Tönerne Welten. Figürliche Keramik aus sechs Jahrhunderten
22 May 2015 – 27 Mar 2016
Kunstgewerbemuseum Schloss Köpenick
Beautifully situated on the banks of the river Dahme, the Baroque palace of Köpenick houses treasures from the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), complementing the museum’s main exhibition space at the Kulturforum.
The palace complex, never fully completed, is located on a manmade island on the outskirts of the old town centre of Köpenick. The main building was constructed between 1677 and 1690 on the site of an earlier hunting palace of the Brandenburg electors to designs by architects Rutger van Langervelt and Johann Arnold Nering. It was commissioned by the Hohenzollern prince-elector Friedrich (later Friedrich III Elector of Brandenburg and Friedrich I King of Prussia). The ensemble includes a historical gateway, a chapel and an old utilities building that today houses storage rooms, a conservation studio and a café.
Schloss Köpenick (Köpenick Palace) has been used as an exhibition space by the Kunstgewerbemuseum since 1963. Before the reunification of Germany, artworks located in the east of Berlin were put on display here. The buildings on the island were later fully renovated and since 2004 have housed the permanent exhibition "RoomArt", focussing on the decorative arts of the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods. Spread across three floors, the museum presents outstanding masterworks in interior design from the 16th to 18th centuries.
A collection of outstanding quality awaits visitors to the museum, ranging from priceless pieces of furniture to tapestries, wall panelling and wallpaper. Further exhibits include mirrors, clocks, lamps and table centrepieces. Today classed as exceptional artworks, these objects once belonged to the standard decor of living and reception rooms in grand houses and palaces. Among the highlights of the exhibition are the inlaid wainscoting from the palaces Haldenstein and Höllrich from the mid-16th century, the Wiesentheid Chamber of Mirrors from 1724/25 and the Lacquer Room with decorative scenes in the chinoiserie style that was created in 1740/50 for the Palazzo Granieri in Turin. Visitors are able to walk into the rooms and immerse themselves in these impressive interiors. The prestigious Heraldic Room of the palace showcases the table service commissioned by Friedrich II in 1767 from the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin (KPM) for the city palace in Breslau. A few rooms further on, visitors can admire the famous silver buffet that once stood in the Knight’s Hall of Schloss Berlin.
A further noteworthy feature of the palace is that the original Baroque plasterwork has survived intact in almost all of its rooms. On the basement level, an exhibition of archaeological findings documents the history of settlement and building on the island of Schloss Köpenick.