Current

from 9 September 2014
Silver made in Hamburg
The collection Hamburg Moderne in a new presentation

Salt cellars shaped like an octopus carrying seashells, filigree jewellery made out of paperclips and precious stones, tea services with jagged projecting sharp edges, boxes welded from silver wire, timelessly beautiful pots, archetypical vases which follow the coarse aesthetic criteria of industrial production – the silver- and metalwork produced in Hamburg during the 20th and 21st centuries is extremely diverse and is now for the first time in the spotlight of the currently redesigned presentation of the collection Hamburg Moderne in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG). As a “Free and Hanseatic City”, Hamburg can look back on a long and rich tradition of artistic work by silversmiths. The city itself was the most important patron, giving commissions for the municipal silver, which is kept to this day in Hamburg’s town hall. Opulently embellished tableware, luxurious goblets and decorative sculptures bear witness to the wealth and power of the Hanseatic City and reveal the ostentatious representative facets of the silversmiths' craft. The new presentation in the MKG with 106 objects illuminates for the first time the development of silversmithing in Hamburg from 1900 on: from a wristband to ornamental goblets, from Alexander Schönauer (1871-1955) to Jan Wege (*1964). As a material, silver stands out to great effect against a background of pink and violet material in the display cases. The exhibits are combined with furniture from various epochs and extravagant wallpaper by the designers Karim Rashid and Marcel Wanders into an integrated interior decoration ensemble. The new presentation of the Sammlung Hamburg Moderne has been made possible by the Mara und Holger Cassens-foundation.

Fig.: Silverware from the Collection Hamburg Moderne, Photo: Maria Thrun, © MKG