09 Apr 2017
GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts, Germany
Grassi Museum, an impressive building complex in Art-Deco style, houses three museums of domestic and international significance: the Museum of Applied Arts, the Museum of Ethnology (also an ASEMUS member), and the Museum of Music Instruments. At the center of attraction in the three museums are their respective new feature of permanent exhibitions and alternating special exhibitions. The centerpiece of Grassi Museum is the Art Deco column hall. The central exhibition and event hall designed in shining red-gold-blue remains unparalleled all over Europe. The column hall that is named after its twelve ceiling-high triangular columns, represents the exclusive designing style of Art Deco. Grassi Museum is seen as a place of culture and inspiration. Its vegetated inner courtyards, the old Johannis cemetery, which looks like a park and the highly inviting Museum Café set the scene perfectly well for enjoying leisure times. Today, the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts counts among the most significant of its type in Europe and stands out for a completely new permanent exhibition. The first exhibition area, entitled “From Antiquity to Historism”, is a call to a journey covering over 3,000 years of the history of art. Amongst others, the fascination in this journey is the Roman Hall, the Piranesi Gallery and precious Baroque items of the Treasure Chamber. The second exhibition area, “Asian art: Impulse for Europe”, is, above all else, dedicated to art treasures from China, Japan and Iran. In the third area, “From Art Nouveau to the Present Day”, there is a series of treasures from the period of Art Nouveau of known and unknown Bauhaus pieces, design highlights as from 1950, East German design and pieces from the immediate present. Moreover, the special exhibitions and the GRASSI TRADE FAIR that is held each year at the end of October – one of Europe’s most significant sales expositions for applied arts and design – are also a centerpiece of public attention.
Historical backgroundUpon the death of the Tradesman and Patron from Leipzig Franz Dominic Grassi (1801 – 1880), the city of Leipzig inherited a considerable asset. Amongst others, it was invested in the construction of the new Gewandhaus, the Mende fountain and in the “old” Grassi museum at the former King’s square, today’s City Library at Leuschner square. Since the capacity of the building soon became too small, it was sold and the proceeds invested in the construction of today’s Grassi museum at Johannis square. The building complex that was erected here from 1925 to 1929 belongs to one of the few new museum buildings of the 1920s in Germany. Following the massive destruction of the building in the course of the Second World War, post-war reconstruction was only gradual and provisional. The Grassi Museum was fundamentally refurbished in the years 2001 to 2005, and has been shining ever since in new splendor. The museums are able to present their collections effectively for the first time since the end of the war.
View all Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) members in Germany