The collection of Art Nouveau art has a long tradition at the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt. When the first permanent exhibition of this collection opened in 1965, Darmstadt was among the few places in Germany where Arts and Crafts of the Art Nouveau style could be viewed. Since then, the collection has been continuously expanded. Today, it encompasses objects from across Europe and the USA. Over 400 examples of glass and ceramics, furniture, textiles as well as small bronze and silversmith works by nearly all the renowned artists from the time around 1900 document this movement’s creative diversity. Numerous extraordinary works from Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Scandinavia and naturally Germany are featured among the holdings, including works by Emile Gallé and the School of Nancy, by Hector Guimard, Otto Eckmann, Richard Riemerschmid, Louis C. Tiffany, the members of the Darmstadt artist colony and the Wiener Werkstätte [Vienna Workshop].
A special feature of the collection are the works of Henry van de Velde. The furniture ensembles that the Belgian artist designed in 1899 for the editorial office of the French art magazine "Revue Blanche" are world-famous. On display is the furniture from two rooms, including one of the artist's main works: the bean-shaped desk, designed for the director's office of the Paris editorial office.
The holdings are complemented by additional pieces of furniture, porcelain, cutlery, and a silver tea service by the artist. Special attention should also be paid to the very rare textile paintings of Aristide Maillol, Paul Ranson, and Emile Bernard, as well as the unique collection of Art Nouveau jewelry. Featuring over 250 pieces of jewelry by René Lalique, the Fabergé Company, Hans Christiansen, and many others, it is one of the best collections of its kind in the world and offers a comprehensive panorama of jewelry creation throughout Europe.