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Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts)

From May to October each year, the Kunstgewerbemuseum provides extraordinary insights into the life of the electors of Saxony in a spectacular architectural setting. Schloss Pillnitz, a pleasure palace and the summer residence of the Saxon court, is only a few kilometres from the centre of Dresden, idyllically located between the River Elbe and hillside vineyards. Many sumptuous objects and rooms that are associated with the electors and kings of Saxony have been preserved here. There are, for example, gilt thrones, unique silver furniture, colourful lacquered furniture and other lavish furnishings commissioned by the rulers, as well as numerous outstanding items created in the court workshops, all of which testify to the sovereigns’ desire for luxury and elegance. Among the objects on display are beautifully painted and cut glasses from the court wine cellars, exclusive textiles such as damask fabric, embroidery and lace, as well as selected items from the royal collection of Italian majolica, Delftware and German stoneware.

Other highlights – ranging from a mediaeval antependium to 20th-century furniture – demonstrate the history of regional and international arts and crafts over a period of five centuries. In this journey through time showing the history of arts and crafts up to modern industrial design, numerous examples of Dresden Jugendstil (art nouveau) and of the machine-made furniture produced by the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau constitute particular highlights that point to Dresden’s role as a cradle of modern art and design. Examples of the work of contemporary designers include products by Piero Fornasetti, Shiro Kuramata, Ron Arad, Dale Chihuly and many others.

If you particularly wish to enjoy the atmosphere of the bygone age of Saxon electors and kings, you should visit the “Yellow Salon” with its magnificent chinoiserie-style decor, the dining-room in the style of Watteau or the series of cabinets – these were all used by the royal family during their summer sojourns at Schloss Pillnitz.

  • Möbel des Dresdner Rokoko vor einem flämischen Wandteppich des 18. Jahrhunderts © Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Foto: Hans Christian Krass
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Speisezimmereinrichtung der Deutschen Werkstätten Hellerau nach einem Entwurf von Adelbert Niemeyer, um 1910 © Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Foto: Hans Christian Krass
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Barschrank der 1930er Jahre © Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Foto: Hans Christian Krass - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.