A treasure trove of history

k91355_Arno Hensmanns.jpgPrunksäbel aus dem Besitz der Landgräfin Dorothea Wilhelmine, 1660-80, MHK, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Sammlung Angewandte Kunst, Foto: MHK, Arno Hensmanns

The Middle Ages to the 19th century

As well as the departments of European Ethnology and Pre- and Early History, the Hessisches Landesmuseum also boasts a large collection of Applied Arts, displayed on the second floor of the building.

From the 13th to the 19th century, the Landgraves of Hesse controlled the fates of the region.  Far-reaching events such as the Reformation, the Thirty Years' War, or the rule of Napoleon left their marks on the Europe of those years, and on North Hesse in particular. The exhibits from the collection of Applied Arts provide a detailed image of those turbulent centuries. Works of art from churches and monasteries, towns and villages, and especially from the collections of the Landgraves of Hesse testify to a magnificent courtly culture and the collecting passions of the ruling princes. With the aid of these exhibits, we can trace international political connections on the one hand, and relive the everyday lives of the people of those years on the other.

The collections of the Landgraves of Hesse form the core of today's collection. It includes pieces from the art cabinets of Wilhelm IV (r. 1567–1592) and Moritz the Scholar as well as gilt-silver objects from the former Silver Cabinet. There are Baroque works of art created for the court of Landgrave Carl (r. 1677–1730), a collection of historical glassware, a notable collection of amber, another of carved ivory, Hessian faience and porcelain from Meissen, Kassel, and Fulda as well as specimens from the Landgravial porcelain gallery originally imported from China and Japan.