Napoleon Bonaparte reorganized the European world in many respects. 2019 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birthday, an occasion that inspired Pforzheim’s Jewellery Museum to organize a special exhibition spotlighting the new kind of jewellery and fashion characteristic of the Napoleonic era. Back then, the Neoclassical »style of the Revolution« and the decorative Empire style spread all over Western Europe well into Russia. The moral concepts developed during the Enlightenment called for an aesthetic inspired by reason, which met the taste of an increasingly powerful, self-confident and educated middle class, and influenced all areas of culture – starting from architecture, painting, furniture, garments and jewellery all the way through to literature and music. The visual arts were expected to lead to the emergence of an intellectual aristocracy to break with the tradition of hereditary aristocracy. Over the course of Napoleon’s imperial reign, the Empire style unfolded its representative splendour to perfection. Including several pieces created by Nitot, Napoleon’s court jeweller, the exhibition also showcases jewellery worn in his social environment. Numerous pictures show how Napoleon presented himself and had himself depicted and, exhibited alongside documents, as well as utilitarian and luxury items, give visitors an impression of his epoch.
Admission € 6, reduced price € 3.50, admission to both the permanent and special exhibition € 8.50
Ulla and Martin Kaufmann have been creating jewellery and vessels for almost fifty years now. Initially, they were characterized by abstract floral shapes, later on by a classically modern formal idiom, and in the past few decades have reflected their in-depth involvement with the sculptures created by Richard Serra or Eduardo Chillida, for example. Both trained as gold- and silversmiths, and have been sharing an atelier in Hildesheim since 1970. A hammered metal strip plays a central role in their works, which include a number of audaciously shaped creations, as do the exterior, interior and intermediate spaces they create with their materials. In addition to many other accolades, Ulla and Martin Kaufmann won the Bavarian State Prize in 2018 for their project entitled »Cubes in Motion«. The exhibition will be giving a representative overview of the couple’s comprehensive oeuvre.