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Unconfined Horizons – Jewellery from Humboldt’s Travel Routes

13 April through 8 September 2019 | opens on Friday, 12 April, 7 p.m.

Born 250 years ago, the scientist Alexander von Humboldt is regarded as one of the last universal geniuses, whose thinking and actions laid many foundations for our modern worldview. During the 90 years of his life, this world citizen set out on two major expeditions: through South and Central America, and through Russia as far as the Chinese border. Influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment, he was convinced that people differ from one another only in terms of their education or culture, and that they are all equally destined for freedom. »The horizons of his mind were unconfined,« as the Humboldt expert Ottmar Ette emphasizes. For Humboldt, genuine education was synonymous with being able to perceive the interrelationships between things. Correspondingly, his fields of research were widely diversified. His importance for us in our day and age is due to his keen observation and scientific analyses, wedded to a profoundly humanistic approach. The exhibition will be showcasing a wide variety of artefacts and jewellery created along his travel routes, complemented by texts and illustrations from the scientist’s oeuvre.

Admission € 6, reduced price € 3.50, admission to both the permanent and special exhibition € 8.50

A Newly Ordered World – Jewellery from the Napoleonic Era

19 October 2019 through March 2020 | opens on Friday, 18 October, 7 p.m.

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 Chaumet, Napoleon’s court jeweller, the exhibition will also be showcasing jewellery worn in his social environment.

Admission € 6, reduced price € 3.50, admission to both the permanent and special exhibition € 8.50

Jewellery and Vessels Created by Ulla and Martin Kaufmann

Permanent exhibition | Modern Collection

13 July through October 2019 | opens on Friday, 12 July, 7 p.m.

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.