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Course

It reminded me of the importance of places and people, of politics and power; of material objects, beauty and of memories; of scholarship and discovery; of innovation, challenge and sharing to bring the past into the future.“ 
                                   Charles Pugh, National Trust, UK

During this intensive seven-day course the participants will explore the city of Dresden with its great monuments and beautiful museums. The course focuses on the study of the magnificent collections brought together over centuries by Saxon rulers. It considers the objects within the context of their acquisition: the princely attitudes of the Saxon sovereigns during the late Renaissance, the sumptuous royal patronage of the arts in the 18th century Augustan age, as well as the role of the monarchy within 19th century bourgeois society.

- Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.

Dresden’s collections are presented in their former royal settings in and around the city. Thus, they can be studied in lavish surroundings that in some cases have been their homes since the 18th century. It is the interplay of modern and historic aspects, however, that makes the collections of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden most vivid and interesting. Over the past decades extraordinary attention has been paid to the reconstruction of galleries and new, innovative exhibitions that explore a diversity of topics in multiple ways. In this manner, the museums and collections of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are at the heart of the city’s vibrant cultural life.

- Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.

The programme for 2015 includes visits to the collections shown in the Residenzschloss (Royal Palace): the world-famous Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault), founded by Friedrich August I (“August the Strong”), and filled with exceptional treasures, the Türckische Cammer (Turkish Chamber), one of the oldest and most important collections of Ottoman art, and the newly opened and imposing Riesensaal (Giants’ Hall) with its impressive presentation of tournament and ceremonial weapons and accoutrements. At the same time, students will learn about the grand restoration project concerning the Residenzschloss and experience work-in-progress there.

Furthermore, participants will see the museums in the famous Baroque complex of the Dresden Zwinger: the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon (Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments), one of the world’s most important collections of historical scientific instruments, the Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection) with its exquisite pieces of Asiatic and Meissen porcelain, and the outstanding collection of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Gallery) founded by this grand connoisseur of the art of painting, King August III.

The course also includes a guided tour through the Albertinum, Dresden’s centre of art from the Romantic period to the present day. Students will become acquainted with the Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) that comprises works from a period spanning more than five millennia and the Galerie Neue Meister (New Masters Gallery) that exhibits Romantic, 20th century, and contemporary paintings of superb quality.

One afternoon will be devoted to Schloss Pillnitz with its park and gardens. Once the delightful summer palace of August the Strong and his successors, it now houses the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts). Students will be able to investigate the high quality of the decorative arts in Dresden and their innovative role in the early 20th century.

In addition, the participants will visit a number of important buildings in the historic centre of Dresden, such as the Frauenkirche, the Zwinger and the Japanisches Palais. There will also be excursions to fascinating places in the region around Dresden, for instance Schloss Moritzburg, the garden city of Hellerau, and the bizarre rock formations of Saxon Switzerland that inspired the painter Caspar David Friedrich.