Exhibition dates: 3 December 2015 – 6 March 2016
The Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM) is for the first time presenting its internationally significant collection of clothing of the Early Modern age in a large-scale special exhibition. Around fifty costumes from the period 1560–1650 are exhibited in the context of contemporary paintings and graphic artworks. In addition, the exhibition features rare pieces of everyday clothing from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including finds – on show for the first time – from a tailor’s workshop in Bremen, as well as needles, scissors, thimbles and clothes brushes.
Clothes have always played a central role in self-expression and individual identity. This exhibition brings together rare original textiles and representative likenesses from international museums. It shows clothing and fashion in their diverse social contexts and makes them decipherable as part of the material culture as well as in terms of their social and image-specific symbolism. The historical items of clothing permit a close-up view of shapes, materials and styling. The complementary paintings illustrate the original effect of the clothes and the way they were worn, which then, as now, reveals a person’s place in society. The exhibition also addresses the question of how reliably the preserved items of clothing bear witness to the past, as the originals have rarely survived the centuries unscathed.
The exhibition is supported by international collections, with loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the Royal Armoury, Stockholm, which owns and has generously lent a doublet dating from 1610 which is preserved as individual tailored pieces and is a unique document of historic tailoring practice.
For more information, visit the website of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg.