Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin

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The entrance to the Kunstgewerbemuseum at the Kulturforum
Inside the Kunstgewerbemuseum

The Kunstgewerbemuseum, or Museum of Decorative Arts, is an internationally important museum of the decorative arts in Berlin, Germany, part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums). The collection is split between the Kunstgewerbemuseum building at the Kulturforum (52°30′35″N 13°22′03″E / 52.5097°N 13.3674°E / 52.5097; 13.3674 (Kunstgewerbemuseum, Kulturforum)Coordinates: 52°30′35″N 13°22′03″E / 52.5097°N 13.3674°E / 52.5097; 13.3674 (Kunstgewerbemuseum, Kulturforum)) and Köpenick Palace (52°26′38″N 13°34′22″E / 52.4439°N 13.5728°E / 52.4439; 13.5728 (Kunstgewerbemuseum, Schloss Köpenick)).


It was founded in 1868 as the Deutsches Gewerbe-Museum zu Berlin, and originally had a teaching institute as well as a public museum. The collection grew significantly in the 1870s, and it was renamed Kunstgewerbemuseum in 1879; in 1881 it relocated into the Martin-Gropius-Bau – where Priam's Treasure was also on display for a time – and in 1921 it moved into the Stadtschloss.[1]

Parts of the collection were destroyed in World War II,[2] and the surviving items were split between East and West Berlin,[1] the Eastern collection moved into Köpenick Palace in 1963, while the Western exhibits moved first into Charlottenburg Palace, then into the new museum building in the Kulturforum[3] in 1985, built by Rolf Gutbrod.


The Kunstgewerbemuseum displays European (and Byzantine) decorative arts from all post-classical periods of art history, and features gold, silver, glass and enamel items, porcelain, furniture, panelling, tapestry, costumes, and silks.[4]

The north wing of the former Kunstgewerbemuseum (today Martin-Gropius-Bau), which for many years accommodated the Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums Berlin ("teaching institute")

There is a very important collection of Late Antique objects in many media, the items from the Middle Ages include a large number of gold reliquaries. The Renaissance is represented by silverware from the city councillors of Lüneburg, and bronze sculptures, tapestries, furniture, Venetian glasses and maiolicas from the Italian princely courts.[4]

The Baroque era is represented by faiences from Delft, and glass items. There is also European porcelain (particularly from Meissen and the Royal Manufacturer of Berlin), and decorative crockery from the rococo, classicist, historicist and Art Nouveau styles. The "New Collection" of 20th century craftwork includes industrially-manufactured products.[4]

A fragment of an embroidered tapestry, showing part of a border and a scene with a woman on a throne
Fragment of an embroidered tapestry from Halberstadt, around 1170 
A golden cross on a pedestal, highly decorated, showing Jesus on the cross
The Guelph Cross, first half 12th century 
Mirrored wall covering with golden ornamentation
Merseburger Spiegelkabinett, 1712–1715, by Johann Michael Hoppenhaupt I., from the Merseburg palace (today at Köpenick palace) 
Two chairs and two cabinets made out of dark wood, with oriental forms
Drawing room furniture by Carlo Bugatti, Milan around 1885 
Golden cross on a pedestal with inlayed gems
Processional cross from Enger 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Heute mal Extremitäten Tobias Timm, Die Zeit, 31 August 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2010. (in German)
  2. ^ Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin State Museums. (in German)
  3. ^ Kunstgewerbemuseum Kulturforum. (in German)
  4. ^ a b c Museum of Decorative Arts (in English)

External links[edit]

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