collections overview

Due to its first-rate collections, the Grassi Museum ranks as one of the foremost museums of applied art around the world.

Today, the collections of European and non-European arts and crafts comprise more than 90,000 objects from antiquity to the present day.

The holdings of the museum cover items from the classical fields of collection, such as ceramics, porcelain, glass, textiles, gold and silverware, decorative and utilitarian pewter, common metals, wrought iron, wood and stone sculptures, particularly late Gothic wood carvings, furniture and wooden implements, coins, medals and badges.

The museum’s textile collection is particularly rich and boasts a wide spectrum ranging from early Coptic textiles to Bauhaus and present-day fabrics. Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Functionalism are focal points in nearly all fields and lend the collection its unique profile. Other major areas of the collection are 20th century arts and crafts and design.

In addition, the library houses extensive special collections, such as the collection of graphic sheets with ornamental engravings and illustrations of past styles as well as historic book and photography collections, the latter containing a remarkable collection of early photographs and focussing on Bauhaus photography.

Large parts of the collection were bestowed or donated to the museum by Leipzig citizens and other donors. Although the museum’s acquisitions budget was discontinued as from 1999, the long-term commitment of public and private sponsors has enabled the museum to augment its collections with an unusually high number of extremely desirable objects of exceptional quality.