Ausstellungsansicht „Die Teile des Ganzen“
© SKD, Foto: Amac Garbe

Parts of a Unity. Stories from the collection of the Kunstgewerbemuseum

The Kunstgewerbemuseum lists more than 55,000 inventory numbers, each of which can tell its own story. “Parts of a Unity. Stories from the Collection of the Kunstgewerbemuseum” plays with the relationships between the whole and its constituent parts. These are extremely varied and are discussed under nine areas. It becomes clear in this that, apart from classifications according to art history and by materials, other surprising themes also emerge. The exhibits enter into new associations and can be looked at, explored and understood from unexpected angles.

  • DATES 07/03/2015—16/08/2015
  • Opening Hours currently closed


Stories are told, for instance, the story of how a baroque cup-board similar to one of the modular wall units made in the German workshops at Hellerau can be taken apart and turned into a compact pile of pieces in just a few simple steps. Or what labyrinthine interpretations lie behind a naturalistic metal crab or a set of Japanese vases. Fragments, misjudged gifts, connections across objects, alterations, reclassifications and the relationships of substitutes are the themes of this exhibition. The depth of the museum’s collection and the contemporary relevance of this museum, which promises its visitors many more discoveries, both become equally clear.

vier geschliffene Pokale aus Glas
© SKD, Foto: Hans-Peter Klut
Willkomm der Hofkellerei Dresden, wohl Heinrich Volckert, Glashütte Dresden 1716/1717 geblasenes, geschliffenes und geschnittenes Glas, am Schaft und am Deckelknauf verschraubt, matter und blanker Tiefschnitt, H. mit Deckel 69,2 cm, Dm. max.19,9 cm


The central exhibition hall of the Lipsiusbau offers an unusual sight. Over the wall runs an apparently endless series of inventory numbers from the collection. From number 1 in 1873, “Rhine Wine Glass with Gold Rim”, to number 55712, the latest acquisition; the numbers represent the objects in storage. Museum staff deal with this day in day out, investigating and researching the objects there, attempting to classify them and yet often, despite years of intensive work, they are unable to give a definitive answer to all the questions. It becomes clear how the work that is carried out here every day with such passion is almost never-ending and what new challenges it continues to throw up.


In the next ENTERprise (architecture, Vienna) und Fons Hickmann m23 (graphics, Berlin), we had two of the most forward-looking creative agencies in the German-speaking region to design the exhibition. The form of the display is different for each group of exhibits, and it invites us to explore their significance playfully and intuitively. This makes it possible to tell many exciting stories of a museum that is still waiting to be redis-covered. In “Parts of a Unity”, the Kunstgewerbemuseum continues to rebrand itself in innovative style and move further towards the centre of town.


In cooperation with: domus

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