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The Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts)

The Kunstgewerbemuseum in Dresden was founded in 1876. Inspired by the first Great Exhibition in London in 1851, museums of the arts & crafts / applied arts sprang up all over Europe with the purpose of providing models for handicraft and industry and fostering the export potential of local consumer goods. Frequently affiliated to schools of arts & crafts, an entirely new type of museum evolved: not a courtly and prestigious collection, but one compiled with the deliberate aim of educating taste and sensibility for quality.

At home in the summer palace of Schloss Pillnitz since 1963/64 and open from May to October, it is the ambition of the Kunstgewerbemuseum to live up to its original aspirations in Dresden in equal measure for public, producers and designers. Organising and displaying the 60,000 objects provides the basis for a discourse on design and enables these issues to be brought closer to the target groups by way of diverse formats. Accordingly, the museum is at present reviewing its permanent exhibition and in the coming years will present parts of it anew.

This year, the west wing of the River Palace is placed in a new light in both architecture and contents with the theme of “Material”. Material can be discussed from various perspectives, whether material development, production, properties, also the variety of forms and surfaces. At the same time, the theme of material is also a traditional method of sectioning the collections in museums of decorative arts. This ostensible connection to the past enables us to place the collection’s diversity in the focus of discussion in constantly new ways. In addition to the special exhibitions and the revised parts of the permanent exhibition, we would like to draw your attention in conclusion to the relocated collection of musical instruments and the depot show of the Deutsche Werkstätten in the Upper Palace. A unique inventory of works made by the Hellerau Werkstätten manifests what innovative energy beamed out to the world from Dresden around 1900.

  • Ausstellungsansicht "Okolo Offline Two" vom 3. September bis 2. November 2014, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Copyright: SKD, Foto: Okolo – Adam Štech, Matěj Činčera, Jan Kloss
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Ausstellungsansicht "Okolo Offline Two" vom 3. September bis 2. November 2014, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Copyright: SKD, Foto: Okolo – Adam Štech, Matěj Činčera, Jan Kloss
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Ausstellungsansicht "Okolo Offline Two" vom 3. September bis 2. November 2014, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Copyright: SKD, Foto: Okolo – Adam Štech, Matěj Činčera, Jan Kloss - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.