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Pforzheim Jewellery Museum

Museum
Published: 06.12.2016
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Statement

5.000 years of jewellery at display in the modern architecture of the International Style.

Devoted to the history of jewellery, the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim (Pforzheim Jewellery Museum) is the only museum of its kind worldwide. Some 2000 exhibits, including an extensive ring collection, reveal the vast diversity of jewellery over five thousand years. The collection on permanent display focuses on treasures from Greco-Roman antiquity, the Renaissance and Jugendstil/Art Nouveau as well as contemporary art jewellery. Moreover, there are collections of Ethnic Jewellery and pocket watches at display. The history of the jewellery industry in the ‘golden’ city of Pforzheim is also surveyed. In addition, visitors can continue to rediscover the Museum at regular special exhibitions.

The Reuchlin House, inaugurated in 1961 as the Pforzheim Municipal Cultural Centre, is a jewel of architecture. Designed in the ‘International Style’ by the architect Manfred Lehmbruck, it has always been one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in the Museum complex.


The Reuchlinhaus
Designed by Manfred Lehmbruck

The Reuchlinhaus is a masterwork of post-war German architecture. Built in 1957-61 as the municipal cultural centre, it presents itself in the clean lines of the International Style. Its lobby and heart is the square entrance hall, a foyer flooded with light and offering a view of luxuriant greenery through its huge panoramic windows. The focal point of the upper foyer is a circular opening for the free-standing spiral staircase leading to the ground floor. The lobby is the start and recurrent meeting-point for guided tours.

An Ark for Culture
After total war-time destruction on February 23, 1945, the cultural institutions in Pforzheim with their greatly decimated holdings eventually found, as in a Noah’s Ark, a new home in the Reuchlinhaus for the municipal archives, museums and the Kunstverein with its rich tradition. It takes its name in honour of the city’s most famous son, the scholar, writer and lawyer Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522).

The Architect
Manfred Lehmbruck (1913-1993), who was born in Paris and grew up in Zürich and Berlin, was a son of the famous sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck. In the 1930s, Mies van der Rohe arranged for Lehmbruck to work at the Paris office of Auguste Perret, France’s leading architect, where he found the model for his spectacular spiral staircase. In 1942, he took his degree with a doctoral thesis on ‘Museum Architecture of the Future’. After internment and active service, Lehmbruck opened an office for industrial architecture in Stuttgart. His breakthrough came in 1953, when he won the Pforzheim competition.
/ Dr. Christoph Timm



Pforzheim Jewellery Museum

From Antiquity to the Present
The collection on permanent display focuses on treasures from Greco-Roman antiquity, the Renaissance and Jugendstil/Art Nouveau as well as contemporary art jewellery. The history of the jewellery industry in the ‘golden’ city of Pforzheim is also surveyed. In addition, visitors can continue to rediscover the Museum at regular special exhibitions.

From all over the World
Since the Museum re-opened in spring 2006 after undergoing extensive remodelling, additional fields have been featured: jewellery from the Eva and Peter Herion Collection of Ethnographic Jewellery provides insights into the ways non-European, non-Western societies express themselves in adornment – the island world of Oceania, Nagaland in India or the Near East.

Jewellery on a Chain: Pocket Watches
Ingeniously wrought pocket watches from the collection amassed by the Pforzheim watch manufacturer Philipp Weber document the craft of the watch-maker and goldsmith from the 17th to the 19th centuries – the technical advances made in mechanical watch movements as well as changing fashions and varying national styles in watch design.

The Café and Museum Shop
Visitors looking for a brief break are invited to enjoy the café with its views of the Stadtgarten. Moreover, the Museum Shop invites you to browse.
 

Hours

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday and holidays 10 am – 5 pm (except Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)

Admissions:
Admission to the permanent exhibition €3
Reduced fee €1.50
Free of charge up to age 14 and for holders of the Upper Rhine Museum Pass
Guided group tours by appointment
Public guided tours through the permanent exhibition Sun 3 p.m., € 5.00
Reduced fee € 3.50

