"We build too many walls and not enough bridges." Isaac Newton
The ancient city of Nuremberg has survived many momentous world events, from the time of the Roman Empire until the 21th century. Although it was almost entirely demolished during WWII, the capital of Franconia was carefully rebuilt since then. The Old Town of Altstadt is surrounded by walls, that stand tall to witness for that time while the castle peaks from a promontory on the north side.
Nuremberg was and still is an important center for arts and culture, as evidenced by the popular National Germanic Museum with its impressive collections of coins, paintings, archives, and decorative arts.
The Germanisches Nationalmuseum is home to the country's largest German collection with more than 1.2 million items relating to the region's artistic and cultural history, including historical documents on parchment, a collection of 17,000 seals, and a superb fine arts archive. Other notable highlights include a collection of 300,000 prints and drawings, paintings representing all the major schools, historical musical instruments, a sculpture collection, and a fascinating display of antique toys and dollhouses.
Discover the many things to see and do in our Nuremberg video that will soon be live on YouTube. A link to our channel is in the description.
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„240 years ago, men dressed in style!“
Men's waistcoattcoat, around 1780
The exhibition features around 300 original pieces of clothing spanning three centuries, illustrating fashion trends and their manifold social connections. A chronologically ordered tour draws out the leitmotifs of men's and women's clothing from 1700 to 1970. A second tour departs from chronology and looks into selected themes of clothing culture. Twenty large display cases present underwear, swimwear fashions, children's clothes, features of regional dress, emergency clothing in wartime and the post-war years, wedding garments, headgear, shoes and the political appropriation of clothing. They provide an insight into forms and modes of wear, materials, production and the social symbolism of clothing. One highpoint is the joint presentation of "fashion" and "regional dress": the unique rural dress that emerged in the 19th century is shown as the antithesis to urbanization and industrialization and contextualized within the history of clothing.
The exhibition, entitled "Changing clothes", was opened in 2002 and investigates changes in fashions, whilst simultaneously utilizing a new information and exhibition concept. The presentation without narrative units or staging provides the foundation for an open and diversified perception of the objects. It emphasizes clothing as a historical source and does so without museum additions, even when gaps arise where objects have not survived. The regional dress of the 19th century is shown on its first figurines from 1905. For all other garments, a new type of figurine was developed and produced, which both ensures the items are correctly preserved and enables optimum adaptation to the historical silhouettes.
Detail from "Hauptstadt" ("Capital City") by Raffael Rheinsberg.
This is pretty much the first exhibit one encounters on entering this magnificent museum, and it embodies the principle of engaging at once with German history, culture and society. It's made up of the street name plaques Rheinsberg salvaged in East Berlin following the fall of the wall in 1989.