Collections of theWürttemberg State Museum
A good 150 years after its foundation, the museum looks after over a million objects and thus preserves essential facets of the region’s cultural heritage from its early beginnings to the present. Collections of the highest quality in archaeology, art and cultural history as well as everyday and popular culture make it one of the most important institutions in the national and international museum landscape.
The State Museum’s archaeological holdings include important objects dating back 250,000 years in the history of humankind. They bear witness to the first traces of prehistoric man as well as to mankind’s oldest sculptural works of art, to the Celts and their powerful princes, to Romans in the hinterland of the Limes and to the early medieval Alamanni and Franconians with their immensely rich burial objects of weapons and jewellery.
In a sweeping arch through the region’s archaeological history, our collections span the entire period of human settlement in Württemberg: landscapes, climate change, the emergence and decline of peasant cultures and early civilizations up to the beginnings of medieval settlement. In addition, the broad spectrum of the antiquities collection allows a glimpse into the world of the advanced civilizations of the Mediterranean region from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.
The art history andcultural history collection
Our art and cultural history holdings include, on the one hand, collections with a close connection to the region, such as the “Kunstkammer” of the Dukes of Württemberg, the collections of the Württemberg History and Antiquity Association and of the Württemberg Army Museum. We have also, since the 1960s, been custodians of the international range of holdings of the Stuttgart state industrial museum.
Some of the most famous pieces kept at Stuttgart’s Old Castle are the crown of the Kings of Württemberg and other unique possessions of the Württemberg Dukes as well as the gems and precious objects of the ducal “Kunstkammer”. Our glass collection is among the best in Europe. Other valuable pieces include late medieval Swabian sculptures and magnificent Renaissance clocks.
The popular andeveryday culture collection
For a long time it was only the “pretty things” of past “popular culture”, such as rural finery, peasant tankards and jugs, guild and household utensils, which one believed should be preserved as a nostalgic celebration of old craftsmanship and rural idyll. Modern representations of popular and everyday culture, however, now focus on more commonplace items of mass culture. Everyday goods can provide excellent testimonies of the dramatic upheavals experienced between the pre-industrial era and industrial and post-industrial times.
Valuable special collections and a broad orientation have transformed the holdings of popular and everyday culture at the Württemberg State Museum into the material memory of everyday life in Württemberg from the late 18th to the 21st century. The collection is structured to reflect different life-worlds and not specific groups of materials or objects.