Partners: Kulturland Baden-Württemberg, Pforzheimer Zeitung and SWR2

Publications      View / hide description

Events      View / hide events

2016:
Exhibition  25 Nov 2016 - 23 Apr 2017  Miniaturised Mechanical Marvels - Luxury Wristwatches.
Exhibition  25 Nov 2016 - 23 Apr 2017  Miniaturised Mechanical Marvels. Luxury Wristwatches.
Exhibition  08 Jul 2016 - 30 Oct 2016  Heavenly Bodies. The Sun, Moon and Stars in Jewellery.
Exhibition  08 Jul 2016 - 30 Oct 2016  Heavenly Bodies - The Sun, Moon and Stars in Jewellery.
Exhibition  18 Mar 2016 - 12 Jun 2016  A Motley Crew. New Pieces from the Collection.
2015:
Exhibition  20 Nov 2015 - 21 Feb 2016  Fitting and Befitting - Fibulae and Brooches.
Exhibition  09 Jul 2015 - 01 Nov 2015  The Feel of the City – Jewellery from Centres of this World.
2014:
Exhibition  15 Nov 2014 - 08 Feb 2015  With Their Heads Held High - Headgear from all over the World.
Headgear ranks among the insignia of self-elevation. Crafted from precious materials, usually of imposing size and worn on the head, they convey the wearers’ status and position in the hierarchy of the society concerned. The exhibition will be showcasing a wide variety of headgear ranging from diadems and crowns, bonnets, hoods and hats to funeral wreaths and turbans, including their multifaceted variants in terms of shapes and colours. The exhibits will cover the whole gamut from specimens worn at court in the occidental world to folkloristic and ethnographic examples. Pforzheim’s Art Association will be staging a concomitant show on the same theme. Hellenistic funeral wreath, Gold. Greece, 4th century BC Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim Photo Rüdiger Flöter
Exhibition  19 Jul 2014 - 19 Oct 2014  Jewellery by Winfried Krüger.
Exhibition  21 Mar 2014 - 22 Jun 2014  Hellhounds and Doves of Love - 5,000 Years of Animal Myths in Jewellery.
Animals count among the earliest motifs in jewellery. They can be found in pieces from almost all epochs, in various forms and with diverse meanings. The stylized heads of a wild cat enhancing a Persian bracelet created 2,700 years ago, for example, were supposed to confer their magic upon hunters and warriors. Doves of love adorned wearers in ancient Greece in the form of pigeon-shaped earrings. A hunting dog pendant from the Renaissance period served as a symbol of loyalty, and an Art Nouveau insect brooch amazed its beholders as a rather exotic piece for the period in terms of both motif and materials. Animals are also featured in many contemporary works, such as David Bielander’s >Koi< bracelet, for example, or the beetle brooches designed by Georg Dobler. The exhibition will be highlighting the wide variety of animal motifs in jewellery from the past 5,000 years. In a dialog with >Hellhounds and Doves of Love<, the Pforzheim Gallery will be dedicating a show to the reception of animals in the arts. Pigeon-shaped earrings, hellenistic, 1st half of 2nd century BC. Photo Rüdiger Flöter
Exhibition  08 Feb 2014 - 27 Apr 2014  Jewellery by Speckner and Spoerri.
2013:
Exhibition  09 Nov 2013 - 26 Jan 2014  Jewellery by Iris Bodemer and Ute Eitzenhöfer.
Exhibition  23 Jul 2013 - 13 Oct 2013  Magnificent Views?: Landscapes in Jewellery.
2012:
Exhibition  22 Jun 2012 - 30 Sep 2012  The Universal Language of Ornamentation.
2011:
Exhibition  26 Nov 2011 - 26 Feb 2012  Serpentina - The Snake in Jewellery Around the World.
2010:
Exhibition  17 Sep 2010 - 14 Nov 2010  Complementing Petticoats and Waspy Waists.
Exhibition  02 Jul 2010 - 07 Jul 2010  Isopaedic findings.
Inner view of the collection's display.
Inner view of the collection's display

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View of the permanent display of the collection.
View of the permanent display of the collection

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Showcase of jewellery tools.
Showcase of jewellery tools

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Unknown artist
. Bracelet: Snake
. Gold with garnets
.  .
Unknown artist
Bracelet: Snake
Gold with garnets
 

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Peter Chang
. Bangle: 1998
. Acrylic, Polyester
.  .
Peter Chang
Bangle: 1998
Acrylic, Polyester
 

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Unknown artist
. Head Piece: Luhupa of a Naga Warrior
. Rattan, wood, red crab’s eye, seeds, hornbill tail feathers, hair, brass
.  .
Unknown artist
Head Piece: Luhupa of a Naga Warrior
Rattan, wood, red crab’s eye, seeds, hornbill tail feathers, hair, brass
 

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Wilhelm Lukas von Cranach
. Brooch: Octopus and Butterfly, 1900
. Gold, pearls, rubies, amethysts, topaz, enamels
.  .
Wilhelm Lukas von Cranach
Brooch: Octopus and Butterfly, 1900
Gold, pearls, rubies, amethysts, topaz, enamels
 

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George Graham
. Piece: Untitled, ca. 1730
. Gold
.  .
George Graham
Piece: Untitled, ca. 1730
Gold
 

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