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Collections

The Stadtmuseum Berlin has a store of around 4.5 million artefacts related to the art, culture and history of the city. In terms both of quality and quantity, this stock is one of the most significant city and historic collections in Germany. These treasures can be seen in permanent and special exhibitions. The artefacts collected are available for scientific research and for loan to other museums. 

City and Regional History

City model from the collection of Stadtmuseum Berlin © Stadtmuseum Berlin | Photo: Faruk Hosseini

These collections are mainly related to the historic development of Berlin. They have allowed the Stadtmuseum Berlin to conserve historic evidence about Berlin and the Mark Brandenburg region since the 19th century. These range from prehistoric fossils through spearheads, coins and early maps of the city to guild banners. The collections also include measuring instruments which Alexander von Humboldt took with him on his spectacular expedition to South America.

Berlin in the fine Arts

Historic painting of Lustgarten on today's "Museum Island" © Stadtmuseum Berlin | Photo: Oliver Ziebe

Thanks to major collections including photos, drawings, sculptures and paintings, the visual arts are excellently represented in the Stadtmuseum Berlin. On the one hand, they document the history of the city of Berlin – for example, in photographs of the city from the early 20th century, or in views of the city from the graphic collection. On the other, they demonstrate the excellence of Berlin artists in paintings from the Berlin Secession art group or in works from the sculptural school ranging from Schadow to Begas.

Daily Life

Different types of historic radio receivers from the Stadtmuseum Berlin's collection © Stadtmuseum Berlin

The collections on everyday life reflect the history of Berliners and therefore also the history of Berlin as a city. They include objects from mass culture such as household objects and technical devices. We also present archaeological discoveries from the flats and streets of Berlin around 1800. Daily life is also represented by documents and objects from the daily lives of children and teenagers, such as toys from Berlin nurseries. All these objects have a story to tell about life in this city. 

Applied Arts

Fine example from the wide ranging china collection © Stadtmuseum Berlin

The applied arts department covers a wide range of objects, materials and themes. These include porcelain and ceramics, iron and ornate cast iron, furniture, jewellery and glass. They document the development of craftwork, of manufacturing and of the industrial production of articles of daily use with an artistic touch in Berlin-Brandenburg.

Theatre, Music, Literature

Detail of an ancient music box, Swiss made, around 1900 © Stadtmuseum Berlin | Photo: Matthias Holfeld

The title of city culture and urban culture brings together thematic collections which equally represent bourgeois high culture and popular culture. These not only derive their value and significance from their aesthetic and cultural contents, they are also an essential element in documenting the history of a city that has historically viewed itself as an urban centre of culture over long periods from the past to the present, and that still views itself as such today.

Contact

PETER SCHWIRKMANN

Director of the History Department

+49 (0) 30 353059 400

Contact

Sebastian Ruff

Head of Central Documentation

+49 (0) 30 353059 708