Museum of applied arts


Sections of the Museum of Applied Arts (around 5% of the total holdings are exhibited) were put on show in the Rittersaal (knights' hall) of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM) in 1989. At that point in time, the former holder of the collection, the LGA (Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern), was undergoing fundamental restructuring and the "collection of specimens", as it was previously called, was transferred to the GNM on loan. It was especially appropriate to house the objects in a south-western section of the museum complex with a neo-gothic design, since many items originate from the age of Historicism and their style is therefore in keeping with the building's interior design. In accordance with the previous arrangement of the Museum of Applied Arts collection, the exhibits in the display cases are largely ordered by material group. Seating furniture is positioned in front of columns to exploit spatial features. Some materials and their techniques are exhibited individually in the table-top display cases below the windows on the southern side.

After the 1st Great Exhibition 1851 in London, the decorative and applied arts enjoyed an upsurge in attention. This led to the foundation of many museums in Europe, including the Bavarian Museum of Applied Arts in Nuremberg 1869. Its collection encompasses around 16,000 objects, which have been in the GNM on loan from the Free State of Bavaria since 2003. As the structure of the collection was designed to be international, the holdings also include exhibits from the Far East, the Middle East and America. Chronologically, the individual objects range from Antiquity to the 1960s. Especially worth mentioning are works from around 1900, as the director of the Bavarian Museum of Applied Arts established master’s courses in the applied arts and was therefore also instrumental in their reform.

Examples of objects

Prunkbowle Entwurf: Friedrich Adler
Ausführung: J. Chr. Wich, Nürnberg, 1910

Vier Emailvasen
Japan, 19. Jh.

Bugholzstuhl Nr. 14
Entwurf: Fa. Thonet, 1859, Ausführung: nach 1920

Large cup and cover



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