puppet theatre historiographer Otto Link (1888-1959), which was affiliated to the Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst in Dresden in the form of a state research centre in 1952. First of all, a travelling exhibition propagating the idea of puppet theatre was created, followed by numerous special exhibitions on various themes. From 1960 until 2003 the collection was housed in the Hohenhaus in Radebeul, where following large-scale refurbishment a permanent exhibition was installed in 1985. After moving out of the Hohenhaus and spending an interim period in the Garnisonkirche in Dresden, the Puppentheatersammlung has been on display in the Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst since 2005. There is an annually changing exhibition as well as additional short-term exhibitions.